She worked hard on her stories and poured everything she had into them. Even if the world thought her stories weren’t good enough, we did. One year for her birthday I decided that the best present we could give to her was something she had always wanted but had yet to achieve. I rallied my sister, brother-n-law, and husband together and we bought a small self publishing package. We took great care in hiding this from her. The book was already finished along with the artwork she had done herself, so it was not very long before the book was ready. I was very happy with how it turned out.
Her birthday was in July but the book was ‘live’ several weeks before that. I spoke with my sister and we both agreed we couldn’t wait anymore. We had to give it to her early. The publisher had sent a ‘Congratulations New Author’ letter that I had hidden away, so I grabbed it along with my camera. I remember it very well. My sister and I, along with my father (who had known about it for a while and was bursting at the seams to tell her) gathered with my mom in the kitchen. She realized something was up when I handed her the manila envelope and snapped a photo.
She pulled the letter out and began to read, her facial expressions were priceless. She was confused at first but as she read the letter she began to cry. She looked up at us with this ‘What does this mean?’ look, that’s when my sister pulled the book out from behind her back.
My mother cried for weeks. Years of rejection letters slipped into the past as she looked over her first published work. We got plenty of photos.
My mother thanked us and began to call everyone she knew to tell them the good news. My mother’s first work, Mr. Book’s Story, was published in 2008. She was blessed enough to have a few book signings where the community showed much love and support. My mother loved children and wanted nothing more than to see them succeed in anything they put their hearts and minds to.
My mother passed away in 2010 leaving behind her works and many broken hearts.
She was the first to encourage me to write, to edit my work, and coach me on what to do next. Her Keepers, Fallow, and the rest of my work(s) would not have been possible without her.
Happy Mothers Day