Tuesday, November 27, 2007


After my last post, my plan was to sit down after Thanksgiving and write about leftovers, and the fact that this year, there weren't any beyond Friday. I may write about that yet, but in the meantime, something else happened to delay it.

My mother went into the hospital the day before Thanksgiving. The diagnosis was lung cancer, which had spread to her liver. She passed away late Sunday.

I hadn't seen her in seven years, the last time being my daughter's funeral. My mother lived three thousand miles away, and we had many differences that kept us even farther apart emotionally. Yes, we were estranged.

A friend of mine advised me to think of one good thing about mother that I could hold in my heart, one good thing that would ease the pain of self-recrimination.

Darned if I didn't come up with something. If my mother left me with one good thing that is life-lasting, one thing to thank her for, it's the love of reading.

She loved to read. So did I. When I was a teenager and grew too old for children's books, I raided her library.

She had hundreds, perhaps thousands of books. I sit here surrounded by hundreds, perhaps thousands of my own. I've never counted; however, she maintained a list of what she had, in part to avoid buying copies of books she already had. I've never sat down to make up a list--and I know for a fact I have some duplicates!

There's a scene in the movie City Slickers, where one of the characters wistfully recalls that even when he and his father couldn't communicate about anything else, they could still talk about baseball.

If my mother and I couldn't communicate about anything else, we could still talk about books.

Love of reading might well have led to my love of writing, who knows. Either way, it's something I likely owe to her.

Thank you, Mother. I'm glad you gave me this legacy--and that you've found peace.

And thank you, Cheryl W, for being that wise and understanding friend!


Phyllis said...

Sharing a love of books really is a bond, on a level not really understood by people who don't love books. I'm glad you and your mother had that common thread between you.

Losing your mother is a very hard thing, whether you are close or not close, emotionally and/or geographically. I'm sorry for your sadness, and I'm thinking of you.

Vicki said...

What a wonderful bond to share and to be given. And what a special and wise friend to remind you to think of one thing.

Without the love of reading passed on to you we may never have had True Pretenses and all the other wonderful worlds in your head.

Lot's of hugs are coming to you. As I said in my email You Are An Amazing Woman, one whom I'm proud to know and call friend. :)

JulieLeto said...

Karen, I'm really sorry for your loss. But I'm really glad that you had such a fabulous friend help you put things into perspective. Much love to you!

Karen Lingefelt said...

Thank you all. I seem to have a lot of fab friends!