Thanks, Mom

Dear Mom,

Before I post my newspaper op-ed, I want to thank you. All my life, you’ve supported, encouraged, and sometimes gently questioned, my writing. When I was working on the article about Notre Dame vs. Chapman, Kansas, you listened as I explained it, but you fell asleep twice. Dementia and 93-years have made you a fast drop-off napper, and I wasn’t offended. You slept, and I kept writing. This was only my second newspaper article since my days at McPherson College, and it was slow going.

When I cleaned out the house where David and I grew up and you and Dad had lived for more than 50 years, I found a wonderful gift tucked in folders on a closet shelf. You had saved copies of my published stories, essays and articles through the years. Some of them I know you enjoyed and approved of more than others, but you celebrated each acceptance letter with me, and encouraged me to keep trying when there were rejection letters. I doubt you remember that now, but I will remember.

After “Notre Dame’s Missed Opportunity” was published in the Chapman Times News last week, I learned that a wrestling coach read it to her team, and readers were talking about it all over town. One long-time resident of Chapman posted a note on this blog (see ABOUT US, the last comment) and he closed by saying this:

“…You wrote like you had grown up in Chapman and had the pride of the town that I haven’t seen for a long while. It seems we feel it but it is not expressed as you did. Very good of you to take the time, hope you do more of it.”

THAT is one of the reasons we write, Mom, to make a difference. You taught me that by your example, and supported it with your encouragement and support.

Thank you, Mom.

Love, Marylin



Filed under Dementia/Alzheimer's, making a difference, memories for grandchildren, teaching, writing

8 responses to “Thanks, Mom

  1. Power to the people! I hope that article goes viral and the folks who should know finally know. Good one, Marylin. I know your mom is proud of you. So am I.

  2. Thank you very much, ma’am. (I’m taking a little bow and grinning.)
    We sure went through the wringers on this one, but now it’s done. When I visit Mom this month, she and I will toast the Fighting Irish with green Mtn. Dew. Or maybe I’ll just add a drop of green food coloring to 7-Up. Too much caffeine, and no telling how it will affect Mom.

  3. Lovey post. Your mom wold be so proud!

  4. I hope so, Susan. More likely, my mother’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren will have another piece of the puzzle of her life before the dementia, and they’ll be even more proud of the soft-spoken woman who made a difference on so many levels.

  5. Nancy Gibbs

    Catching up on my reading. Again, Marylin…lovely. Thanks for the reminder why I sit at my computer.

  6. You sit at the computer to write challenging articles about Colorado water supplies, touching memoirs for ‘Bye, Frog, and wonderful stories. But if this gave you a reminder when you needed it, I’m glad to help!

  7. i just lost my momma in janurary this year..i miss her so much.

    • I’m sorry, I really am. I’m sure you do miss her. Even with the advanced dementia that makes her confused about who we are and where she is, my mother has remained sweet and pleasant and glad to see us. With my dad’s Alzheimer’s, his personality chanced so much and he was so upset and “raging,” that I felt like I lost him several years before he actually died. Loss is loss, and it is very hard.

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