My mom wrote eight chapters of a romance novel, unless there are some secreted away that I haven’t seen. I don’t know whether she stopped from lack of confidence, lack of time, or health. They exist in pages stapled together by chapter, and I suppose at one time they lived on a diskette before we started purging the basement of old things. She also had binders full of writing projects from graduate classes, poetry written at various times in her life, ruled-page journals, and other writings (letters, sermons, speeches) that I’ve found at surprising moments while digging through something I thought I’d already seen a thousand times. Not to mention emails I will never delete, old handwritten recipes and notes.
This is my attempt to transcribe her chapters and possibly try to finish the book, in her memory. Along the way someone pointed out that it might be an interesting process to write about – digging through her words, her past, my memories and my experience of delving into these things. So here goes.
About My Mom
My mother was a librarian. She started in my elementary school system, endlessly bringing home new books, and eventually became head librarian at my high school: ‘Queen of the Library’. She was an elder at her church. She knitted and quilted. She grew up in the Midwest, had two sisters and a brother, and the only dog she’d consider getting us was a Dachshund. She baked pies and cookies, and constantly fed the dog scraps of everything. She had two boys and a girl in the south, and always missed ‘real’ winters with snow when all we’d get was cold rain and sleet. She picked up Petoskey stones and shells on the beach, and drank white wine with an ice cube. She gave me my first front-row seats at the theater and at a rock show. She hated asparagus, loved lima beans, and always, always coffee first thing in the morning. She got me hooked on Jane Austen, PBS, mystery stories – and, of course, romance novels. She died in 2006, and when we buried her ashes, it was snowing.
I’m a 31 year old event planner living in Brooklyn with my husband.