Home of the Bellingwood Series – Nammynools

Mother’s Day Memories

This last week of my writing process keeps me up until the most ridiculous hours. My regular working hours are totally crazy, but this week? Oh my gosh. I go from exhausted to exhilarated and then back to exhausted. Last night I was up writing until 5:30 in the morning. Thank goodness I don’t have a nine-to-five job to worry about.

I’m right on track with the writing. I have six or seven chapters left and I’ll have those finished so that by next Sunday, I’ll tell be telling you how much editing work I have ahead for that next week. Then the book will go off to my editors and proofreaders. The process is pretty much streamlined by now. I just drop into the pattern and tell stories that rattle around up there in my brain. June 25th is approaching sooner than we realize! 🙂


Mother’s Day

1960 – Mom and me at her parents’ home. She was always barefoot.

It’s been fun to watch the wonderful celebrations you all had today.

I am so grateful for the many women of all generations in my life who have raised incredible children. Children that I call my friends, that I call family, that are raising and have raised children of their own and are now grandparents. The connections run so deeply into history and it fills my heart.

My past – my stories – my life is linked to these women in such incredible ways. Just a simple glimpse at a photograph and my mind releases memories that go far beyond the moment that photo was taken.

A photograph of a dear friend crossed my path today and I had to stop because I was flooded with childhood memories that brought such joy.

My mother died at the end of March 1987. She was young – all things considered – only forty-eight years old. Dad was a Methodist pastor, also pretty young (I’ll just leave that there for a moment).

By the time Mother’s Day rolled around, we were working to numb ourselves to the pain of her death. Carol and I lived at home. We’d moved in to help Mom open a business and with all that had happened in the previous three years (opening a business, Mom’s illness and death), we were still there.

Anyway … Mother’s Day. Before I go any further, you have to realize that when our family experiences something we end up looking for the funny or the good in it … and the story. Okay … caveats aside … We’d planned to hunker in and ignore the day. But we received a nice invitation to lunch from one of the women in the church and Dad hadn’t been able to find a way out of it. It was a pleasant enough lunch and we returned home afterwards for the regular Sunday afternoon naps and then preparation for a busy workweek.

By the time Carol and I got home from work Monday evening, craziness had rippled throughout the congregation. Apparently after Mom’s death, the women had agreed among themselves that none of the single women would press Dad for a minimum of six months after Mom’s death.

The woman who invited us to lunch? She was single, a little older than Dad, and crossed a line with her invitation. The wrath of one of the (married) stalwarts in the congregation came down on her and then this same stalwart revealed the plot to Dad, much to his chagrin and embarrassment.

Not only was he dealing with intense loss, but now he had to worry about power plays by women who thought that being the pastor’s wife might be a really great thing. He had another conversation with that ‘stalwart,’ and he stated categorically that he wasn’t interested in being pursued by any member of the congregation. She carried the message and things calmed down.

Now, y’all can feel bad for him – but that’s ridiculous. He died in 2007 and had spent many years laughing about the craziness of the situation, so don’t go down that path.

Dad married a woman the next February who had lived four hours away. He spent a lot of time on the road and on the phone.

It’s funny … When Mom was alive, Mother’s Day was just a nice, pleasant day. We probably bought cards for her, maybe a gift, but never really thought about the celebration itself. It wasn’t bigger than life. It was Mom’s day and it came every year.

No other Mother’s Days since she died really stick out for me either. I don’t get exceptionally morose at her being gone. She’s gone every other day of the year, too, and I miss her just the same.

But that year? Yeah, that’s one Mother’s Day I’ll never forget. The story cemented that day in my mind and still makes me smile. I loved the women in that church so much and the poor lady whose generous gesture got her into so much trouble probably meant nothing more than what the invitation was on the face of it – a way to care for us on a day that might be difficult.

I hope you found ways today to have joy. Mother’s Day is difficult for many for so many reasons. For others the day is filled with great fun and an opportunity to celebrate the love that only a mother can offer.

Tomorrow has arrived by now … today is over. The morning’s light will bring new opportunities to find joy, hope, and love. Look for them, make them happen for others first – the return for you will be glorious.


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