Wednesday, June 01, 2011

A Singular Woman by Janny Scott

I received the book, A Singular Woman by Janny Scott for a Mother's Day gift from my daughter-in-law and son. It was an excellent choice! A review is in the link above and also here -- written by the Indianapolis Star; which so happens to be where both my children were born.

I found myself intrigued and sympathetic to the mother of our President, Mr. Obama. Ann was born one year after me in the Midwest of America where I am also from. Civil Rights came in our early adulthood along with a war many did not believe in fighting. Our world view was similar and our experiences very much the same.

Unlike this remarkable woman, I chose to marry and raise children loosing dreams to explore the world trying to understand what makes us who we are. I would have been in some far off land living in the unknown, if I had been braver and much brighter. I let my insecurities rule my life instead. I failed to give my children a more inclusive view of the world they live in.

I know Mr. Obama's mother failed him by her choices to live separated from him. I know moving to strange places is not a child's dream of the perfect childhood. As she failed her children, I failed mine. I did not follow my dreams. I settled for less and did not grow either mentally or spiritually for years letting my children know that their mother was not important. I was always last on a list to respect. I doubt that Mr. Obama disrespects his mother or finds her incomplete. I found myself rooting for Ann as she struggled living the life I would have loved to join in.

She made a brave and risky choice marrying a black man from Africa. My parents would have died if I had done the same. I had an urge to be someone who could buck the system in order to make our world better. I wanted to stand up with my beliefs holding me steady, but I chose a man who matched the list of who I should marry. How strange it is that even using the list, he turned out to be so much less than I wanted. I was not happy with the traditional role of a married woman of the time. I was always fighting against my limited world. I refused to believe my perfect man would not allow me to have independent thoughts if he did not agree with them.

So, our President had an example of a brave and determined woman. She might have given him instability, but she gave him the world as his place of occupancy instead of only a small area in a safe place here in the United States. I gave my children a sense of constant motion in their childhood by not being firm in my belief of who and what I was.

If I would be Ann's friend today I would remind her of the wonderful choices she freely gave herself. Her children learned from her example. No man of history is discounted for his lack of staying home with his children. Our President would not be the man he is without his mother's example of following her heart doing what she loved and found valuable to give the world. I wish that I had been that woman for my children.

I often wonder what my life purpose is. I'm not sure I even have a purpose. I try to appease myself with thoughts of tolerance and love as purpose. Never the less, I think I gave my children nothing that I consider valuable. It is a sad thought. My children suffer from this inability on my part. They see my tolerance and love ideas nothing to respect or to be emulated.

Needless to say, A Singular Woman, was a hard read for me. It woke me up to what I did not do in life and what I did not give my children. My most important parts will not live on as Ann's do. Thank you, Ann, for giving the world a great man. Thank you, Ann, for being strong and singular in mind. Thank you, Ann, for loving across lines of shoulds that were part of our times. I wish I had said to someone that my son could be President. I did not dream that large. It is my son's loss and my failure.

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We blog about our rural area in the Pacific Northwest . This blog is all about my life and the places where my mind wonders from day to day. Have fun reading and looking at pictures. We welcome comments.

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We moved to our current home on the Wild River Coast of Southern Oregon from San Jose, CA. Our family consist of Jim and Karen, two dogs and two cats. Karen's passion is gardening. Jim's obsession is building electric powered fishing kayaks and fishing.