I miss my mom.
Since Sunday is Mother's Day, I'm going to write about my mother (Dad will get his turn on Father's Day). I've written anecdotal posts about both of them in the past, but today, I'm going to look at the good and bad in my relationship with her.
For the most part, we were close. I could tell her just about anything. She wouldn't judge me. Sometimes, I think she was too easy on me. I wasn't so easy on her. I didn't understand why she put up with so much crap from her sisters and a particular "friend" who was clearly a two-faced backstabber. As it turned out, I was right...but it took Mom a long time to see it.
I was furious when she loaned my favorite lamp to one of the tenants (my parents owned rental property)--who took it with them when they moved. Okay, they were evicted and it was a nasty, late-night scene that involved law enforcement and an angry neighbor who wanted to repo the car said tenant had bought from him but failed to pay for. I never let Mom forget that she had trusted a lowlife with my lamp. Pretty silly, huh?
Nobody was more proud than Mom when I sold my first novel. She wanted to go with me when I made my first trip to New York to meet with the publisher. I said no. I knew I'd be busy, that I couldn't take her with me to meetings--which was what she really wanted. It would have been viewed as unprofessional--but I'm embarrassed to admit that it wasn't the only reason I didn't want her to go along. From the day the book sold, Mom acted as if she were my co-author whenever we were in public, whenever I was asked about it. The publisher sent me roses. Mom wanted to know why she didn't get roses. She was joking, of course, but I overreacted. Why?
Because I'd always been dependent upon my parents in one way or another. That novel was the first thing I felt I'd done entirely on my own. It was mine, and I didn't want to share that accomplishment--with anyone.
But that wasn't true. I did all of the research and writing, yes. I found my agent on my own, yes. But I was a single mother with a toddler who had lived in Jefferson County, where public transportation at the time was almost nonexistent. I worked downtown, twenty miles away--and I couldn't drive. The only solution was to move into St. Louis, closer to the downtown area, so I could take a bus to work. But that would mean having to find a daycare for Collin or hire a babysitter to stay with him at home while I worked. I didn't like either option. I'd seen too many stories on the news about children harmed, killed or abducted by babysitters or daycare workers.
Mom and Dad sold their home and rented a place in south St. Louis for all of us. I could go to work knowing Collin was safe while I was at work. They gave up a home that was paid for and would have given them security in their retirement so I could work and Collin could have safety and security. In truth, I could not have written and sold Alexander's Empire without them.
Happy Mother's Day, Mom. I wish you and Dad were still here with us.