Because of Mom

Spark Blogfest Entry 1
The Spark Blogfest hosted by Christine @ The Writer Coaster

What book made you realize you were doomed to be a writer?
What author set off that spark of inspiration for your current Work in Progress?
Or, Is there a book or author that changed your world view?

As writers, we’re always striving to get out a message of inspiration to others. This blogfest is a celebration for those who have done this for us. Join the Spark Blogfest, aka Sparkfest, by posting your answer to any of the three prompts above (or make one up as long as it fits the theme).

***
My mother is not a published writer, but she set my feet on the writer’s path. If Mom wasn’t busy taking care of her five children, she was busy reading. Although she never pursued publication, she faithfully kept journals. When she talked on the phone, she doodled obsessively -writing her name over and over again, drawing flowers and making other unique, pretty designs. From all of this, I learned to love reading, to keep a journal, to collect pretty pens in a variety of colorful inks, and to appreciate my mother’s beautiful handwriting.

Mom frequently told us she loved us, but she revealed her deepest emotions through letters. In our family, her letters quickly gained a reputation for going straight to the heart –like in the movies when a person overdoses on some drug and someone is required to stab a needle directly into their chest –that’s how powerful (and sometimes painful) my mother’s written words were. We couldn’t read a letter from Mom without crying and crumbling into piles of emotional goo. To this day, I strive to write with emotion as well as my mother.

Even just thinking about the letters my mother wrote to me on my confirmation and 16th birthday cause my eyes to fill with tears. But her letters were only a prologue to the book she wrote for me to take to college. On the inside cover she inscribed:

To Brianna,
For encouragement in those times of frustration, homesickness and loneliness.
We all love you.
Your Crazy Mom

Then she filled the pages of a once-blank journal with motivational and uplifting quotes and notes to me in her own handwriting. She compiled and wrote this book before the internet and sites like ‘brainyquote.’ She never told me how long it took to complete the book or when she started it, but it must have been a long-term project.
Needless to say, this is my most well-read and cherished book. It is always within reach on my desk. I would have been lost in college without it and even now, when my college years are well-behind me, I turn the pages of my mother’s book searching for the words that will comfort or encourage me. The following excerpt is found near the end of her book:

Graduation Night 6-2-95

Another milestone in your life. I cannot begin to express the deep feelings of love and pride I have felt for you on each of these occasions (Kindergarten graduation, 1st Holy Communion, 8th grade graduation, confirmation, and this high school graduation).

Through the past 17 years we have had our disagreements, our arguments and our down and dirty fights, but through them all I have loved you. Those disagreements were based on my part on a want to protect you from being hurt. I never wanted to see you hurt but I’ve always known I couldn’t protect you forever. I must let you go now and trust you to take care of yourself. I pray that I’ve given you a good foundation to base the rest of your life on.

It’s not as easy for me to let you go as I have let you believe. For me the deepest feelings are the most difficult to express.

I want you to know that I have a lot of faith in you, Brianna. I know you can handle whatever the future brings. You possess many qualities that I admire. You are intelligent, persistent, a good listener and your are strong. You will do just fine.

Never forget, no matter where you are that I have always loved you and I always will.

Mommy

We don’t receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us. ~ Marcel Proust

*is a puddle of emotional goo now*

Along the writing path, there are friends, teachers, books and authors who reignited the spark for writing, but there is only one person who lit it and that’s my mother. It is thanks to her that I learned the value and power of words.

18 thoughts on “Because of Mom

  1. Oh, Brianna, this is so touching! The book that your Mom gave you is such a wonderful Love-filled gift! You have definitely inherited her penchant for words. Lovely, lovely!
    post!
    Pam

    • Pam,
      Thank you! This post sparked some real emotions for me!
      Go figure! My mom can still make me cry without even being in the same state or saying a word!
      I held her book and cried because I realized that there’s a chance one day that this book will be the only connection I have to my mother’s true feelings and emotions if she develops Alzheimer’s like Grandma.

  2. Oh Brianna. *I* am a puddle of emotional goo right now too! What a legacy your mom gave you! And thank you for sharing her/it with us so we could benefit from that legacy too.

    It’s interesting you should share this today ~ I felt inspired at church yesterday to be more faithful at writing letters to my husband and sons. I used to do it but it petered out. Now . . . I know it was pure inspiration and even if I don’t see immediate benefit from my efforts, it would be a huge success if sometime far from now someone remembers I loved them.

    Thank you thank you Brianna. (And thank you for reminding me about the sparkfest because I signed up for it and forgot about it, lol!)

  3. This was very touching! I wish that I had some letters from my Mum. I do have a few handwritten letters from old friends, as well as from my husband, who passed away. It’s such a shame that very few people write letters anymore, because they really do become irreplaceable keepsakes, and a text or an email will never be the same. Great post :-)

  4. Wow! Your mother reminds me a little of my own – she doodled while on the phone too, and creates some amazing patterns. I got my artistic flair from her, for sure. She hasn’t been a writer, but she gave me a lot of my creativity. Good mothers are awesome!!

  5. That was precious.
    Your mother sure loves you, Brianna.
    As a mother of five, myself, I think her gift was wonderful. I am motivated to head over to the stationary store and pick up 5 beautiful journals to write letters and kind words and quotes like your mother did for you.
    In a way, your mom is my spark, too. :) Thanks for sharing.

  6. Oh, wow. Just wow. I’m a puddle of emotional goo, now! That is such an amazingly sweet thing for your mom to do for you, to write you a whole journal full of inspiration. Wow…. :,-)

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