Friday, May 12, 2017

a tribute to the brave // 4 literary mothers who never got page time

via Pixabay
Believe it or not, I didn't know what to post on the blog on Friday, until Liz Koetsier, of Ink Lizard fame, posted about literary mothers and jogged my memory. (Don't worry, I knew mother's day was coming. I just forgot to connect it to the blog.) Once I read that, and after reading another article about brave mamas by Ann Voskamp yesterday (credit to her article for inspiring this blog title) I thought it would be fun to post about something new. Literary mothers who never got page time.

Mothers aren't always around in fiction. In 2015 I did a Best of Literary Mothers post, but some books don't have mothers because their mamas died too soon. Some of the reasons for that might be because authors need to cut down the cast of characters to as few people as possible. Another reason might be that their characters need to have as many obstacles as possible before reaching their goal. For whatever reason, there are some good mamas who we never get to see in action.

Here are four that I think are a wonderful tribute to mamas everywhere.

Bertha Shirley never got to meet the irrepressible Anne. But her love for her baby, captured in letters to her husband, give no doubt that she gave Anne a secure babyhood until she passed away, and blessed her with a heritage of love, however tiny. Documenting your love for your baby (or child, or teenager) may be one of the best gifts you ever give them.

(huge spoiler for Freckles by Gene Stratton Porter next)

Mrs. O'More loved her baby so much that not only did she make the beautiful baby clothes with the tiny stitches, but she laid down her life for the chance to save her son from the fire. While he was born in poverty, and his coming put a strain on his parents, they loved and valued him nonetheless.

(end of huge spoiler)

Pollyanna Whittier's mother, who left her family to marry the minister she loved, lived a short life, but I think one she could look back on without regrets. Enduring the heartbreak of losing many babies, she named her only living baby after her two sisters, in spite of the estrangement from her family, and ended up giving her sister Polly the gift that reconciled and healed her heart.

Lady Elliot was described as an "excellent woman" in Persuasion, who helped make her husband comfortable and gave him a good reputation in the neighborhood. She found good friends, and Lady Russell thought Anne was the daughter most like her--which is a tribute in itself to the kind of self-effacing, kind woman Lady Elliot must have been. She looked well after the ways of her household, and her presence was sorely missed when she passed away.

Three out of the four women never did anything splended or dramatic. They just lived. They kept budgets, nurtured babies, endured the grief of losing children, blessed their husbands, and died all too soon. But in this tiny record of their everyday faithfulness, the small, everyday actions of love left a legacy to be remembered.

And I think it is the everyday love, the everyday brave, that deserves most to be remembered.

A special thanks this mother's day to my own mama, who read me so many books, and still swaps so many titles with me. I feel like we have our own unofficial book club, and it is a gift beyond compare.  

12 comments:

  1. That made me a little teary! I love the tribute to your own mother.

    <3 Mrs. Hayse

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    1. Thank-you so much, Mrs. Hayse! I loved it when your comment came through!

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  2. I love this! So many stories start after the brave sacrificial mothers have passed away. They need to be remembered properly now and again!

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    1. I feel like this premise should be part of a story....The perspective of the mother before she dies, or something. That would be amazing.

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  3. Beautiful post! So true and thought provoking. I loved you bringing a different perspective to books that we don't usually see or think about.

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    1. Classic Girl, you are so kind! Thank-you so much for your encouragement!

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  4. I love this post! You picked excellent mothers to feature :)

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    1. I realized they are few and far between--but these were fun ones. :)

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  5. What a beautiful tribute. :') I love thinking about these unsung, everyday heroes.

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    1. Aaand, now I have a title. I think a story wheel is turning.

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  6. <3 Love. Haven't read these books but you are making me want to. -Ink Lizard

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    1. Oh, you should! I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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