Thursday, May 7, 2009

Without Words

By Darcy Crowder

I recently finished Karen White’s latest release, The Lost Hours. Lyrical, deeply emotional, thought provoking, and as always, a very entertaining read - I highly recommend it. (Karen will be guest blogging with us on May 22, so be sure to stop by)

At it’s heart, the story is about mothers and daughters and how important it is for mother’s to share their stories with these precious women in their lives, to be understood, to be known for the women they are, not just as mother’s, and to share their life lessons.

With this in mind, I’d like to share an excerpt from a work in progress in honor of Mother’s Day, to all those women out there who love unconditionally, tirelessly, with their whole being, showing us daily in every tiny way how much we, their children, are cherished, because not every women gets the chance to tell her story.

“It’s wrong, so wrong. Why would God deny her the ability to speak to us now, when we’re so close to losing her?” My sister crumpled into the chair on the opposite side of mom’s bed, fingers pressed against her eyes.

I gazed down at the small, hollowed out shell of what was left of my mother’s body, quiet now in a merciful drug-induced sleep. Cancer may have cut short her life, stolen her strength and vitality, but her face still glowed with an inner beauty all her own. I silently promised her that I wouldn’t remember her this way, not like this, but as she’d always been, smiling, embracing life the way she’d always embraced us – full of love and comfort. To be in mom’s presence was to be cherished.

I gently squeezed her hand as I raised it for a kiss, her pale skin dry and papery against my lips, to reassure her we would be okay, we wouldn’t forget a lifetime of loving words, the soft embracing sound of her voice. She’d never held back, never missed an opportunity to encourage or reassure us.

I raised my own tear-filled eyes to my sister. “Maybe there's nothing left to say."

For Sylvia –

Have you shared your story with your daughters or sons? What are you waiting for?


Nicki Salcedo said...

I'm reading (and loving) THE LOST HOURS by Karen White. I don't want it to end!

Darcy, I love this line: "I silently promised her that I wouldn’t remember her this way, not like this, but as she’d always been, smiling, embracing life the way she’d always embraced us – full of love and comfort."

I try to share bits of me with my monsters when I can. The love jumping in puddles and I allow them to do it (no matter the shoes or clothes they are wearing) as long as its after school. I tell them that when I was a kid, I loved jumping in puddles. I did and I still do! I don't want them to have to wait for the big reveal. Kids should get stories from their parents as often as they can.

Thanks for sharing your work in progress. It is wonderful.

Cinthia Hamer said...

Golly, Darcy, thanks a heap for starting my day off all weepy and nostalgic! ;)

Seriously, I loved your post. It brought back sad, tender memories of losing my own mother so many years ago. It's funny, the things we remember. One particular day stands out in my mind. Mom was battling emphysema and it left her with very little energy. One day, she looked particularly worn out--defeated, so I fixed her hair for her and applied a little makeup to her face. After, she seemed to have a bit more energy and even managed to smile and chat a little with me and her grand-daughers.

I've always tried to share myself with my daughters, always tried to let them see me not just as their mother, but also as a woman, frailties, faults, warts and all. I like to think that over the years, this has built a stronger bond between us.

I haven't had the chance to read KW's Lost Hours yet, but will definitely put it in my TBR stack.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Our kids know a lot of our story. I think it's important for them to not only know their heritage, but to better understand their parents as people.

Marilyn Baron said...

Darcy, your writing is lovely and a wonderful tribute to Mother's Day. My favorite line is, "To be in Mom's presence was to be cherished."

I think my daughters know almost everything about me -- even more than my husband does. I think it's easier to share things with daughters.

Thanks for a great post.

Marilyn Baron

Sandy Elzie said...

Darcy, you touched a tender spot...that remembrance of the last day with my own mother who lay in a coma. I knew her stories, and had known her cherishing touch. I've tried to pass this along to my daughters/granddaughters.

I've since read love letters from my father to my mother during WWII and someday mine will read my journals.

Thank you for reminding us what Mother's Day is all about...not the gift we give (or gave) to her, but what she gave to us.


CiCi Barnes said...

Thanks for such a timely post, although it left me weeping uncontrollably. As you know, I just lost my mother in March and the hole in my heart seems to grow larger everyday. If you still have your mother with you, cherish every second, and if you don't have her around anymore, I hope you have fond and happy memories to reflect on.

Your excerpt was touching.


Carol Burnside said...

You have a talent for expressing emotion in your work which touches the reader. Kudos! Not everyone can do that.

Unfortunately, being a real person to your kids isn't always sweet and meaningful. I remember a day when my kids were in Jr. High and being particularly selfish and bratty. Hubby had been traveling a LOT and there was pressure on me to hold everything together in his absence.

I don't remember the particulars, but it seems like I needed them to help out around the house in some small way, but they felt put upon and complained.

I lost it, just lost it. Blubbering, massive meltdown. They looked at me like I'd suddenly grown too heads, but it wasn't until I said I was a person too, not just a mom and wife and everything wasn't all about them that I saw them exchange a guilty glance and they teared up too. Maybe not the coolest idea for bonding, but I always felt that I'd gained a higher status in their estimation after that day.

Hmm...Wonder what they'd think if they were to read the angst-filled love letters their dad and I exchanged in our teens?

Nah. They can read those after we're gone.

Darcy Crowder said...

Hi ladies, thanks for all the kind words.

CiCi, I'm so, so sorry for your recent loss, and making you cry (you too Cinthia & Sandy). I know you already know this - the pain does go away, but never the love. One of God's tender mercies - the love never leaves you.

I lost my own mom almost 5 years ago, my mother-in-law, Sylvia, (who I was very close to) 9 years ago. I can still hear her laughter when I think of her. She was a true Steel Magnolia, if you know what I mean. ;)

I'm with you, Nicki, Deb, Marilyn...I've always tried to be myself with my kids. Talk to them about everything, and NEVER pass up the chance to tell them I love them. I remember when my son was small, (elementary schl) I told him he could tell me anything. Anything? He took it as a challenge (that's my boy!) and every day he'd come home with some horrible joke or shocking thing to say...LOL. I didn't bat an eye. Eventually this died down, but it's paid off in the long run because he's come to me with his problems, even now that he's grown up. I'm not naive enough to think he tells me everything, but he trusts me, and I cherish that.

Carol - My kids have been witness to a melt-down a time or two. Shows 'em we're all human. ;)

beverley said...

That was so lovely. I think of my son and I want to cry.


Dianna Love said...

Darcy -

Wonderful post and endearing snippet of the story. My mother always said to "remember me as I am today." She had a heart attack at 42 on the last day of our first family vacation and died. I think of her often, of how she would help any child anywhere. Her philosophy was that if she helped someone's child today maybe someone would help her children down the road - sort of the original pay it forward.

I'm really looking forward to reading Karen's new book even though I don't read much women's fiction. Karen has one of those lyrical and engaging voices.

I love all the pieces of life each of you have shared here. Wishing all of you a wonderful Mother's Day this weekend...and ever day after that. :)

Maxine Davis said...

I just put on makeup, thank-you-very-much. Really, that was so touching. I loved the whole thing. You write beautifully. Brings back sad, but also such happy memories.

Happy Mother's Day to everyone. Even if you don't have kids, you had a mother!

Linsey Lanier said...


I think you've made everyone cry today, including me. The comments didn't make my eyes any drier, either.

I lost my mother a good while ago to cancer, so your excerpt was very meaningful to me. Yes, mercifully, the pain lessens with time. But then there are moments when memories come back. After awhile, you learn to cherish those moments. Thank you for giving me one today.

Happy Mother's Day to all. Now let me go find that kleenex box.


Tami Brothers said...

Ditto, Darcy. Very touching.

I vow to try to be a better daughter and mother.

Susan May said...

Great. I don't think my oldest two children saw my husband and me as people outside of the always having the answers, knowing the next step and solid until Nick's most recent issues. They realized that we had feelings and fears. Not a bad lesson to learn but not a good way to do it.

Darcy Crowder said...

Bev! Hi! Your son is adorable. :)

Dianna - Thanks for stopping by...42! How tragic. I'm so sorry for your loss.

Maxine, Linsey, thanks for the kind words. Our memories really do get us through, don't they.

Tami, everything I know about you tells me you're a great mom. :)

Susan - You deserve the Mother of the Year award. I wish I had half your strength in the face of adversity. Bless you and bless Nick.

Happy Mother's Day, ladies.

Cyrano said...

Oh Darcy,
I wish I would have had time to see this post yesterday. I hope you go back and take a look at your comments periodically.
I loved you excerpt, loved it. It evoked so much emotion. What a talented writer you are, an an inspirational friend.
Is this book finished? Are you targeting any line in particular?
If it's not completed yet, I wish you the best of luck in coming to "the end".
Have a lovely Friday,