R-E-F-L-E-C-T Find Out What It Means To Me…

Today’s prompt – Look at the 5th post you ever wrote on this blog. In hindsight, what do you think about your frame of mind and your style of writing?

The 5th post on this blog was made on May 12, 2010.  I had just lost my mother that January and was deeply entrenched in finishing my Masters in Music Education.  I don’t know if I had a frame of mind at the time.

That particular post is nothing but an apology for not writing.  I don’t think you can find a particular style in it- it doesn’t sound ‘like me,’ in my opinion.

I started this blog as a way to deal with the grief of losing my mother.  Without going into too much very personal detail, ours was a complicated relationship.  We never got the chance to work through our issues with each other before she died.   But no matter what obstacles stood in the way of the perfect mother-daughter relationship, we always had one thing in common- reading.  My mother instilled a love of reading in me so deeply that I cannot go to sleep without a book on the bedside table.  In the ‘olden’ days, pre-Kindle, I spent most of my summer money and suitcase space (and weight) on books.  I would buy 10-15 books at a time and pack them into my bags as carefully as a set of fine china.  English language books were not easy to come by in the Dominican Republic, Kuwait, or China.  Or if they were easy to find, they were unbelievably expensive.  They were also rarely the types of books I enjoyed; hence the need for my back-breaking struggle to cart half of Barnes and Noble across the globe.  I am grateful for the Kindle, so, so grateful.  I have space in my suitcases for clothes and toiletries.  I do not have to choose between underwear and books anymore.  I can read whenever, wherever I want.  Yes, I love to hold a real book in my hands.  But I also love that I can carry my library with me now, in one tiny, hand-held device. 

Look at those sassy girls!

When I find myself getting to the end of a book, I honestly feel slightly panicked if there is not another at the ready.  And I imagine my mom felt this way, too.  There were always library books lying around the house.  She read most evenings and always had something with a bookmark tucked neatly beside her recliner.  On vacations, she had a bag full of books, the same as me.  It was something we shared, a bond, a love.

I introduced her to Harry Potter.  She scoffed.  Then she fell in love.  Reading Harry Potter and then going to see the movies with my mom are some of my favorite and my best memories of her.   That she never got to see them all saddens me more than you know.

Wow… that escalated quickly.

I started this blog to ‘write my book.’  That’s what my mom was always telling me to do.  She loved my stories and was my biggest fan when it came to writing.  I wanted to write a book to honor her memory, to honor her love for me.   I got off track.  I got off track quickly.  But I am still working on the book, just not as publicly.  It will happen… eventually.

It’s hard to claim a frame of mind when you’ve lost your mother.  You have a new frame of mind.  You are a different person.  Ooh look, I’ve gone and made myself cry.

17 thoughts on “R-E-F-L-E-C-T Find Out What It Means To Me…

  1. From Aunt Cindy:
    Aw. lost my first comment. I reiterate:
    Ooh look, now you've gone and made me cry.
    I remember that about your mom too. When y'all came to Oklahoma for visits: I remember the book always tucked beside her in the recliner. I remember her reading, always reading as she sat there in the midst of all the people. I have a visual memory of her pausing to look over the top of her book at something on the television, then returning to her book. I remember her hands, because I remember them holding a book. I suppose there must have been several books for a week's visit. I didn't realize that then. mmm. Now, I'm smiling. 🙂


  2. What a sweet tribute to your mom. Mine is the same with books – always, always has one or two on hand. It's an amazing gift to pass down to your children. I actually think about the many bookshelves we had growing up, and how much time I spent contemplating the books my parents owned. That's one of the only things I don't like about the Kindle – that Hushpuppy won't grow up with a visual of what we're reading.


  3. And that makes me smile, Aunt Cindy! I know I am so much like her- I can definitely be sitting in a crowded room, wanting to be reading 🙂 Haha! Thank you for sharing your memories, too. It really means a lot to me.


  4. Well, I may not have bookshelves of my own books in my house, but both girls have bookshelves in their rooms (here and in Georgia) that are already overflowing! There is even one in the hallway as well. It's not as amazing as our bookshelves at home… but it's something!


  5. I enjoyed your reflections on your mom, and the bond you shared through reading. Like your mom, I also picked up Harry Potter with an eye roll because my 11yo loved them, but I ended up totally engrossed. As for the kindle, I share your sentiments. I love being able to purchase a book the minute that I decide that I want to read it. But somehow we have collected several bookcases full of actual books during our four years in Australia. What to do with them all now is the burning question …


  6. I love this picture of you and your mom. You are amazing and brave for going where the writing takes you- it was beautiful. I got my love of reading from my mom too and am so overjoyed my kids are catching on!


  7. What a beautiful reason to start a blog. Complicated relationship with your mom or not – the love between you is clearly reflected in this post. What a beautiful gift for her to give you, the love of books & the believing and encouraging your own writing. Sometimes, it just takes a bit of time and distance for the grief to clear and allow your function to get back to normal – I think that is perfectly normal and understandable.


  8. That's beautiful. My parents are not great readers, but they value literacy highly and also instilled in me a love of reading. Growing up, that's where a lot of my allowance money went and I shipped several boxes of books when I moved to Australia (this despite my Kindle).


  9. i thought I was the only crazy person that feels anxious towards the end of a book thinking “what if i don't have another one to read after this one.” 🙂 i quickly mention in my blog post today for the challenge how blogging saved my life. it seems like it helped you too get through a tough time in your life.


  10. As you know, I also come from a family of readers. That joy when starting a new book/series is exhilarating…the near depression at the end of a good one almost paralyzing. While I can say that I love physical books, the smell of them, the weight in my hand, I would be lost without my nexus and the kindle app. I literally, no matter where I am, can immediately download the next book I want to read, and for someone that can at times go through 2-3 books a day, that is a great relief. I still have bookcases full of real books, but very rarely read them anymore, and have actually repurchased most on my nexus.

    Some of my best memories as a kid were going to the mall with my mom and finding my next book. Even if she told me she wasn't buying me anything that day, I could always get at least one book out of her! As she still says, how can you deny a child a book?

    I'm so grateful that my parents instilled this love of reading in me. I love tv, movies and video games, but reading is my passion!


  11. Dave and I have decided to start a new Valentine's tradition- we give each other and the girls a book (for forever) and a rose (for love). No candy, just reading. I'm already excited to go to the bookstore this weekend. I want to take the Ladybug but I know she'll ask for every book there… and I won't be able to say no either!


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