|Rebecca, Hilary & Lauren|
|Alexandra Elizabeth & Rosemary Elizabeth Healey Waterhouse-Hayward - 1968|
I have a friend who constantly tells me I am repeating myself and he likes to add, “It’s been done before.”
In Mexico and in Latin America Mothers’ Day is always on May 10th. Because of the different date in Canada I placed several old blogs on that theme last week.
I thought I would be original in thinking that today I could write a blog about the four mothers in my life. It seems I am repeating myself and I have done it before. Here is the proof.
Perhaps I can modify that blog by pointing out that of the four mothers in my life only one is left and that is my 50-year-old daughter Hilary.
She has two daughters. She is a very good mother. Additionally she reminds me of my own mother as she has her crooked smile and speaks fine Spanglish.
|My mother, Filomena Cristeta de Irureta Goyena de Hayward|
Of my first mother, the one that bore me I have written before how when I was 21 she told me that she loved me because mothers always love their children but that to that point she had never liked me. Somehow after a year in the Argentine Navy in a trip to visit her for Christmas she pleasantly informed me that I had changed and that she liked me.
An often repeated mantra by my mother was, “Alex, you will never understand as you will never be a mother.” By the time I figured out that I could have told her, “You will never understand because you will never be a father,” she was dead at age 61.
All her life my mother sacrificed her well being by spending the little money she had on private school education for . That she sent me to St. Edward’s High School in Austin, Texas in 1958 gave me a good liberal education and that is where I bought my first camera and eventually became what I have been for many years, a photographer that she would have been proud of.
My father was a journalist and my mother was a fine poet. Perhaps I inherited from them my own sort of decent talent to write.
Because my mother was a teacher and by 1950 my father had left the house, the person who educated me was my mother’s mother, my grandmother Lolita. She was an artist and constantly told me I was one, too. She used a modern method of never telling me not to do something but, “If you do this, this is what is going to happen.” Her fave was, “El que por su gusto se muere, cantando lo entierran.” If you wish to die because you want to, a choir will sing at your funeral.”
|With María de los Dolores Reyes de Irureta Goyena|
What is outstanding is that the third mother in my life, my wife Rosemary, met them both. My mother lived with us for a couple of years in Mexico City and she and Rosemary got along well.
She died in bed in 1971 in the presence of Rosemary and me. This was just another incident in our life that kept my Rosemary and I together.
Because Hilary, was a busy worker, Rosemary planned all kind of trips abroad with our granddaughters, and paid for ballet and music lessons. We both were Saturday baby sitters.
When I write that Rosemary was the fourth mother in my life I really mean that she mothered me. She did all the financial worrying, bought my razors, shampoo and toothpaste. She spoiled me as much as my abuelita did.
I don’t really understand people wishing other people a happy Mothers’ Day. For me it is an extremely sad day. Having talked with Hilary today was a high point. But one mother left, I’ll take it, is really not enough.
In my memory I remember being in the sixth grade in Mexico City and putting together a cardboard waste paper basket with an image of La Gioconda on it for my mother. It was as simple as that. A real Mother’s Day (it seems that putting the apostrophe after the s is wrong) is a happy one, but only in my memory.
I can add that none of the four mothers in my life knew what it was like to be a father.
There is a vivid remembrance in me of being at the ABC Hospital in Tacubaya, Mexico City when Ale was born. Rosemary's doctor, Doctor deKanter, told us both, "Rosemary, you are now a mother but you must also remember that you are a wife, too." I believe that my Rosmary never forgot as she was a fine wife. She proved that for 52 years.