Her Mother's Daughter

Monday, May 9, 2011

Several weeks ago I wrote about my son and his father in "His Father's Son." I mentioned that my daughter was her mother's daughter but said I would leave that discussion for another day.

This is another day.

However, this post covers three people rather than two. Not only is my daughter, Caroline, her mother's daughter, but I'm my mother's daughter, too. Three generations sharing the same traits and interests.

First, we are all dedicated Christians. In fact, both my mother and my daughter are minister's wives. I'm glad that distinction skipped a generation, though. It was bad enough being a minister's daughter.

Second, we are three determined women with a strong work ethic.

My mother had a stroke in March. Not a major one, but it weakened her right side and put her in a wheel chair. At 91, she is determined to regain as much mobility as possible and walks a little farther each day.

I went to law school at night while working full-time. The evening program was designed to take four years instead of the three for the full-time day program, and I did it in three-and-a-half.

Caroline lives on the Mississippi River in Southern Illinois. Their house is on higher ground, so although they had puddles in their backyard and a little water in the crawl space from the constant rain, they didn't have to worry about the recent flood waters. At home, that is. Caroline's thirty-minute commute to the school where she teaches became substantially longer when the only direct route was under water, but she didn't even consider calling off. She threw a sleeping bag, a change of clothes, and some toiletries in her car and went to work. As far as I know she never had to stay overnight, but she was ready if need be.

Then there is music. My mother taught choral music at the beginning of her teaching career and directed church choirs for much of her adult life. Although she stopped playing in the bell choir a year or two ago, she sang in two choirs right up until she had her stroke. She also played piano well enough to sub for Sunday school and church in a pinch.

I love music, too. I read music and play the piano a little, although not well enough to accompany anyone, and I have sung in choirs most of my life. I also played violin in my later high school and early college years.

Like her grandmother, Caroline plays in a bell choir. Like the two generations before her, she loves to sing and always finds a choir to join. Caroline also plays guitar and piano and has learned the fundamentals of flute and ukulele.

When Caroline was born, I was disappointed that she shared none of my physical characteristics. Her hair, eye color, height, shoe size, and blood type all came from her father. But as she grew older, I discovered that she shared my smile, personality, and interests. Mine, and my mother's.

Because Caroline is her mother's daughter, and I am my mother's daughter, too.

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