When I was a kid growing up in Oswego, NY, my Roman Catholic grandmother would make a pretty big deal about our family's devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. She'd play on her baby grand piano while we promenaded with a helo made of fake flowers to crown on her little statue of the Virgin. It was fun and we would walk over and over again down her hallway to take turns crowning the statue. I never understood how sacred the Virgin Mary, my grandmother, and the month May would be to me until 2 years ago.
As I drove the thruway with my two kids in the backseat to my hometown on Mother's Day in 2015, my grandmother, Helen Marie McCarthy Raby, 95, had a massive brain bleed. I entered her home that year, so excited to share with her that my 10 month old was finally crawling, only to learn that she had days, if hours until she would be gone. The following days’ vigil by my grandmother’s bedside felt so foreign and familiar, like we had all been there before, but just needed to learn the language. I got the chance to tell her all the things you want to tell someone on their deathbed; that he love and encouragement for us was always evident and that I wouldn’t be the mother I am today if it wasn’t for her example.
With her death has come so many revelations for my family. For me, it was that motherhood and the legacy we leave is so much more complicated, tragic, and beautiful than I ever imagined. Whether you’re thrown in or beg for it, Motherhood is not what you think it will be. It’s so much more.
That kind of relates to Welcome Mama. It began just a month ago as a website dedicated to being a source of information and now is slowly evolving into a place of expression. I’ve made a few calls for guest bloggers and received some lovely and poignant responses. I cannot wait for you to read the poetry and prose of the women in our community. Their experiences are real, raw, and stunning portraits of strength, dignity and hope.
Coming up this week , as we close out Mental Health Awareness month, I'd like to shed some light on perinatal mood disorders and the local women who are conquering them in their own unique ways. I hope you'll find some inspiration in their stories.
Hi. I'm Lindsay. Daughter, sister, wife, mother and collector of useless (and useful) information.