Dear Mom,

Last week was about Ray Bradbury’s ZEN IN THE ART OF WRITING, and the afternoon you and I tried “dime writing” in the library.

This week is inspired by George Eliot. No, this writer was not a man, but a woman. Mary Ann Evans (1819-1880) was an important English novelist and journalist of the Victorian era. Two of her best known novels are SILAS MARNER and MIDDLEMARCH. She used a male pen name to be sure that her work would be taken seriously.

In the past decade one of her quotes has become very popular. “It is never too late to be what you might have been” appears on posters, tee-shirts and greeting cards, and is referred to in inspirational books and sermons.

At this stage in my life, I’m in the uniquely wonderful position of simultaneously learning from my mother, my daughter, and my grandchildren. If I ask your great-grandchildren what they want to do and be, the answer will vary from day to day, from school days to weekends, and will depend on the season and which sports they’re playing. When you’re a pair of busy, happy children, one in third grade and the other in second grade, anything is possible. Life if full of dreams and opportunities. The world is your oyster, though you’d scrunch up your face and make gagging noises at the word oyster.

Years ago, when I read you the quote ”It’s never too late to be what you might have been,” you gave a little shrug and smiled. You said that being old wasn’t holding you back; you were being what you wanted to be.

That is a wonderful attitude, Mom. If I thought you’d wear it, I’d have a tee-shirt made for you: “I’m Who I Want To Be.” Or, to sum up who you’ve always been and the loving influence you’ve had on me, I’d have another of George Eliot’s quotes printed for you: “Blessed is the influence of one true, loving human soul on another.”

Thank you, Mom.

Love, Marylin



Filed under Dementia/Alzheimer's, lessons about life, memories for grandchildren, teaching, writing

11 responses to “BY GEORGE

  1. Molly

    Mom….this is perhaps one of my favorite ones yet. This is SOOOOO true of Grandma, and the kiddos…..I absolutely love the way you write these blogs about Grandma. Thank you!

  2. On this blog, everything Grandma said and did–combined with Grace and Gannon’s complete openness to what each day offers–add them together for a description of you. You’re so much like Grandma, and so very much a part of Grace and Gannon and all the wonderful things they are. If I made a tee-shirt for you, it would say, “I’m Mary Elizabeth’s granddaughter and Grace and Gannon’s mother…and everything good in between!”

  3. Lovely post, Marylin. I want a T-shirt that says, Being old isn’t holding me back.

  4. Hmm, sounds like a possible side-business. We could design, create and sell writer-inspiring tee-shirts. We’d sell them at writing conferences, book stores (as long as book stores hang on), and online. We could make greeting cards in the shape of little tee-shirts, emblazoned with a variety of messages, and then…
    Naw. Don’t think so.

  5. Betty Howard

    Marylin: I am so very appreciative of your lovely review of “Mixed Signals” Thank you so very much for all you do for we writers. You are such a spark plug of encouragement. Please know how very inspiring I find your blog. With gratitude and admiration, Betty Howard, author of “Mixed Signals.”

  6. You’re very welcome, Betty. MIXED SIGNALS is a delight, and I wish you every success with it.

  7. Love it. As a young women of 50 (just turned this week) I love this quote. I believe I can still do whatever I want to attempt.

  8. Happy Birthday, Kellie. 50 is the new 30, so you’re not even middle aged.
    Go for the gold.

  9. Through this writing I learn new things! It’s so beautifully done.

  10. Thank you, Mysterystar, and welcome to Things I Want To Tell My Mother.

  11. George Eliot is one of my favorite writers. Thank you for reminding us of her. I used to disappear from the world to pursue my addiction to her novels, and I mourned when I finished them.

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