This is a tribute to my mother, Audrey. She passed away last month at the age of 93. As I write this on Easter morning, which was always a special day for her, I am reminded of everything we shared over the course of our life together.
My mother never used a computer, and she certainly did not understand online marketing. She grew up during the Great Depression in a small town in Missouri, where they didn’t have a telephone until she was in high school. By the time she had me, when she was 37, she had already lived a lifetime that I would never understand. When I tried to show her what I was doing online, the only part she could relate to was when I said that I was a writer.
Mother had always encouraged me to write, but I never listened. When I did decide to give that a try during my college years, I allowed others to discourage me. I should have listened to her instead. Last summer, when I brought a copy of my first book to her bedside in the nursing home, she glowed with pride. She had broken her hip in October of 2009, and lived the rest of her life in that nursing home. I was there several times a week, and someone was always telling me how much she talked about her daughter, the author.
As I reflect back on this past year and a half, I am thankful to God for making it possible for me to have both the time and the money to care for my mother. We were very poor while I was growing up, so it meant so much for me to provide her with everything she wanted and needed during the final stage of her life. Every month I would buy her new clothes, carefully choosing her favorite colors for brightly decorated sweaters and blouses. Each week I would do her laundry, and bring her carefully folded clothes back to her room.
We became closer than we ever had been during this time. I would spend several hours by her side, occasionally checking my email to see if one of my students had a question. Most people did not even realize that I was not at home in my office. Having time to spend with loved ones is the greatest gift of all.
I now have no more blood relatives who are still living, which is a peculiar thought for me. Many of my closest childhood friends are gone as well. I choose to think of this as a New Beginning, and I will live the rest of my life connecting with people and forming new lasting relationships. I believe that this is all a part of His great plan for us, and I will do my best to serve others by sharing the gifts and talents I have been given.
Please forgive me for not sharing this sooner, but I needed this time to grieve on my own.