About My Mother
In 2011, I wrote a Mother’s Day post, In My Mother’s Arms:
I don’t recall a time when I wasn’t in my mother’s spotlight.
Standard psychoanalytic theory holds that one’s sense of self originates in the infant’s awareness of the mother’s unconditional (and, indeed, unreasonable) empathic care radiating from her eyes. The mother provides a nascent identity for the child, which, if all goes well, is, during one’s childhood, adapted and internalized as a psychological element independent of the external world.
When the photo atop this post was taken in 1950, the young woman had recently become a mother while living in a tiny, poorly insulated, inexpertly constructed home in rural southwest Missouri, helping her husband try to make a living tending to the remnants of their failed farm and selling used cars on the side. She should, by rights, be as upset as the squalling child (that would be me) in her arms. Instead, she gazes upon him with undiluted, unmixed approval, acceptance, and love.
I grew up knowing intuitively that, regardless of my mistakes, errors, or misbehavior, my mother continued to gaze upon me with undiluted, unmixed approval, acceptance, and love.
And Now My Mother Is Gone
Bobby Ruth Showalter, my mother, died in her sleep at her home in the Ozarks last night after many years of worsening health.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Doyle Ray Showalter, two decades ago and by her younger son, Bobby Lynn Showalter, 45 years ago.
She was a caring, smart, forgiving, funny, altogether delightful woman, who was beloved by family, friends, and community.
She will be missed.
Because of my mother’s death, I will be away for an indeterminate period. If any posting takes place at this site (and that is a possibility) over the next week or two, it is likely to be sparse and sporadic.
Finally, I occasionally wrote about my mother. These posts, especially, the first couple listed below, are (in my judgment) some of the most interesting entries I’ve published.