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A Solid Foundation from a Good Mother

Updated on October 17, 2016
marcoujor profile image

In an English course at Villanova University in 1981, Maria interviewed her mom, who likened her to Barbara Walters. She never looked back.

marcoujor | Source

The Foundation

Dear Mom,

I guess I got my roots in the early years playing Scrabble and Chinese Checkers. I learned how to play by the rules but watched others try to cheat. I also appreciated the value of trying to win fairly.

I had no idea that my biggest challenge would be to try to win when the perpetrator was breaking all the rules and I could only use my wit and grit. I know that you are the strongest woman I know and I thank you for passing that life-saving trait to me. Your no - nonsense approach to things has made me fairly fearless, or at least able to bluff my way through things. I know you must have been frightened and angry when told by your doctor that you were pre-diabetic. But considering family history, we went to class and you mastered all nutritional information, thus making insulin unnecessary. And you mastered the glucometer! You look great with those dropped pounds as well, accepting and mastering this and any challenge! I am so proud of you.



(Mother's Day, 2007)

Speaking of Challenges ....

Taking some excellent advice from Vinaya Ghimire, marcoujor decided it was time for her "to put my money where her mouth is..." in the interview department.

In fact, I thought I would share my interview responses with you here:

The times I'm most creative are ....

when I first wake up in the morning between 5-6AM, no matter what is on my agenda. I am usually filled with energy, creativity and a desire to conquer the world... by 9PM or so, not so much!

mar and Aunt Baby
mar and Aunt Baby | Source

The times I'm most joyful are...

when I am at peace. Whether family, friend or critter, there is nothing like spending time, doing anything, with those you love. This includes 'me' time because we all need to love ourselves and take care of ourself.

Something I'd like to learn to do...

Well my latest answer is something of an artistic design! Recently two good friends have encouraged me to try my hand at drawing. I do love a challenge and will keep you posted.

My secret talent...

I can play the piano, pretty amateur, but I enjoy the fact that I can read music and do the basics. It is a beautiful accompaniment to my amazing singing voice...hee-hee!

Best gift I ever gave someone ...

Trips to Nashville, Georgia and Atlantic City with my Mom. The look of joy of her face as she saw relatives, explored new adventures while relaying her past memories and her joyful, childlike excitement with boat rides, casinos, fancy hotels... just the memories of it all. There is nothing like the gift of your time.

Best gift I ever received from someone ...

My wedding ring and what it stood for, now almost 25 years later.

If you peeked in my closet, you would find ...

"law and order". It may not come as a shock that I am quite organized and my closet is no exception. I have been ribbed by my some gal pals for having pink hangers for spring and summer and maroon, for fall and winter... "Hello,... us gals need to keep it together and we start in the closet!"

My dream dinner date ...

a picnic (spring, summer, fall) or a fireside dinner in the winter with the man I love. Music is a must, I'll pick! Accompanied by a lot of laughter.

My favorite vacation spot .... paradise destination ....

a private beach, lotsa peace and quiet, unlimited beverages with pretty umbrellas... oh yeah, with Aunt Baby!

Something I got rid of and never missed ....

the belief that I had to be remotely perfect in appearance or attitude! I highly recommend this philosophy... it seriously makes you feel light as a feather and like there is nothing you cannot do...!

Something I fear...

the possibility and reality of the evilness that man can exhibit towards one another. It makes me feel helpless and that may be my biggest fear of all.

What I most despise in others ...

An inability or unwillingness to listen to another viewpoint; being quick to judge without knowing or caring about all the facts; people who assume they know it all when they really know nothing of importance. What all of these statements have in common is what I hate most of all : ignorance.

What songs tell us the most about you ....

I have selected songs that capture my essence in other interviews, which I have linked to this one. There are three songs that summarize me through my life's journey. I have already shared: Annie Lennox's "Lifted" and John Lennon's "Imagine".

The song that I will share with you now is the Beatles: "Long and Winding Road".

I am most moved by these timeless songs that make me pause, reflect, shed a tear and regain perspective, all in less than 5 minutes. How can you beat that for inspiration...?

The Long and Winding Road (original) / The Beatles

Miss Sammie and mar
Miss Sammie and mar | Source

Some advice to my younger self ....

Girlfriend, you do not have to get a "100" on every test. Mom was right, "do your best and love what you do. It would be a boring world indeed if we were all the same or perfect."

The best part of getting older...

I'm starting already (oops, some of you have noticed...) I can pretty much say anything I please and feel any way I want to feel... no one has to listen (news flash!) and no one has to agree... it's all cool!

Best advice to a new writer...

Be true to yourself in what you write about. Be receptive to constructive critique in the polish and publication of your work. We all have much to learn and many are even willing to teach.

My favorite book and why...

My best friend gave me a compilation of Shakespeare's stories and I treasure it. Foregoing all the trendy and predictable electives in college, I took anything Shakespeare... and loved it so. King Lear and Romeo & Juliet are my all time favorites.

What subjects / genres are you best at writing/ about ?

I feel most comfortable writing about people and life experience, whether real or fictional. My fiction is eerily realistic as I need to think of an actual person when I am writing. And, I would switch up circumstances and details to protect the innocent, of course...!

What would be a subject/ genre that would challenge your current writing efforts? Or are you perfectly happy with where you are...

I am never perfectly happy, in that I will always be receptive to an appropriate challenge. I would be very awkward with anything of an extreme nature, such as dry factual medical information or very erotic, amorous expression.

Well, that's about all there is ....

Oh, I almost forgot, I need to select a Temptations song for myself. That's an easy one, of course..."The Impossible Dream".

I am a sucker for a show tune and no one can croon this one better than these fellows. I loved playing this song (much to my sister's horror and damage to her delicate ears...) on the piano as a child

I know the words to this song by heart and find them, still today, to be inspirational and empowering.

"Nothing is impossible. The word itself says I'm possible!" (Audrey Hepburn)

© Maria Jordan (revised October, 2014)

The Impossible Dream - The Temptations & The Supremes


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