Here is a book to treasure and to re-read again and again. It’s filled with every kind of emotion–grief, regret, guilt, but also connection, gratitude and hope. The stories touch on every religion from animism to Buddhism, or no religion at all. And of course, they portray every kind of mother. Every story made me wish I could have known each of them. Every story makes me wish I could meet its author. The writing in each essay is fresh, skilled, illuminating and evocative, even though they are short. I love it that what means most to these children are the small, shared moments, the bits of knowledge and advice somehow absorbed, the lessons in resilience and wisdom in adversity. Mainly I love the editor’s forward, when she writes, “We may remember words spoken in love and words spoken in anger, but words unspoken linger forever.”
I did have to take the book in small doses, as each vignette moved me to tears, guilt and memories of my own. But I persisted. This experience is too good to miss. The recent death of Barbara Bush is inspiring so many tributes, all positive and meaningful. This book does the same for so many mothers never in the public eye. No matter what relationship you had with your mother, this is a book for everyone.
Also there is the lovely collection edited by Trisha Faye. Either of these books are great gifts for mothers, mothers-to-be, or sons and daughters. I guess that includes everybody!