Mothers. There is no denying the eternal bond shared between a mom and her child. Moms are the first life sustaining food source, our first love, teacher, judge, and disciplinarian. They shared our butterflies in our tummies with the first day of school; cried with us the first time we skinned our knee; struggled with us through homework assignments and class projects until all hours of the night.
They worried about us as we navigated through our teen years. They listened tirelessly about our first love. They cried and held us as we grieved our first broken heart.
They taught us how to be moms, and celebrated becoming grandmas.
And as we grew older, they handed the reigns over our own children took us through the same journey.
But then they pass, leaving a lifetime of love and memories, life lessons and laughter, tears and torment as we wish for just one more day with them.
April 7, 1942 my mother Joanne Jones came into this world, born to her mother, Evaughn Jones. Mom passed away on August 19, 2012 at 70 years old, leaving her own mom and three of her four daughters behind as she joined her eldest daughter, Jane, beyond The Veil.
It’s been nearly seven years and not a day goes by that I do not think of her. Some days the missing part is so intense it’s hard to breathe. Other days, I find myself talking with her as if she is right next to me, knowing what she would be saying if she could be there physically.
There are smells, songs, pictures, and memories that keep her alive. When I make her famous fruitcake, or sauce and meatballs, or eggplant parmesan, Mom is right there beside me.
When I smell Ponds Cold Cream, or Johnson’s Baby Powder, or freshly washed laundry, Mom is right there.
When I sit on my front porch, or on my back deck, or in my living room; when I pass a garage sale or thrift store (her favorite pastimes); when I hear Loretta Lynn, George Strait, or any of the old great country singers . . . there is Mom.
In Ten Bucks and a Wish, Deanna Drake must deal with many losses, including the loss of her mother. Rather than addressing it at the time, Deanna moves away from her home town after her mother’s death, unable to cope with that loss and the loss of her first and only love, Michael (Cord) McCord.
She returns a few years later to deal with the aftermath of her neglect and is forced to clean up the mess that resulted following her refusal to accept her mother’s passing, and the break up with her first love.
By writing about Deanna’s journey and the closure she found in finally accepting her mother’s death, I was able to work through my own grief.
Boxes of letters tied up in string. Canned preserves. Torn flannel night gown with a tissue stuffed in the pocket. Even the kitchen Deanna and Trish eat breakfast in is a replica of the kitchen I ate my Cheerios in growing up. As a writer, I was able to bring my mother (and my sister) back to life through Cord’s mom, Jane McCord. Her no-nonsense, take charge, advice-giving tendencies are both things I remember about my mom and my older sister Jane. And while I can’t bring my Mom and Jane back, I honor them with my words.
Ten Bucks and a Wish was originally called Coming Home. And although the name changed, the story is the same. It’s about wishing things could stay the same, wishing they could change for the better, and making those wishes come true.
If you’ve lost your mom, or anyone you held close in your heart, you don’t have to let them go in sorrow. Hold them close in love, keep the memories alive by sharing their stories.
Ten Bucks and a Wish is more than just a romance. It’s a way to honor my mom, and all the moms who have passed.
So, if your mom is alive, go hug her. If she is passed, light a candle in her memory and tell her you love her. And thank her for the memories and life lessons.
Happy Birthday, Mom. I love you.