November is the month we all look back on what we are thankful for. There are so many things in my life that I don’t take for granted and am thankful for every single day. One is being healthy.
Twenty-four years ago this Thanksgiving we lost my mom to cancer. We spent that Thanksgiving pretending everything was normal while mom lie in a drug induced coma in the living room in a hospital bed. We all said our good-byes, and soon, she slipped from our lives at the age of 56.
She would have delighted in her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She doted on the ones that were alive at the time of her death. She and my dad attended school and sporting events to cheer them on.
When my kids weren’t in school yet, and my husband worked as a truck driver, my mom would take my kids for a week or two at a time to give me a much needed break from being a “single” parent. She loved to knit, crochet, and sew clothing and fun items for them.
She reveled in her grandkids because she was a working mom while we were growing up. We saw her evenings, half of Wednesday, half of Saturday, and all day Sunday. My paternal grandparents lived with us until I was twelve. My grandmother took care of the household chores and daily care of my brothers and I. But Mom and I did dishes every night after dinner. She washed and I dried. You wouldn’t think a girl would be grateful for drying dishes, but that was the one time during the day I had alone time with Mom. We’d talk about school, friends, and she'd drill me on my multiplication tables.
When my parents moved my grandparents to a mobile home next door, I became the cook and housekeeper. But I didn’t mind, it was good preparation for being an adult, and I was the boss over my little brother now that my controlling grandmother was out of the house. ;) I made the evening meals and mom did the clean-up and dishes. I would sometimes offer to dry if I didn’t have homework, so we could talk.
Mom wasn’t the type to hug you and say I love you all the time like some mothers. But I could tell by the sparkle in her eyes and the tone of her voice when she talked with me that I was loved.
I wish she was here with us today, but I am grateful for her telling me I can do whatever I set my mind to. That’s the attitude I’ve taken towards being a writer and becoming published. I set my mind on the task and stay true to that task, thinking of Mom every time I write a story. While she wasn’t a reader, she understood my need to write and tell stories. She urged me to learn all I could and to strive to do my best. She didn’t believe in just my writing, she believed in me. Wholeheartedly.
That’s what I take into every book and every story I write. My mom’s belief in me.
I’m grateful for the 32 years I had with my mom.
Has there been or is there someone in your life that believes in you so strongly you know you can do anything you set your mind to?
I wish I had a photo I could scan of Mom but living in a cabin right now with all my stuff packed, I don’t even have the photo of Mom that I keep on my writing desk.