Tuesday, January 12, 2016

A Tribute to my Mother on her Birthday

Today is my mother's birthday. She would have been seventy-six, if she hadn't died nearly twenty years ago, several months after my first child's birth.

 In commemoration, I'd like to discuss what parents and supportive relatives try to do.

Shakespeare's play Cymbeline is tragedy, and there's lots to be had. Cymbeline's wife dies, one of his sons die, and the mighty Roman empire threatens to take over Cymbeline's kingdom. When Posthumus Leonatus is banished for daring to marry the princess Imogene, then is imprisoned for murder. About to be executed by his enemies, the ghosts of his parents visit him, and begin to rebuke the Roman gods Jupiter and Juno for giving their son such poor treatment in life. Their dialog follows:

Sicilius Leonatus
No more, thou thunder-master, show
Thy spite on mortal flies:
With Mars fall out, with Juno chide,
That thy adulteries
Rates and revenges.
Hath my poor boy done aught but well,
Whose face I never saw?
I died whilst in the womb he stay'd
Attending nature's law:
Whose father then, as men report
Thou orphans' father art,
Thou shouldst have been, and shielded him
From this earth-vexing smart.
Posthumus' father Sicilius scolds Jupiter, the king of the gods, for neglecting the care of Posthumus from the evils of the world, and not protecting him. Posthumus' mother, who died in childbirth, then rebukes Lucina, or Juno, the queen of the gods, with the following:
Lucina lent not me her aid,
But took me in my throes;
That from me was Posthumus ript,
Came crying 'mongst his foes,
A thing of pity!
Sicilius Leonatus
Great nature, like his ancestry,
Moulded the stuff so fair,
That he deserved the praise o' the world,
As great Sicilius' heir.
Sicilius, as any loving father, praises his son's capacities for greatness, and continues to scold Jupiter.
First Brother
When once he was mature for man,
In Britain where was he
That could stand up his parallel;
Or fruitful object be
In eye of Imogen, that best
Could deem his dignity?
Posthumus, previous to this time, had an excellent character, enough to win a princess' heart.
Like Posthumus' parents, ours, generation after generation, plead with God for mercy on their children, as they watch the suffering they experience in life. Isn't this what parents and children, and aunts, uncles, grandparents, and families are for? To root for the coming generations to have a better chance, and to be more happy than the parents' generation?

This reflects thoughts my mother, and her ancestors may have had. I know she definitely pulled for us, her children, working, praying, and trying to help us succeed.

Happy Birthday Mom!