Thursday, May 8, 2008

Memories of Mom

Mother's Day is rapidly approaching and as it does, I am always struck with sadness that my mom is no longer here so I can celebrate the day with her. She's been gone for 30 years and hardly a week passes when I don't think about how many things we never got to share or how much I could use her advice or a shoulder to cry on.

My mother was an avid reader, who quite likely set me on the path my life has taken. Not only did she get me hooked on romance novels, but she actually loved to write, even more than I did . . . or do on a day when the words aren't coming easily. She never saw my first book in the stores or even knew I was attempting to write one.

There is, however, one story I like to tell about her longtime friend, who now lives in South Carolina and whom I see each year as I drive north or south between Florida and Virginia. Dottie was in a bookstore one day, hunting everywhere for my latest. She had the clerk looking as well. Suddenly a book fell from the shelves. It was mine. When she told me of this amazing coincidence, I replied, "That was no coincidence. That was my mama." We still laugh about the idea that even from the hereafter, my mother's doing her part to promote my career.

Mom was a wonderful listener, a trait that endeared her to all my friends. I still recall, as I sit on the front porch of my home in Virginia with these same friends today, all the times they would sit in the exact same place -- if not the same chairs -- and spill all their secrets and dreams to my mother. It's little wonder that these people are like siblings to me. We grew up with the same woman encouraging us, building our confidence, comforting us when we were hurt.

There are days it's almost impossible for me to believe that she's been gone from my life almost as long as she was a part of it, but that's the nature of the relationship, isn't it? Moms influence us, become a part of who we are, stay with us always.

So for all of you whose moms are still with you, I hope you'll spend time with them this week. More importantly I hope you'll spend time with them when it isn't
Mother's Day. Treasure the time you have, because it can end all too suddenly.

And for those of you who, like me, no longer have your mom to turn to, to be there for all the triumphs and tragedies in your life, treasure the memories that remain and take some time this week to rejoice in those.

Sherryl Woods



Blogger Kim said...

Dear Sherryl;
Your Mother's Day post brought tears to my eyes. I can't imagine not having my mother in my life. How naive I was when I was younger, thinking I would need her less the older I got. We have dealt with some serious health issues with my daughter, and even though I have the world's most supportive and wonderful husband, it is my mom who I need next to me in the hospital and doctors' offices. I love your story about the book falling off the shelf!! Every time I'm in a book store I will think of that. I only wish I could be as great of a mother to my three children as my mother was to my sisters and me.

May 9, 2008 10:12 PM  
Blogger Sherryl said...

Kim, I truly believe we do take the lessons we learn from our mothers to heart, so I'm sure you're every bit as great a mother to them as your mom was to you. I certainly know that there are occasions when I do or say something that she did that drove me crazy and I stand back and say, "Oh, my gosh, I'm turning into my mother!" Now that part may NOT be a blessing.

May 10, 2008 5:25 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

How right you are! Just the other day my oldest son said "You sound just like Grandma." I laughed because it is so true. Like every other kid, when I was growing up I constantly would grumble under my breath "I'm not going to do that (or say that) when I have kids." Well, guess what? I was wrong. LOL My favorite is: "Put on a sweater because I'm cold!" The kids LOVE that one. It's baseball season right now so I get to see my mom several times a week at my son's games. Between my sisters and I, my mom has 11 grandchildren, but somehow she makes every one of them feel as if they are the only one. How wonderful is that? Unlike your mom, my mom wasn't a big reader or writer but she always encouraged my dream. When everyone else loved to tell me the odds were against me ever achieving my dream, it was my mom cheering me on every step of the way. I think that is the greatest gift a mother can pass on to her children: a belief they can achieve anything with hard work and a lot of family support. Okay, I'll be quiet now and let you get back to writing.

May 10, 2008 6:58 AM  
Blogger Sherryl said...

Oh, Kim, how right you are about how important it is to make your kids believe they can accomplish anything they set their minds to. Not only my mom but my dad instilled that belief in me. In the days when women were struggling to achieve equality in the workplace, it never once occurred to me that I couldn't have exactly that. Someone once said, "If you dream it, you can do it." I'd add, if you want it badly enough, are willing to work for it and have the encouragement of those who believe in you, you can achieve anything! Happy Mother's Day all! I hope you get to live your dreams.

May 11, 2008 11:08 AM  

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