Rude Awakenings ~ Catherine Sevenau

Catherine Sevenau Catherine Sevenau is a writer and storyteller who is out to capture your skittery mind. She's penned three books, compiled numerous collections of family genealogy, and has been a regular columnist in the SUN since 2016. She can be reached at [email protected].


On this Mother’s Day

Posted on May 11, 2024 by Catherine Sevenau


To the women (and men) who’ve mothered me over the years.
To those I’ve mothered, and to those who’ve shared that mothering with me.
To those caring for their elder or infirm mothers, swapping roles.
To those whose mother has lived a long life and will soon be transitioning.

To those who’ve lost their mother. 

To the mothers who’ve lost children to cancer, drugs, disease, to mental illness, to tragic circumstances. To war and to accidents. To a birth gone awry.
And to those who’ve lost their mother to the above.
To those who desperately want to be a mother but can’t—and to those who are, but struggling with what they signed on for.
To the single mothers and fathers fulfilling this role.
To the stepmothers, more often than not, a complicated situation.
To those on round two, raising their grandchildren.
To the thousands of children who’ve been separated from their mothers at the border; I can’t imagine. May they soon be reunited.
To those who’ve taken in foster children or adopted, who made room at the table for a child.
To those whose children don’t speak to them—and to those mothers who don’t speak in return (that knife slices both ways).
To those of my friends who have young children, or are soon to be a mother for the first, second, or third time.
And to those whose mother-child relationships were more than sufficient.

For some, it’s a day to celebrate. For others, it’s difficult. And for many, it doesn’t mean much. My first and last few years were and have been good mothering years. Some years in between were touch and go. It hasn’t been easy, but it’s been worth it. All of it. As mothers we hopefully do the best we can. At the end of the day we bless our life, our own mother, our children, thank one another for who we be, and say I love you.

And to our Earth, the mother of us all.

Four generations of mothers on my maternal side at about the same ages, upper and lower panel:

  • Catherine Frances Clemens (1948-living)
  • My mother Noreen Ellen “Babe” Chatfield (1915-1968)
  • My grandmother Nellie Belle Chamberlin (1873-1956)
  • My great-grandmother Emily S. Hoy (1850-1940)

Catherine (Clemens) Sevenau, Mother’s Day 

Sonoma Sun | Sonoma, CA