Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Love Your Mom (and Dad)

A repost for Mother's Day:

Click here, then read.

A friend of mine mentioned today, over the phone, that old adage about writing as if your parents are dead. I’ve always hated that saying, that instruction; I find it remarkably discomfiting and wrong-minded. If you want to write as if your parents are dead, you’ll never write, because if you’re anything like me, your heart will be paralyzed and you won’t be able to see clearly for years because your tears will be so thick. Your mind will be clouded with memories of walking and talking Mom and Dad, and whatever they said, whether they meant it to be important or not, lasting or not, will ring in your ears so that you can’t hear anything else. You won’t be able to eat, and all you’ll want to touch is the back of your father’s shoulders as you hug him hello, and the curve of your mother’s cheek as you kiss her good night, just good night, not goodbye. If you’re like me, you’ll cry new tears every time you smell coffee when you’re still in bed, or winter in the air for the first time every year, for all of your good senses will work together to conjure your parents back from wherever they have gone, and you will not be able to write at all, not during that time.

So don’t ever tell anyone to write as if their parents are dead, because it’s an awful thought, and the opposite of brave.


  1. I cannot even take this post. You made me cry. I adore my parents and am so grateful to have them both with me. I've never heard that suggestion before and think it's awful. Awful. People really say that? I have a very good friend whose dad drowned last year and whose mom died a couple of months ago. Her heart has a huge hole in it. She loved/s her parents very, very much. All of those things you described as things that would happen to you are happening to her now. So, yes, I totally agree with your last line. :(

  2. I've never head that saying before and hope to never hear it again. What an awful thought.

  3. I've never heard that either, and don't even understand it. Not long ago, I wrote a post on my own blog about my father. Of everything I've ever written anywhere, it is the one thing I most regret having been able to write, because it wouldn't make any sense if he were alive.

    You are blessed to have both of your parents living. Why on earth would someone suggest you pretend otherwise? I wish them both many more happy and healthy years.

  4. Very touching post. And I am glad you are writing