In this faded photograph, my mother is helping my sister Sheryll celebrate her first birthday. (Mmm, cake!) Three days later, I made my grand entrance. That story, my story, would later became the centerpiece of my father’s faith-healing revival meetings.
I can think of so many questions I’d love to ask my mother—about these events, yes, and so many thereafter. In my Hallmark-inspired dreams, she indulges me this cozy conversation whilst we sit at my backyard bistro table, admiring the flowers and sipping Earl Gray tea. But unfortunately (and I doubt I’m alone in this), the realities of our mother-daughter relationship were far more complicated than this fantasy might suggest. She wasn’t a forthcoming individual by any means, and she took many secrets to her grave.
Melancholy musings, these, but maybe an important reminder, as well.
Whether or not you’re writing a memoir, I encourage you to ask your mother as many questions as possible. Do it now, while she’s willing and able to answer! Your family will appreciate that you’ve kept alive the memories of the matriarchs that helped shape their destiny. And while listening to your mother’s stories, it’s likely you’ll discover some amazing things about yourself.
Looking for ways to jump-start the conversation? Consider these:
Happy Mother’s Day, everyone!