Happy Birthday Mom

Mom - Marjorie Alexandria Guiler (nee McConachie) 1929 - 1978Today would be my Mom’s birthday.  She would be 86.  She died 37 years ago so I don’t know what life would be like with a mother as an adult.  I hope it would have been sweet.

We didn’t get along too well for much of our time together.  Perhaps we were too much alike: passionate, fiery, opinionated, determined.  As I look at it now I think those are traits from her I appreciate.  Sadly daughters don’t always appreciate those things about their mothers until too many years have passed to say so.

I wonder what she would say to me about things that have happened to me in my life.

  •  My beautiful children (she met only one) she would have adored and taught all sorts of things because she was a teacher but more importantly a learner.
  • My divorce – she might have encouraged me to get it sooner though she would be sad that we had to suffer some difficult days.
  • My career as a journalist (newswriter) – she would have been proud to see me doing what she had paid all that money to send me to school for.
  • My move to mental health and training peer support – she would have had lots of ideas and helped me with course development.  Helping her study for her Psychology exams helped me to develop some understanding of it.  Her deep caring for the children she taught gave me the compassion I needed to do the work.
  • My son’t death would have dealt her a terrible blow but she would have stood by me with strength and support.  I wonder if I’d had more support in those days if it might not have happened at all.  She had such a gift for dealing with troubled kids.
  • For the rift in our family caused by his death she would have healing oil and strong words mixed together with a lot of love for all of us.
  • My present work toward certification as a Coach and a Spiritual Director she would see as valuable and in line with my gifts.  She would also be happy to see me continuing my education.  She was on fire about education and lifelong learning.
  • My partner.  She would think him as sweet as I do most days.  She would also kick his butt if she thought he wasn’t doing what he should and kick mine harder.  She would have great ideas about how to cope with life’s challenges and she would be there with a hand up but not out.

Perhaps I make her sound like a saint.  She was not.  She had some big issues of her own but I like to think the strong person she was would have conquered them.  She had a temper that would topple buildings and a sharp tongue that cut to the core.  Her quick wit got her in trouble like mine does me.  She had many friends but many enemies as well because of her passion and unwillingness to bend.  I hope that is a bit more tempered in me but I fear not.

Once when I was 15 I forgot her birthday.  That might not be a big deal for anyone else but for her it was huge.  I was an only child and because my Dad had left five years earlier I was the only other person in the house.  She expected a bit much of teenager who was caught up in going on the trip of a lifetime (Expo 67 in Montreal with 350 students from high school).  She didn’t speak to me for weeks.  I tried for years to make it up to her.  I have forgiven her and myself.

We had some wonderful times.  She taught me much.

Love you always



About Peggy Guiler

You just never know what show up on my blog. As the name implies it is about the stuff of life just like Spilt Milk. Everyday events spark thought and contemplation. Special events in the community, the country or the world may strike a cord and get me talking. Sometimes it's about people in my life or circumstances, sometimes about my garden, sometimes about a book or a political issue. Always it's about something I am passionate about. In my business, River of Hope Enterprises (www.riverofhopeenterprises.com), I work as an "Certified Coach" (International Coach Federation), a trainer, consultant and speaker. and as a spiritual director. I also drive a school bus to keep the wolf from the door while I build my business. I love the kids on the bus (most of the time). My family is grown and I have three grandkids who thrill my heart but I don't get to see any of them very often. Circumstances of life have made "family" difficult. My son died by suicide at age 16 in 2000 and the strain on our family relationships since has been huge. Mental health is a field where I worked for almost 22 years and where I still do some consulting and training. That combined with my own battle with depression and my son's death weave together to form some of my greatest soap box items: suicide intervention, suicide bereavement and peer support in mental health are right on the top of my list. Social justice is an underlying passion. Keeping the wolf from the door as a single parent was full-time work and my career path as a journalists was augmented with cleaning contracts, cooking, retail clerk, and bartending. I have known hard work and am grateful for the experience and perspective it has given me. A firmly grounded faith and a passion for learning has now taken me toward a new field as a Spiritual Director and I am soon adding to that a license to marry people. As I move toward retirement I am very aware that I have to keep working so I chose to do things which will meet my modest financial needs and also my love of supporting people in their life journey. Woven into all of this is my love of writing. Trained as a Journalist, and having worked in the field as a freelance news writer for many years, I have a great love for writing. This blog is a new beginning for me. As I hone my skills and begin to form a daily discipline of writing I hope it will lead to more writing in the future.
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