My Dad sent me this photograph the other day.
This writing journey of mine began so long ago that I honestly cannot find the starting point. I grew up with books and often had my nose in a Nancy Drew Mystery and I have a very vivid memory of reading Gone With The Wind in almost one sitting.
Books and libraries were always important to me, and then in school more than one English teacher encouraged me to keep writing. Math was an indecipherable language for me, but I could always gather high grades in English. The High School English teacher who announced that we were required to write every single day heard groans from most of the class, but received a huge smile from this student.
I do not remember ever seeing my mom sit down with a book when I was little, but she did love books and the art of writing…and libraries. Maybe she read late at night like I do. The house I remember most clearly had a TV room with one entire wall lined with book shelves that I am pretty sure she and my dad built. In her last home where my dad still lives, there is a very similar room stuffed with books. My mom taught me to love books.
I believe that my mother wanted to be a writer. We talked about the craft of writing and traded books back and forth for years once I was grown up and away from home. I was reminded of this after she passed away in 2011 and I inherited a cardboard box of old and new books she had collected. In among the novels and how-to books were many about writers and the art of writing.
She would love my book. But she never got to see it. And it breaks my heart.
I published my book, WALKING BUTTERFLY, this last February and not a week goes by that I don’t fantasize about how she’d react to it. I want to put it in her hands and see the look in her eyes. I want to hear that she’d sent copies of it to all of her friends.
I know that she was proud of my writing as I spent years writing articles, devotionals and newsletters. She didn’t say much about them, but while staying in her home after her death I came across a file full of everything I’d ever written publicly, and copies of emails where she’d forwarded my writing to my aunts and other family members.
Mother’s Day is coming soon and along with it comes the anniversary of her passing on May 19th. I love that my Dad took my book to her gravesite and let me know about it. We both know that she is not really there. We also know that she is seeing my book and that Heaven is probably tired of hearing about it.