Mixed Marriages: A Beautiful Thing

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In my latest post about mixed marriages I revealed the raw side of Baddy, a side that I admittedly find very attractive. This is not to say that I find all of his ruggedness palatable but he is so strong and capable that I’ll take the good with the bad.

With all of his outdoorsman toughness there is the other side of him, a sensitive and loving side that fills me with adoration and admiration. He is the one who pulls us closer together not accepting my innate desire to run when things get difficult. It is his refined and distinguished side that enables him to understand and let go of my raw side that is much less appealing than his.

After I threw my back out over Thanksgiving Baddy led me to the bedroom where he had lit candles, Don’t worry about the kids, he assured me. I will put them to bed, and he massaged my back and kissed my neck until I fell into a deep slumber.

I am very lucky to have Baddy in my life and as our deep connection grows stronger with every passing year I realize that it is our mother’s who are responsible for our love.

[su_heading size=”18″]Parents of Couples from Mixed Religions: [/su_heading]

My mother, Nicky, and Baddy’s mother, Barbara are both remarkable women. Barbara would have been the perfect pioneer back when the West was won. She has skinned and gutted an entire deer brought home by Baddy’s father and she has cooked a snake that she accidentally ran over on the road. She had always wondered what snake tasted like and figured that it would be foolish to waste such a perfect opportunity to find out.

She harbors a strong but quiet spirituality grounding those around her with her calmness and solidity. She is patient and thoughtful only offering up her precious gems of wisdom if you push her, which I often do.

Visiting their cabin one summer Baddy took off for a bike ride thinking that I was fine to stay and read on the deck with the sound of the babbling creek soothing my soul, but he was mistaken. My brow furrowed and I began to fume when I realized he had left without me and when I heard Barbara say, Don’t get angry, get going, I listened as always and hightailed it out of there. Her advice and intuitive words leave me smiling for days

My mother grew up during the Great Depression in England where something as small as an orange gave her immense joy. During the war her parents fled from Germany and disguised their Jewish heritage, starting over again from nothing. She grew up as an only child with books as her only companions. Her friends lived far away and she was never given any toys to play with.

When she had her three daughters she and our father lavished us with beautiful gifts of jewelry and art that they found while on their travels and provided us with the life that they were deprived of as children.

Nicky is witty and effervescent and surrounded by loved ones who stick close to her to absorb her wisdom, intelligence, spirit and laughter. When you are not being extremely difficult your presence fills me with immense happiness, she tells me in her sing-song British voice.

In addition to adoring their children and grandchildren and being the ones their family and friends flock to, both Barbara and Nicky pay fastidious attention to life’s small details finding pleasure and beauty in everything around them.

A conversation does not go by without my mother poetically describing the day, the sun, through the frosty cold, is shining on the glistening trees, she tells me bringing me back to my beloved New England trees.

As we attempt to make cookies over the holidays and light the menorah while decorating the Christmas tree we hope that we are giving our children the same love and teaching them the same values that our our mothers taught us.

What they gain from the holidays may be a more modern and less defined belief system but it is filled with love and incorporates the best of the worlds that we individually both grew up in.


16 thoughts on “Mixed Marriages: A Beautiful Thing

  1. I LOVE your mother’s quote “When you are not being extremely difficult, your presence fills me with happiness”!!!!!

    I love it because it lets a child know that no matter what, they are loved. Plus, in her case, it makes you know that your mother genuinley enjoys being with you – what a compliment from the one whose opinion matters most.

    I think my mother feels that way. She’s never said it. But the difference might be that when I’m not being difficult for her, she has FUN with me. I don’t think I’ve ever filled her with happiness.

    MY children fill ME with happiness (and ocassional angst), however, every day. I win. and so do you. And so do many of our friends.


  2. It’s great to have happy memories of our childhood, these memories will subconciously be the basis of how we create new memories for our kids today. Whatever I’m doing and teaching my boys now are greatly influenced by my parents.

    Case in point: my dad is such a happy person (I’m sure I got my happy attitude from him), he lives for today. He always tells us that you have to do your best today, say “i love you” to the persons that matter today, make the most of today… for you are not guaranteed a tomorrow. So, we sort of live that way, my boys and I. We make the most of today.

    I’m glad you found something interesting in my blog. Thanks a lot! I really appreciate hearing that I served as an inspiration even in a very minute way. Big hugs!


  3. Hi Jillian! Delightful post! Isn’t it the contrasts in life that make it oh so very interesting!!!!??? To me, our adult years are just filled to the brim with homogenizing – blending past and present, adding all the flavors of experience we have had and praying to God we can make some sense of it all and emerge as a whole person. It’s sorta like baking a cake from scratch – it all such a process! Each recipe (person) is unique – ya can’t cheat and try to be like anyone else, you just have to deal with who/what you are. I think you are yummy! Keep writing! 🙂


  4. What a beautiful post. Your writing is amazing and alive. I felt I was there with your family at so many moments. It’s so much fun to hear what other families are doing and thinking during the holidays. Thank you!


  5. I think your children are so very lucky to have both you and Wade as parents, two very different people from different backgrounds. The different experiences that you and your husband share with your children will teach them to appreciate differences in other people. I know that you had said in your earlier post that you feel you may fail at trying to carry on the traditions of two holidays; however, I think that you are doing an awesome, and every little tradition you teach them, I feel, they will appreciate. It is the time and tradition spent with them that they will remember the most. Thanks for sharing two great posts!


    1. Blia,

      Thank you for your appreciation for our circumstance and thank you for your confidence in me. I agree that children can only benefit from being exposed to our differences.


  6. what a beautiful post. You are so lucky to have such wonderful moms in your life. I’m close with my mother now but it took a while and well, my ex MIL, don’t even get me started


  7. I think mixing religions makes so much sense – I am a Christian-Muslim. There are parts about both religions that I love and there are parts about each that I don’t agree with. But once I accepted that I was truly a little of both, I found a lot more peace – and I am raising my children with both traditions.

    The world needs more peace – and one way to achieve that is to realize that all religions have value.

    Gandhi said it best:

    I came to the conclusion long ago … that all religions were true and also that all had some error in them, and whilst I hold by my own, I should hold others as dear as Hinduism. So we can only pray, if we are Hindus, not that a Christian should become a Hindu … But our innermost prayer should be a Hindu should be a better Hindu, a Muslim a better Muslim, a Christian a better Christian.”

    – Mahatma Gandhi


    1. Hello Sulalee,

      I can’t agree with you and Gandhi more.

      It can be difficult for me at times to embrace religion when so much hatred comes from it.

      If only the majority of people could think peace and not hatred and get the value and messages from all religions…if only!


  8. Really a lovely post Jillian. The words are so descriptive. I can feel your emotions and close relationship with both your mother and your mother-in-law.
    I am SO relieved to hear you talk about your husband too; my boyfriend is 11 times more patient than I am…and seems never stay cranky with me. I feel so lucky this 2nd time around.
    I am so happy to hear that your kids have both of you and their grandmothers as role models.


    1. Thank you Swati. I am so happy for you that you also have a good man by your side. It certainly helps to have a good friend/boyfriend/husband who can pick you up when environmental issues get you down.


  9. Jillian, what a beautiful tribute to your mother and mother-in-law… as well as to the wonderfully diverse and loving home you and Wade have created for your lucky boys. Gorgeous post… I admire you for fearlessly opening yourself up to the world. Brave girl! Still convinced we must meet… let’s talk offline about my travel plans. xo


    1. Hello Lea,

      Sometimes I wonder why I’m opening myself up like this. I guess its to try out my creative prose and get feedback but I’m thinking I can’t do it for much longer.


  10. What a wonderful post – hold on to your Man – and what a cosy family 🙂 From this I can tell you’ll have a wonderful Christmas time or Yuletide (as we say it in Norway) when gathering.

    Btw: Happy Winter Solstice day 🙂


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