Skip to content

On Mother’s Day

People often ask me "How did you get this way?"

I always answer: I was raised by a mother who convinced me I was a genius and that I could do (and succeed at) anything I wanted. She told me to never let anyone tell me No (at least without giving me a good reason), to not view people in positions of authority as always having the right answers, and that if I wanted to solve a problem I should do it myself or learn how from an expert.

She told me that all work is honorable (although I disagree now, as not every field of endeavor is honorable) and that I should have extra appreciation for people in service positions, as they’d probably rather be doing something else. (That last one sounds arrogant when I read it, but she didn’t mean it that way.)

I observed her questioning the Roman Catholic church and its dogma, and I was there as she sought out her own version of god, spirituality, and/or religion (and she’s still looking). I observed her question (and become enraged with) the subjugation of women, minorities, and gays.

I saw the way she dealt with anger (and decided a different direction was better for me) and how she exposed her emotions, raw, for all the world to see (again, different direction for moi). She didn’t apologize for having–and wearing–her beliefs wherever she went. She taught me that the highest use of a life is service, and that creativity is necessary to maintain sanity and feed the mind, heart and soul (if there is one).

She taught me that I was the creator of my life, and I had no one to blame if it didn’t come off the way I wanted it to. She taught me that whatever was in my life was a mirror for me and was there for me to learn and grow. If I was having difficulty with a relationship, I should look to that part of myself that I saw in the other person. No one has the power to annoy you; you annoy yourself by letting someone get to you.

She wasn’t a conventional parent, and I wasn’t a conventional child. I started speaking very late in the game and I was painfully shy and introspective. I developed a skill for being invisible and I assumed the role of observer. This made for an especially helpful transition to an adulthood as a writer. She (and others) nurtured my creative impulses but never directed them to where they wanted them to go.

People become who they are either because of how they were raised or despite it. My case is the former, and I have Marietta Felicia Floretta Annetta Labrise Martin to thank.

Happy Mother’s Day.

One Comment Post a comment
  1. Mike Grieco #

    Time to call Maria D'milio Grieco:)
    Happy Mother's Day.

    May 13, 2007

Leave a Reply

You may use basic HTML in your comments. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS