My Mother and My Writing

Today, October 25, is the sixteenth anniversary of my mother’s death. I was eleven when she lost her battle to lymphoma, and I am always amazed, truly amazed, when I look back and realize what a wonderful and lasting impact she had on my life in that brief time. She is still, every day, a part of my life.

When it came time for me to write the dedication of my first novel, there was never any question or deliberation about the subject. It would be my mom. Each summer, when I was still too young to read, she enrolled me in the library’s summer reading program in the “read-to-me” category. And she would read to me, every day. When I was older, and in school, she patiently helped me learn to read. I can’t imagine sitting with me on the couch and correcting me as I read “Amelia Bedelia’s Family Album” was an enthralling use of an afternoon. I kept having issues with “Mr.” and “Mrs.” and we read the book multiple times until I got things straightened out. I grew to love reading, and my mom was always willing to take me to the library and also to spend money on books for me when I’d bring home a book-order form from school.

I’m so grateful that my mother never tried to turn my sisters and me into people we weren’t. She let me play sports and try cheer-leading, because I wanted to. She and the other moms of my cheer-leading troupe even got together, in secret, and learned our dance routine so they could perform it for us as a group before we started to learn it, to get us excited. Then, she let me quit a year later when sports stopped being fun for me, because my teammates became too competitive and I wasn’t athletically skilled. She never tried to shape me into who she wanted me to be; she loved and accepted me for the person I was. I wish I had been old enough to fully understand what a blessing she was in my life before I lost her. I know she watches over me, though. And despite the fact that, last month, my first thought when I reached 4,200 downloads of my novel in a free promo was,”I wish I could tell Mom,” I believe she knew about it. And I’m glad, because without her constant support of me, I could never have become a writer.

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11 responses to “My Mother and My Writing

  1. I can’t even imagine how hard it must be to lose your mom. Mine has been the glue that’s held our family together through all the triumph and tragedy life’s thrown our way, and the only active parent in my life. So sorry for your loss.

  2. That is such a lovely tribute, Victoria. Your mom would be very proud of you today.

  3. It seems like we have a lot in common. My parents also encouraged my reading from a very early age. I don’t remember learning to read. My earliest memories are when I was 4 years old and I was reading on my own. In fact, I could read my older brother’s textbooks, and he is 9 years older than me. I didn’t understand them or course, but I could read the words. My parents enrolled me in the Children’s Weekly Reader Book Club, so I got a new book every week and of course there was the library too, which was my favorite place to be. I also lost my parents very young. In February of 1971, when I was one month shy of 12, my mother died of a heart embolism and that same year, in December, my father died of a heart attack. Like you, I have often wished that I could sit down with them as an adult and talk about so many things. I am sure they would have been the first to encourage me to write. Maybe I wouldn’t have waited so long to start. Who knows? I believe that they are watching over me. In fact, I know they are. I am not sure if you will believe this or not, but I swear it’s true..I have seen them, as spirits, together and happy. I can imagine my mother telling me to never give up on my dreams, no matter what. She used to always say this to me and always encouraged my wild imagination, never once laughing. Thank you for such a wonderful post and the revival of some wonderful childhood memories!

    • wow, we really do have a lot in common! God bless you! i can’t imagine losing both my parents at such a young age like that…. or reading at 4. that’s pretty cool πŸ™‚

      • Thank you Victoria. It was very hard, but everything happens for a reason. I know that I have a lot of emotions buried deep and they will someday be beneficial in my writing, but I must confess to being a bit afraid to go there. It is hard to dig up bones, but I have been told it is cathartic. So, when the time is right, I suppose I will find out! As far as the early reading goes, I wish I could ask my mother when and how I learned to read. Did she teach me? I don’t know. I suppose I will never know. I am grateful to whoever it was that taught me. I think it was my mother, but I don’t know for certain. Thank you for your response! By the way, how is the Nanowrimo (I hope I got that right!) going? Since I am just now working on the debut novel, I am not brave enough to try it! haha . Maybe next year…Best of luck to you! I believe that you’ll make it. I am rooting for you! πŸ™‚

        • Dear Rebecca, thank you. and good luck with your debut novel! I’m getting really stoked about NaNoWriMo. Been working on my outline and the ideas are really, really flowing πŸ™‚

  4. Pingback: Why writing a novel rocks: you get to give back to the world of books | Creative Writing with the Crimson League

  5. Pingback: Authors who Blog: 6 ways to take your blogging to a deeper level | Creative Writing with the Crimson League

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