I lost my copy of Mom’s writings so my sister made a copy of hers and sent it to me. As I read through some of the pages, I experienced a wave of emotion as her presence came back to me through her words.
For someone who described herself as one who stammered, Mom had plenty of words that flowed from her pen to paper. She wrote opinion articles for the Waco Tribune. Her work also appeared in the Waco Magazine. She wrote a book for women called, Her Whole Heart, and another called, God is Still My Friend, a paraphrase of the Book of Job. She also wrote three books of poetry.
Mom was a self described “Write-aholic.” She carried a steno notepad everywhere she went and she couldn’t have a real conversation unless she had a pen in hand to take notes. I think we kids may have enabled her, even when we teased her. “Hi Mom,” I’d say over the phone; “I just called to talk. You got your pen in your hand?”
When I was growing up, she sat in “her” chair in the den during the early morning hours and handwrote her journals, books, and poetry. But she could also type… like, a jillion words a minute. I think I have my small collection of old typewriters because I remember her tapping out her thoughts on her old manual. Later, when she got a computer, there was no stammering at the keyboard as she made it literally buzz.
Her stroke affected her speech, as well as her mobility and dexterity, but while her writing was curtailed it was not stilled. The keyboard no longer whirred but she still produced her emails and letters painstakingly without grammatical flaw, as always. .
All of her kids inherited our writing inclinations from her. She passed away a couple of years ago, but she is still the audience I write for first. She was an enthusiastic audience, laughing long at my humor, and marveling at my insights. I still want to call her and say, “Hey Mom, what do you think of this?”
I never told her I ‘d become an atheist. She knew of my struggles over the years but she was struggling too much with her physical ailments for me to unburden myself to her. Yet, somehow I feel like she intuitively knew anyway. I would like to have had the time to talk with her about it but I can almost feel what she would say… words of concern, empathy, and encouragement..
I take comfort that her thoughts have been returned to me and reside on a bookshelf in my study.