I write letters to dead people. Yeah, I know. I'm weird. Sometimes I haven't even met them. It's a way to get something out of my head; it's already over-stuffed. I've never got a letter back but I kind of suspect that I've had a response at times.
Three years ago, I wrote to my mother, apologizing to her. I said I would 'fix it' sooner than later, but of course, as often happens, it turned into more 'later than sooner'.
This was the letter:
September 4, 2012
I hope you can forgive me. I have done you such a huge disservice – unintentionally of course.
One of the kids and I were talking and somehow the subject came to you. They said something about my mother being a ... what? I can't exactly recall but it was something like a 'wacko'. I immediately set that record straight – that you, in fact were an incredible, amazing, awesome woman. That sadly, the heartbreak that you lived through crushed your soul by the sheer weight of it, but for the longest time you stood your ground. You were a good, GOOD woman.
They were surprised to hear that. They said that they really knew nothing of you; that I hadn't spoken of you. That surprised me. Thirty two years without you and I still carry you so close to my heart. I guess that I haven't given voice to that. I really, really need to right that sooner than later.
It would be such a travesty, such a shame, such a lie for my children to think of you as anything less than the remarkable woman you were.
I'll fix it.
My Mom left us thirty-five years ago this fall. At the time, I knew she was youngish, but she didn't seem near as youngish as she does now that I am the same age. I was born on her birthday and this one that I just had was the last one that she was to reach. It was interesting that it fell this year on the day of the week that I was born, Civic Holiday Monday.
The signifigance of this age being her last on earth and a few other things – like perhaps my 'word of the year', led me to the idea of publishing an anthology of mother stories written by my friends.
|I can't unveil the book until all the authors have seen it.|
On Tuesday we had our 'Book Launch'. I cannot even begin to explain how incredible, moving and memorable it was. Eighteen of the twenty five authors gathered to celebrate the birth of the book and to share their journeys with the writing process. It was everything I imagined it would be and more.
We had gone completely around the circle and I was just about to hand out the books when another friend popped in to say that there was a beautiful rainbow right beside the house. That was particularly strange as it hadn't rained. Actually, I suppose it wasn't strange at all.
|Stamp of Approval|
We all rushed out to see it, oohing and ahhing over the syncronicity. It lasted no more than a minute. We deemed it a stamp of approval.
Very soon, the book will be launched to the public. It wasn't something that I orginally thought about, but we have been approached by many who have expressed a desire to read it. If it moves anyone to think of their mothers and take the time to write down their stories, it will have served an even greater purpose than to celebrate and honour the remarkable women in our lives.
Volume 2 is in the works, as is one for Grandmother and Fathers.