John Denver “Country road, take me home to the place I belong….” A song my mother played in the car as we paroled the endless antique shops along the coast of Maine growing up there as a child. Reflective on the word DRIVEN as the Daily Prompt, it means so many different things to each one writing. Sure I’m driven to succeed in LIFE, Driven off a cliff at times with the stress that day-to-day life as a single mother, grandmother of almost 2 grandchildren. Driven to make a difference in my community, but tonight I’m humbly reminded how my mother Julia would drive (us) several seemingly endless miles to find that one unique, one of a kind, imported or domestic “functional” antique maybe 100 miles that day, not understanding then her passion and drive and love of what i thought was stupid, used, beat up, worthless pre owned junk. No….. now I see Mommy, it was created by the hands of someone with a vision. Someone who’s sweat has penetrated the very wood or metal of that antique. Not machine-made most likely, but designed at the time for a purpose that was fitting to the creator…Hmmm this post took a turn down a long country road without intention as did my mother once do with me needing a barf bag from riding sooooo long. But I understand now!!! As I stare at the few antiques my mother blessed me with and remember where we drove and how far to get them and to hear her tell me the story the other day of one of now my antiques from her that this woman would travel to Scotland/whales/england etc to “collect and bring back to Maine” and sell these precious antiques. some over 100 years old (most) not thinking of cost or time put into these incredible hand-made irreplaceable items to find, ship and sell to just the right person, yea I’m humbled to possess such an amazing one of a kind a few of them different antiques that my mother felt i was mature enough to love this piece and pieces she gave it to her only child….I’m more humbled because of the woman who was so driven to have a child and most likely broken heart-broken learning she couldn’t bear her own, chose me. I wasn’t shiny, not that new, i was scratched, torn and worn at 5 months old tossed away so to speak because nobody wanted a baby whose blood was filled with heroine and going through withdrawls as a baby. The miles of tears that were driven and years of not understanding why I was given away and yet was blessed to hear from my also beautiful birth mother on her death-bed the true reason I was given away was almost too much to contain in words. My mother while some consider her an antique now can still outshine ANYONE I know. She gave me wisdom to recognize a real true genuine antique from that of a knock off. She remains to this day DRIVEN to inspire young children that they are not a failure and if they still don’t think that’s true, she lends herself to these children and tutors them, teaches them (a teacher for many years and retired for even many more years) but this is what DRIVEN is to me…my mother Julia. As a lover now myself of antiques I am not only able to see the real from fake, but along those boring drives in beautiful Elizabethtown and other places in Maine, she taught me the names of every flower we would see, I can name most and find my self stopping with scissors in hand as i tell my bored 11-year-old “this is queen anns lace and those are the cat of 9 tails let’s go pick them) One day they will understand what drives you in the direction you go (they meaning our children, friends, family, neighbors etc) and see the value in the many miles you drive just to reach and secure that precious piece that irreplaceable artifact…. Mom I love you for those drives more than you’ll ever know. and especially that drive to the airport you took in 1971 to welcome this “vintage” artifact into your arms forever! I love you so much By far you’re the best antique who keeps the value and as you say antiques should be functional and mom you are so much more than I have words in my drawer to express. Thank you for Driving me to keep on going!
Deborah Elizabeth Schrepper, July 17, 2016