Saturday, April 23, 2011


I love a good story. And a storyteller who can paint with words. My mother could capture my imagination and weave it through the stories of an era past. Whether sitting on the steps leading into our kitchen or lying with my head in her lap as she stroked my long hair, she would remember pages of her story. I can still hear her voice in my memory.  Soothing, amused, and sometimes pained. I focused on every word and tried to store it in my memory along with nursery rhymes and Winnie The Pooh adventures. I knew then that someday these would be worth retelling.

This August, I'll remember her passing for the second anniversary. She was such an amazing, gorgeous, funny, intelligent survivor of a life that could easily become a novel. What thrills me the most is that she was always a Jesus-truster and in the latter years, finally knew the personal surrendered relationship that makes all things new. I have no doubt she is singing love songs to him in heaven with her restored voice and I look forward to joining in with her someday. What a treat to harmonize together!

Mom was always my sweetest encourager and my efforts at writing were met with cheers. When I sorted through her folders, I was touched to find one filled with every piece I had sent her. From dramas written for church production to devotional thoughts on raising children, they were three-hole-punched and clicked into that folder. Knowing her, she reread them often.

Six months before she died, I had the fortunate opportunity to attend a 3 day writing workshop with a dear friend and mentor. I had submitted light devotional material thinking that was where I needed to pick up after putting my writing on hold for twenty years. When my friend, Cec, met with me on the first day, he gave me some compliments and critiques but then sat back and said, "This is good and it's fine, but I can't help but feel there's something better just waiting to be written by you. I don't know what that is, but I know it's there." At that moment, I knew what it was. I returned to my laptop sitting among the other writers at the table and opened a new page. Memories flooded my mind and I could envision the stories as if I were watching a movie. A little girl in an orphanage during the depression. A life with strict foster parents who showed no love. A teenager with a promising voice singing at nightclubs followed by late night homework. Big band travels. Marriage and divorce. Marriage again and a house full of children and friends needing shelter. Alcohol. Murder. And always hope. My fingers flew and the scenes unfurled. When I told Mom I was writing her story, she cooed over the phone that it filled her with happiness.

It's a disappointment to me that in the two years since then, I've only written six chapters of her story. A blip on the screen. I repeatedly vow to carve out time to write. I head to the library to become a sequestered novelist. Too many times, my plans are set aside for other things on the to-do list. But, when I succeed and sit before the screen, it happens. Suddenly, I'm lying on the couch and if I concentrate, I can feel fingers lightly stroking my hair and hear a beautiful voice telling a tale.

1 comment:

  1. Ooh isn't she fabulous! Get to writing girl! Im anxious to read it!!