(after my Great-Grandmother,
we are all first born women)
From Angela: As long as I’ve been writing, it never dawned on me that one day I’d be co-authoring a book with my daughter. But I do remember thinking when she was thirteen that I’d write a mystery-turned-realism on how to smuggle your child onto a slow boat to China with a two way passage not to return until she was eighteen. Then when she hit eighteen, I envisioned writing an epic novel on how to keep her from going to college and losing everything we had worked so hard to plant in her head. It would have extended into the future, planning her life, naming her children, selecting her career and choosing her husband. None of this was to gain control of her life, but to protect her from harm’s way and getting hurt. I knew too well that life was hard. Why not save her the angst?
But I didn’t have to do any of that. Tia managed it all much better than I could have ever imagined. In fact, she has excelled in all areas of her life. All that mind-wrenching planning was unnecessary; she bloomed into her own unique woman.
When Tia approached me about writing a book told from both a mother and daughter’s perspective, I laughed out loud. But she planted a seed that over the next few conversations began to germinate and finally come to fruition.
Writing Depression Cookies with my daughter has been an honor. How many mothers can say they worked for ten years with their daughter on a project? But looking back over our writing venture, I remember the many times we laughed and cried. Sometimes I laughed so hard I couldn’t finish a sentence. There’s also been plenty of frustration to the point one or both of us were ready to abandon the project. But as it always is with us, when one was ready to throw in the towel, the other encouraged and we kept going.
We mothers always think we are the only ones imparting knowledge, but Tia taught me a lot during the process of writing with her−perseverance, insight and verb control. I never realized how much I wandered between the past, present and future. She has been a professional, reminding me to push my writing . . . unless I venture anywhere near sex. Suddenly the conversation was over. On that note, but don’t share it with her, if I wanted to get her goat while we were writing, I got very gifted at slipping in a love scene. Most of those ended up being eliminated . . . poor Bob!
On this Mother’s Day, I want to say how proud I am to be at the vantage point to watch Tia walk her life’s path, especially in motherhood. I think Abby’s life would have been less challenging if she had been birthed with your words and your inspiration. And if the tides were turned and I had written Krista’s, don’t you know that would be one messed up child!
From Tia: I was simply going to say, “Ditto.” Mom said it beautifully, as she always does. I was blessed with wonderful parents. My mother and father alternatively reined me in and let me fly. Moving all over the country growing up, sometimes all I had were my mom, dad and two sisters. Now, between the three of us, there are seven granddaughters. We are a family strong in women, for sure, but also strong in men. My dad and husband have to be strong, show leadership and love in equal amounts while surrounded by women. When Jackie was born, we had five generations on my mom’s side. How many kids these days get to take a five-generation picture? God has given me many gifts.
Mom gave me many things, but my love of reading and writing is the one I most treasure. She also taught me to pull for the underdog, have strong faith and believe in myself even when I thought I couldn’t or shouldn’t. She is my backbone. I can only hope to keep the female strength alive now with my own three daughters.
Writing a novel with Mom was icing on the cake. We started the novel when my first was six months old and finished it when my girls were 10, 8 and 5. It’s a journey I will never forget. At a recent mother-daughter speech Mom and I gave at NC State University, the moms were talking about mom-isms. Things like “money doesn’t grow on trees” and “I told you so.” All I could think of was the time my mom sat rocking back and forth on the edge of her bed, with her head in her hands, saying, “Good Lord, please don’t let me kill her.” I guess it’s true: what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.
I love you Mom.
Happy Mother's Day