Remembering my mother on her birthday

In one of my earliest memories, I’m sitting at my mother’s feet, scribbling on yellow manuscript paper as she types at her dropleaf desk. I must have been about three, the age of my granddaughter Jasper today, and I was quieter, more introverted than Jasper. Still, it’s a wonder my mother got any work done. She was writing short stories, I learned as I grew older, and submitting them to The New Yorker, which she and my father read religiously. She persevered for years, but she accumulated only rejection slips. Eventually she gave up, and submersed herself in the standard 1950’s roles of mother, housewife and hostess. Still, I believe those early experiences of nestling close by her knees as she typed inspired my love of writing.

I wish she’d lived long enough to read my published novels, but she died in 1970. She was only 61, younger than I am now. June 4th is her birthday, and she’s in my thoughts today.

10 thoughts on “Remembering my mother on her birthday

  1. Julie,

    Powerful post. Concise yet you painted a wonderful picture that hits home to the heart of the reader. Memories are great inspiration, especially family ones. looks like you have a generational blessing in this area.

    Reading is vital to authors. I read every day. I can draw a little inspiration from just about any book I read. My parents read a lot and made me and my siblings read when we were kids.

    – Steve Tremp

    • Jane, I’m so sorry for your loss. I hope she was well enough to know you had the book coming out; if so, I’m sure she appreciated that.

      As you can see from the other post, these losses – but more importantly, the memories of the people we lost – stay with us always. In time, the positive memories outweigh the sorrow, at least for me.

  2. THAT is a touching post. What a gift your mom left you – the love of writing. Quite a legacy. My dad was only 50 when he passed – I was 13. I know how hard it is for me, to this day, on the anniversary of his death and his birthday so I can appreciate what you must be feeling – obviously some pretty powerful emotions and memories.

    Nancy, from Just a Thought…

  3. Thanks to all of you for your heartfelt comments above – I’m glad my post touched you. Our parents remain an integral part of our lives and memories, no matter how many years have passed.

    There’s much more I want to write about my mother, and my father too. Later today, I’m going to post a poem about my mother and our visits to jazz clubs as today’s blog. But now I have to get ready ready for a Sisters in Crime panel with movie film clips at the East Greenbush Library. Wish me luck – based on similar events in the past year, my expectations are modest in the extreme.

  4. Very professonal blog, Julie – I love the heading scene — is that in Troy by any chance? I really am impressed. Marilyn aka: M.E. Kemp, author: DEATH OF A BAWDY BELLE.

    • Hi Marilyn,
      Thanks for your comment! The scene at the top is from WordPress and is part of one of their many themes, or templates. I’m actually planning to replace it with some of my own artwork one of these days, but I do like it – it reminds me of the scene in Eldercide where a victim is found next to a creek in autumn.

      I clicked on your name at the top of your comment and it took me directly to your website, which looks great! And the content looks like a blog already, very conversational and lively. Maybe you can have the designer add a blog to your website. If she does, I’d recommend WordPress over BlogSpot.

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