Charmian Matthews: “influencing, rosy” mom!

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Thinking of you, Mom, this Mother’s Day.

Charmian Matthews

Charmian Matthews (1923-1991) in anagrams

And every day!

Hard to believe I’m just three years younger today than you were when you died, in 1991, at 68. Too soon!

But what an impact you made — on the world, on me, on everyone who knew and loved you — in those years.

Your full name was “Minnie Charmian Younglof Matthews”. You went by your middle name, “Charmian”. Some friends called you “Charlie”.

You didn’t use your first name because you said it reminded people of Minnie Mouse. There was nothing remotely mousy about you!

Recently I played around with those letters in your full name. They rearrange to spell:

✦ “I am a chief, motherly, stunning woman!”
✦ “Humanely fine woman, cast-iron might.”
✦ “An influencing, rosy, white-hot mamma.”

You’d have liked that. You loved games and puzzles; yours was a mischievous sense of wonder. You took delight (as I do) in the endless surprises of language.

To me, those anagrams capture your spirit. I could tell stories about you — hundreds — that show how you embodied all those words. Someday, God willing, I’ll write them down.

Not today. Today I’m just savoring sweet memories of the mentor who, among so many other feats, nurtured my love for reading and writing.

Who filled our home and my life with books — grand storytelling, amazing science, captivating history.

Who always stood up, and spoke out, for social justice when it really counted — that is, before a cause became popular or “politically correct” — and even when it cost you dearly.

Who always listened and took me seriously. Who gave me the strength to believe I deserve to be taken seriously, even in those occasional moments when no one has quite yet gotten around to doing so.

You’re my hero, Mom! Always were; always will be. Here’s hoping you know that.


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