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The Eclectic Pen - A Reading Mother

By: Pat N. (patmat)  
Date Submitted: 12/8/2007
Genre: Biographies & Memoirs » Family & Childhood
Words: 538

  When my mother passed away, I knew that I would be the family member who would speak at her funeral. I struggled for what to say; not because there wasn't good things to say about her, but because I wanted to show that her life mattered and would continue to matter despite the simple life she had led. I had written out some points to talk about, but wanted a story about her impact on life to end my talk. As I prayed and struggled over the words I would use to represent her as she deserved, the phone rang. A dear cousin that had lived next door as we were growing up was calling to express her grief over my mother's death and to console me. During the conversation, she related a story about my mom that I knew instantly was the answer about how to end my eulogy.
During Deb's call, she spoke of many good things about my mother and before she hung up, she told me that she had always envied me. I was astounded because my family was the "poor" branch and her's was the "haves" branch. She began to tell me that she watched every day as my mom called us in for a rest time after lunch. These rest times were always started by my mom reading a Little Golden Book to us or a chapter out of a longer book as we got older. Deb said, "you will never know how I envied you that and I swore that when I grew up and had children that I would read to them every day just like Aunt Shirley read to you guys. So when Lacey came along, no matter how busy my day was, I always found time to read to her and later she read to me. Now Lacey tells me that when she has children that she is going to make that part of their day also because that time was so precious to her." Tears poured down my face as I thanked her for sharing this story because I knew that this love for books being handed down the generations would be my mother's legacy.
Each of the four daughters that my mom raised grew up loving books and reading well above our grade levels in school. Our love for the written word continues unabated and if we are gone for several hours, our family members know to look for us at the library or one of the bookstores in town. We are now passing this legacy along to our own children and it is my fondest hope that they will become as enthralled with the written story as we have been. My own son has chosen a college major that will lead to him being a High School teacher of American Literature. Somewhere in Heaven, my mother is smiling down on him with pride and satisfaction in a job well done. When the time comes for my own eulogy, I have a feeling he will open it with "my mother loved books and she read to me every day as a child."

The Eclectic Pen » All Stories by Pat N. (patmat)

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Comments 1 to 5 of 5
Silvercat - - 12/10/2007 2:40 AM ET
What a warm and meaningful tribute to your Mom. I feel a closeness to you after reading your words, as my Mom was much like yours. :)
Kathleen J. (cozyreader) - 1/2/2008 9:10 PM ET
I am emvious too-- that sounds great. It will be nice to remember your mom every time you sit down to read. And remembering the good is always the best.
IONE L. (zaneygraylady) - 1/3/2008 4:46 PM ET
What a beautiful tribute. My mother also read to us.
Bonnie M. - 1/4/2008 11:40 PM ET
This past August I lost my beloved aunt and a best friend within a 24-hour span.I had the honor of eulogizing both of them and your story brought back bittersweet memories. You are blessed to have had a mother such as yours. You inspire me to write about my loved ones. Thanks.
Sara M. (rockmom66) - 1/7/2008 9:59 AM ET
The greatest tribute you are making to your mother, is the passing on of a loving special time of reading she created with you & your sibling. You continued it with your children and they will with theirs. Her "mark" and loving hand will touch generations, as it already has, in your family. Thank You for sharing.
Comments 1 to 5 of 5