Monday, May 14, 2012

A Step in the Write Direction--May 14, 2012

A Step in the Write Direction
May 14, 2012

Thought for Today:
“My old [wrestling] coach used to say that if you were in it for the match, if you were in it for the trophies, you were in it for the wrong reasons…If you presume to love something, you must love the process of it much more than you love the finished product” (John Irving, “The Wrestler,” Time magazine, May 14, 2012, p. 45).

Laugh for Today:
            I remember, I remember
            Incidents of days long gone;     
            I recapture every moment
            As I ramble on and on.
            But my tales would be more pleasing
            And I'd never be a bore,
            If I only could remember
            Whom I told them to before.

                         —Paul Tullen

Donna’s update:

This has been a busy week with a 194-page proofreading job, and two typing jobs—153 and 161 handwritten pages on both sides. I am half done with one, and they both have to be finished by June 1.

However, I’ll be gone a week of that time, as my daughter and I are leaving Thursday, the 17th, to visit our other daughter and family in Cushing, Oklahoma—between Tulsa and Oklahoma City. I’ll be teaching a daylong writing workshop there on Saturday, the 19th, and coming home on the 24th, and our daughter will be staying for another two weeks, then riding home with them when they come here on vacation. (So I may or may not get off a blog next Monday!)

I hope you all had a wonderful Sunday. Since today is Mother’s Day, I thought instead of sending writer’s tips this week, you might enjoy reading a piece I wrote about my mother years ago when she was chosen Mother-of-the-Year at our hometown church in Jackson, Michigan.

Have a good week.

My Heritage

One of my earliest recollections is of Mother getting my two brothers, my sister, and me—the youngest—ready for church every Sunday morning and walking over a mile to the country bus stop.
Sunday meant a day in town. After our morning church service, we would go to a small restaurant for "dinner," then upstairs over the restaurant to a mission for an afternoon meeting. Sunday night found us back in our own church for the evening service. Mother never subscribed to the theory that if children are made to go to church when they're young, they won't want to go when they're older.

When I was seven years old we moved into town. Ours was the "Kool-Aid" house on the block. All the neighbor children were welcome to join our family activities: singing around the piano, experimenting with an erector set, putting jigsaw puzzles together, and answering questions out of a quiz book. At the end of the evening, my mother always offered cocoa or popcorn.

I remember when Mother sold that house. From the proceeds, she bought my two brothers horns, and I received the accordion I had wanted for so long. Wanting her children to be musical, she took in ironings to pay my brothers' five-dollar band fee each semester.

My mother was a woman of prayer. One night our cupboards were empty and my mother did the only thing she knew to do—pray. Within an hour, a friend came by with some money she had owed my mother for babysitting from several years before. It had just "come to her mind" that evening. She was going to bring it by the next day, but something urged her, "No, take it tonight." She arrived before the grocery store closed.

Her prayers also extended to her children. She constantly warned me about dating someone outside our faith, and I remember coming home one night from a date and finding her asleep on her knees.

Mother was "Mom" to a lot of other children and teens who felt they could talk with her about their problems. When I was younger, I was jealous of sharing her attention, but as I grew older, I was proud of having a mother my friends liked.

It wasn't long before the family circle grew smaller. The three older children married, and I moved to another state where I met a seminary student and we became engaged.

On the day of my wedding, as Mother helped me button my long white gown, she expressed disappointment that she could not buy me an expensive gift. But I told her then, and many times afterward, she gave me the finest gift a daughter could ask for—the heritage of a Christian mother.

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