So you can read my books

Friday, May 10, 2013

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY: Have You Heard About the Bear?

To me, mothers share a lot in common with farmers.

Like farmers, they toil every day.

They sow seeds without a promise of a sure harvest.

Under the most harsh conditions, they till the soil, pull weeds, and prune where they believe it is needed.

With no promise of a certain return or a good harvest for all their labor, they work on.

What did my own mother often tell me?

"Mothers hold their children's hands for only a short time -- but their hearts forever."

Mother once told me that the folly of most two-leggeds was that they wanted "happy endings"

when the best one could hope for was the appreciating of the happy moments

in between the dawning of the light and the dying of it.

"Can't we have both, Mama?" I remember asking, coughing from double pneumonia.

She ruffled my hair and smiled sadly, "Perhaps you will be the exception, Little One. I will pray so."

My THE BEAR WITH 2 SHADOWS grew from the childhood tales told me by Mother

 while she hugged me as I shivered and coughed from double pneumonia.

We were iced in our basement apartment in Detroit by one of the worst ice storms in remembrance.

Phones down. Just new in town. All alone.

So Mother merged bits of myth and legend she remembered from both sides of her bloodline: Lakota and Celtic.

She was sure I would die,

and she wanted my last moments to be filled, not with fear and dread,

but with awe, wonder, and magic.

She told of The Turquoise Woman, whose touch was icy but whose heart was warm. My shivers were from her embrace.

And that hulking shadow at the foot of my bed?

Why, that was Hibbs, the bear with two shadows, protector of all hurting children.

With fever-dimmed eyes, I swore that I saw Hibbs.  I smiled despite my coughing and fear. Hibbs was there for me.  Me. 

I wasn't alone.

And a world of wonder and magic opened up in my feverish mind, birthing a happy moment for my mother:

despite the odds, I grew better. I lived.

Have you heard about the bear?

He saved a little boy once. A bit of that little boy still lives ... in my heart.

So you know how I feel about my mother who has gone to that Land That Knows No Shadow. 

I wear her love like a ghost of a rose.

But many mothers seem to labor in obscurity.

And for all their efforts, their loving kindnesses, their reluctant punishments --

they tend to slowly fade into the shadows, hidden from the spotlight of their children's ever-growing focus upon themselves, their wants, their lives.

Mothers often grow ghost-like even in the eyes of their husbands, chained to the demands of job, bills, and a vitality that is frighteningly leaving them.

For all you mothers out there who feel they are slowly becoming invisible, unappreciated, and alone,

Here is a video I borrowed from Kimberly Job's lovely blog, SCRIBBLED SCRAPS :



  1. It's nice to know more about Hibbs and how he came to be. Now we know there is a Mother connection in the background of his story.

    A touching commemorative for your own mother, thanks for sharing.

    A mother worries so if a child or anyone in her family is sick. It's built-in with the Good Mother models.

    Thanks, Roland for recognizing the value of mothers. I didn't care for the video(sorry).

  2. D.G.:
    That'all right about the video -- different tastes are what make horse races, after all. :-)

    When I was ill as a very small boy, it was a different America. The government aid was not there. And we were just moved into a Detroit where all traffic was literally frozen and the phone lines were all down. It did not look promising for me.

    Hibbs sprang from my mother's imagination and love. I took up her tales and expanded them, and THE BEAR WITH TWO SHADOWS was born.

    May your weekend be healing and fun! :-)

  3. May 11th, 2013

    Dear Roland,

    I'm so glad your mother took such good of you; she took care of your heart, soul and imagination. I'm so glad that you are here to write these wonderful thoughts and memories.

    Happy Mother's Day to you too!

    I didn't watch the video; I need to get the sound fixed on my computer. I don't get any audio at all.

  4. Hi Roland - a very moving post and I too loved understanding the background to Hibbs and your stories ... now my Kindle is up and running I can really get by and buy!

    I did watch the video - and can understand the Cathedral building and how all dynasties are started and we continue them on ... people of this generation will never know what happens in the next generations ...

    Our love is invisible .. but it's there .. love is all ... man and woman we are all carers of life in all its aspects ...

    Cheers and loved this post - thanks Hilary

  5. I make sure my mother feels appreciated. With my father in the military and gone often, she's the one who raised me.
    Your mother was a wise and special woman.

  6. Anna:
    I'm so sorry about the audio to your computer. Music is important to me as I write.

    May your Mother's Day be healing and warm.

    I'm happy you enjoyed the video. Yes, love, like the wind, is invisible -- but you can tell its existence by the impact of its passing.

    Hibbs is waiting to say HELLO. I think you may like walking his paths. :-)

    Yes, Mother was wise -- me, I was otherwise! :-) I am happy your mother was there for you while your father was gone so often. Have a great weekend, Roland

  7. Loved the video :) A friend once told me a similar truth-when I was feeling very under appreciated. It was humbling and I try to keep it in mind. I also try to make sure others know how much I appreciate them.

    Thanks for the reminder. And know that you're appreciated, too :)

  8. Words Crafter:
    I enjoyed the video, too. :-) It is why I wanted to share.

    Thanks for the support and having my back. I never take you, D.G., Alex, Michael, or any of my other "electronic" friends for granted. I miss Wendy Tyler Ryan. I dropped her a line but have heard nothing. :-(