When I was a little girl my mother aspired to be a writer. Today, that might not seem unusual but it was back then. We didn't even know anyone who knew a writer. Let alone a poor, stay-at-home housewife with seven kids.
But my mother yearned to be more than what she was. Not that she wasn't happy with her life. However that life didn't satisfy the artistic, creative spark that burned deep down in her soul.
She wasn't after fame or fortune. She just wanted to entertain, delight and share her wonderful stories with the world. Unfortunately, the mysteries she wrote and sent out to numerous publishers were always returned with a polite rejection letter. Ever optimistic, she told me several times that "You're not really a writer until you've gotten a hundred rejections!"
She fiercely believed that dreams always came true. Yet somewhere along the line she let her dream fall by the wayside. She stopped writing well before her "hundreth" rejection and never really spoke of it again.
But she instilled in me a desire to reach for more than I could realistically attain. Like she did. To try and keep trying despite the odds.
Luckily, I didn't have to wait until I got a hundred rejections, although there were quite a few. Too many to count.
In 2010 I got my first contract for 'Passing Whispers'. Stunned disbelief was quickly replaced by exhilarating joy. I had to tell my kids! My co-workers! My mother!
But it was too late for that. I couldn't call and tell her my news. She was gone. My mom died in 2005. She didn't get to see that finally...I was a writer.
With good reviews by real critics. I had an actual Book Signing Party (given to me by my oldest daughter, Lisa). All my kids, friends and co-workers came. People I hadn't seen in years! Someone asked me for an autograph! I even made a Book Trailer which was one of the best days of my life. Oh, how I wish my mom was there to see it!
Then again in 2015 Tate Publishing put out my first children's book, 'There's a Monster In My Closet!'. It was such fun to write! I used my grandchildren as the characters in the story, much to their delight. They were asked for their autographs too whenever they attended book signings with me.
My husband and kids were there every step of the way, cheering me on. But there was one voice I desperately wanted to hear. My mother's. There was no one more responsible for my success than her. The dream she passed on to me was finally coming true. My mom would have been so excited. So proud. I know seeing my name on the cover of a book would be just as exciting to her as seeing her own name there.
I'm not rich. Or famous. I still get rejection letters. But... I am a writer.
Just like my mother.
Thanks, Mom! Happy Mother's Day!
If you still have your mom... give her an extra hug and kiss today. Life is short. Share yours with her while you can.