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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Dear Mom


Blog Tour Stops:

Yesterday I visited DL Hammons - From Contest Fail to Contract Win

Today I am at Katie O'Sullivan's blog - A Day in the Life of Detective Avrianna Heavenborn

As well as, Beverly Stowe McClure's blog - 10 Pizza Toppings Your Probably Never Considered

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Last year I contributed to a book titled “Dear Mom,” a project dedicated to the mother/daughter relationship, with a letter to my mom. Countless other daughters did the same. These letters were used for a play, which had its premier last 2014 in Philadelphia. Even though they put "Christine Fey" as my name in the contributor's list, and above my letter put "Texas" as my location (I live in Florida), I am still very honored to have had a part in this amazing project.

My mom and I last August at my brother's wedding.

Here’s my letter:

Dear Mom,

As a baby, you nurtured me. When I was born only six pounds and was rapidly losing weight, threatened with being put back into the hospital, you sweetly stuffed me with food to keep me in your arms at home. As a child, you taught me how to read and write; the very two things that have become my passion. You taught me how to smile the same smile that you have, and laugh. And yes, you taught me how to love. Quietly.

As a teenager, you nurtured me again. When I was enveloped in pain from scoliosis, lying with my face buried in my pillow, you would massage my sore back with your arthritis fingers so I could fall asleep. After the surgery to correct my spine, you took care of me every second of every day. I felt a lot of pain, shed tears, and had many bad days, but you were there for it all. 

Moving with a rod screwed into my spine was very difficult at first. Walking to the mailbox would drain my energy, but you walked with me to help me build my strength, gently pushing me to go a few steps farther each time. You slathered ointment onto my sensitive scar and even shaved my prickly legs.

Throughout my teenage years, we moved many times because we didn’t have the money to stay in one place, but you kept a roof over my head no matter what. For awhile, I didn’t have a bed to sleep on, but I always had a room to sleep in, and that is all thanks to you. You did what you had to do to keep me sheltered and to keep food in my belly, even walking to work in the blaze of Florida heat.

As a young lady, you taught me to never give up. When I left high school, you never made me feel like a failure. You helped me to keep my chin up and push for the future that we both knew I could have.

Although I am older now, you still do so much for me. You understand me and the situation I am in that is keeping me locked in place, like a ballerina stuck on a jewelry box. You are content with helping me until my true destiny decides to kick in. Whenever it does, you are happy waiting with me. And you are the best passenger I could ask for!

In a million years, I will never be able to pay you back for all you have done and are still doing for me. If you weren’t you, I would be lost. You are my writing buddy, my healer, and my friend. Someday, I hope to be able to do for you what you have done for me. After all, you raised me into the woman I am today, and for that I am so very thankful.

Love,
       Your Quietly Loving Daughter

So many of our baby pictures look the same.

This one was taken on her birthday a few years ago.


QUESTIONS: What would you say to your mom in a letter? What did you do on Mother’s Day?



78 comments:

  1. What a moving letter and we all thank your mother for your lovely smile. I have written about my mom many times in my blog-, especially early on. Six months after I started blogging, in the summer of 2005, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. She hasn't recognized anyone in years nor is she able to talk or do anything for herself now. It is so sad. Love your mom and cherish her. Even though we often lived on opposite sides of the globe, we were always close, writing letters back and forth and later emails (thankfully I have those letters stored safely away).

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    1. Thank you, Sage! She has no idea I even posted this letter on here. I'll be telling her soon. :)

      I am so sorry to hear about your mom. Alzheimer's disease is scary and it's one thing I'm worried about with my mom although she shows no sign of having or developing it. Thank you for your sweet words.

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  2. An amazing woman! She understands what it is to sacrifice for something or someone. So glad she has a daughter that appreciates it so much!
    Life & Faith in Caneyhead

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    1. Thank you, Barbara! She is amazing. :)

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  3. Lovely letter, Chrys. And great photos.

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  4. That was a wonderful letter, Chrys. Your mother was amazing. Congratulations on being included in that anthology.

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    1. Thank you, Alex. She still is amazing. :)

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  5. What a beautiful letter! Your mom sounds awesome. I sent my mom a present (stained glass hummingbird) and we had a chat on the phone. If I wrote a letter to my mom, I would have to apologize for being such a snot during my younger teen years. Now that I have my own two daughters, I'm getting it all back in spades though. Karma, baby.

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    1. I think our moms understand that teens can be a pain in the butt. I don't think they need apologies for it...just love in return. :)

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  6. Absolutely beautiful, Chrys. And you and your mom are both gorgeous, great pictures! Your letter is so moving, and your mom is so inspiring. Wow. Thank you for sharing.

    For Mother's Day, my siblings and I put together a huge frame full of old pictures and took new pictures with each of us holding a sign that ultimately spelled out "We love you so much, Mom!". It turned out really nicely, if I do say so myself ;)

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    1. Thank you, Anne! And thanks for reading!

      A collage of pictures is always a wonderful gift. :)

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  7. Sage, Chris, and all:

    Alzheimer's affects moms and dads and it affects those who have born no physical children. What I learned, after my mother began displaying memory loss, is that the disease actually begins forming in the brain up to 20 years before the actual symptoms of memory loss appear. There are many things we can do in our lives, NOW, before we reach our 50's and 60's, to help prevent this dreadful disease from inflicting itself on our own lives. (I plan to write a post on this later.) There are many supplements we can take, etc., foods we can eat, and we must know the early warning signs. I plan on writing a blog post on what we can do now, while we're in our 40s and 50s, to not suffer the same fate that many of our beloved parents are suffering.

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    1. Yes, anyone can get Alzheimers. Twenty years before? I didn't know that. That makes the disease that much scarier. I'll be looking for that post, Jane.

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  8. What a sweet letter, Chrys.

    I think the best way to pay back parents who have been loving to us is to extend that kindness and encouragement, good ethical and moral values, to others we encounter, to future generations. A tree forever sending out strong and healthy roots.

    For us, personally, we like to make clothing and financial contributions to BigBrother/BigSister and, here in Boston, the Fresh Air Fund, an organization that brings kids from the inner city to the country for one week to experience possibility and live their dreams. There are many children in our country who have not had the benefit of good reliable parenting, and we like to share what we have to make their lives a little more stable and secure.

    As always,

    Jane

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    1. Thank you, Jane! :) You're right, and I try to do that whenever I can.

      That's a great idea. We have to remember these children who need our help.

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  9. Sounds like you and your mother have a wonderful relationship, Chrys. Your personal story is also inspiring and you both look beautiful! How great that your letter was published in an anthology. Too bad about the errors, but at leas more people will read it and may also be inspired by it.
    My mother lives over 2000 miles away, is 91 and has dementia, but she's in a loving, caring environment. I sent her flowers and presents, plus we chatted by phone on Mother's Day. Thankfully, she still knows me.

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    1. We do. :)

      Thank you, Debbie! The errors did get me down at first, but now I don't care because my letter is included with a bunch of other wonderful letters from daughters to mothers and that's something special. :)

      That is heartbreaking, Debbie, but I am so happy she remembers you. I can't imagine how hard that would be for any child.

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  10. Wow, Chrys, that was so powerful. I had no idea how many struggles you went through when you were younger--I'm so sorry for everything you suffered, but I'm glad you had such a supportive mother.

    The mistakes the editors made were inexcusable, though. I hate it when that happens. I was recently acknowledged in a novel, and the author spelled both my names wrong. That just takes something away from the achievement, at least for me.

    Beautiful tribute. * Hugs *

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    1. Thank you, J.H.! My past was a difficult one. Maybe I'll share more about it one day and delve deeper into the things I highlighted in this letter. Maybe...

      I'm blessed to have my mom in my life.

      It is inexcusable, especially when my name was in the letter I gave them as well as in my emails back and forth with the creator. *sighs* But there's nothing I can do about that now.

      Having your name misspelled in the acknowledgements would suck. I would feel like I wasn't even thanked.

      *Hugs*

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  11. Sorry about the above. I wrote it all wrong.

    What a wonderful book, If my daughter wrote one with the same title I don't think it would have the same sentiment.
    Your mother is a very lucky lady to have a daughter like you.
    Yvonne.

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    1. That's okay. I deleted it for you. :)

      I'm sorry to hear that, Yvonne. *HUGS!!*

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  12. Your mother will love this letter when you show it to her. Does she know your letter made the anthology/play? If so, she'll be so proud of you!

    You're right. Your baby pic and your mom's baby pic... looks like it could be the same baby!

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    1. Yes, she does know it. I'm not sure if she read it though...she cries easily. But she was very proud. Thanks!

      There's many more pictures where we look exactly the same. It's freaky but cool too. :)

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  13. Chrys, those are great mother daughter pics! My mom deserves a million tax free dollars for raising four kids, all born within a seven year span.

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  14. Wow, you are both amazing people. What a wonderful tribute to your mom and so nice that she has seen it. Talk about bragging rights! A published letter about how great she is, well done.

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    1. Haha! I never thought of it as bragging rights. :D

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  15. That was such a sweet letter. I'm going to visit my mother tomorrow, finally, for Mother's Day. She's in a care facility so we'll go for a walk outside and share the treats I'll bring. She'll forget my name a few times, but I'll remind her. Then she'll have a brilliant humerus insight into something and we'll laugh. She'll ask me the same questions over and over again and I'll answer with the same patience she had for me while I was growing up.

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    1. That sounds like a lovely visit. I'm sure she'll love it. :)

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  16. A wonderful letter indeed and great pic. Mine deserves to win the lottery after putting up with me lol

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    1. Apparently a lot of our moms do. ;)

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  17. OMG, what a beautiful letter, Chrys! Congrats in getting in the book! Your mom sounds like an amazing woman! You two are both so beautiful! For Mother's Day I focus on my kids, i'm so grateful for their love. As you know I have no relationsip with my parents. Whaenever I give I get hurt so I had to step away, sadly.

    Beautiful tribute to your Mom, Chrys and she sounds very deserving of it!

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    1. Aw! Thank you so much, Lisa! I'll tell her you said so. :)

      I'm sorry you don't have a relationship with either of your parents. I know what that's like with one of mine...

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  18. What sweet pictures of you and your mother! What a wonderful tribute you wrote for her that got included in that book :) I'm thinking she most have seen it at some time?

    betty

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    1. Thank you, Betty! And yes, she has seen it. :)

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  19. What a wonderful tribute to your mom. I am driving by on the A to Z Road Trip. Happy to stop in!

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  20. That is a beautiful tribute to your mom and I am certain she shed a tear when she read it. I hope you read it to her. I hope you do not have too much back pain now. Your mom helped you in more ways than she can realize. I say it like that because mothers never think they have done enough. I went, with my brother, to visit my mom at the long term care home. We were able to get her downstairs in the courtyard. She rarely wants to leave her room. She has great difficulty in breathing. I guess my mom is only half here. She knows me and knows some of the past but her memory is fading. I miss our talks and the way she could lift me up when i was down. She was my rock and now I must be hers

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    1. My mom is very sappy, so you can count on the fact that she shed many tears. :)

      She did help me more than she knows. And I tell her so all the time.

      I'm sorry to hear about your mom. I'm glad she still knows you. I am giving you strong virtual hugs, Birgit.

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  21. Chrys,

    What a beautiful letter to your mom. You look much like her.

    My mom lives in another state and at least 1500 miles from me, so I sent her a card and talked to her on the phone. I'm the eldest of seven and she had most of my siblings there so that was nice.

    My mother has dementia too so things are tough at times. I hate to see her losing her memory but sometimes you can't stop fate or old age. She's done so much for all of all kids as we were growing up and sacrificed a lot in her life.

    Cherish your mom while you can because you never know what the future will bring.

    Sunni
    http://sunni-survivinglife.blogspot.com/

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    1. It makes me so sad to hear about all the mothers who have dementia or Alzheimer's. Thanks, Sunni. You brought tears to my eyes.

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  22. What an amazing and powerful letter. I saw such great Mom tributes everywhere this weekend. Mine was out of town, though.

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    1. Thank you, Medeia! I hope you can visit with your mom soon. :)

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  23. What a beautiful letter to your mom. I'm sure it means a lot to her that you appreciate all she did for you. I try to say the same things to my mom as well.

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    1. Thank you, S.L.! We can't say it enough. :)

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  24. Awww. This is the sweetest thing. I've never had a close relationship with my mom. It hurts my heart a little, especially now that I'm a new mom myself. I can't help but wish things could be different... but who knows... maybe one day they will be! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I'm sorry that you don't have a close relationship with your mom, Julie. But Happy (belated) Mother's Day to you!!!!

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  25. What a beautiful letter! So sorry they misspelled your name and had the wrong location in the book. I've had that done to me so many times...usually people spell my last name "Farris!" Your mom seems like an amazing woman.

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    1. Ha! There were many times when I was typing your last name and added that extra "r." I always caught it though. :)

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  26. What an amazingly sweet letter. You have a fantastic mom! :) I strive hard to be the best mom I can be for my little guy. I didn't have a Mother's day since we were visiting in-laws and that situation is always stressful. Yet knowing my son loves me is enough.

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    1. Visiting in-laws. Ugh! Sorry you didn't get to have a Mother's Day. Happy (belated) Mother's Day to you!

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  27. Such a sweet post! Quietly loving. That's the best. I think that explains it perfectly. Sorry they got your name and state wrong. I suppose it's sort of funny in hindsight.

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    1. Quietly loving describes me just right because I am quiet. :)

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  28. Your Mum sounds an amazing woman and it's clear how much you appreciate all she's done for you.

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  29. Keeping the momentum of a-z alive with the road trip, Sandy at Bridge and Beyond

    Sweet letter, congrats to you both. Would be nice if all Moms and Daughters had such a special relationship.

    Mothers Day, I worked in the yard. Mom passed about 6 years ago, and my daughter lives out of state, though we did get to talk on phone.

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    1. I'm so sorry for your loss, Sandy! I'm glad you could talk to your daughters on the phone, though.

      Thanks for stopping by! :)

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  30. Hi Chrys - what a very moving tribute to your mother publicly set out for us to read and understand you more ... and to see the love your mother has given you. Mothers hold much strength, which they pass on to their little ones - yours has certainly given you some of her determination to be as healthy as possible ... so wonderful to see the photos and to read the letters were collaged into a play - must have been wonderful to see, hear and to read.

    Congratulations to you both - and with hugs to you both: mother and daughter together .. what a great team - cheers Hilary

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    1. Thank you, Hilary! I wasn't sure about sharing it at first...it was published a year ago, but something told me to do it this year. :)

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  31. That was a great letter to your mom. You're a better daughter than I am. I keep thinking I should really call my mom more often. She's done much for me, teaching me to accept myself no matter my peculiarities, showing me how to be a strong woman despite life's setbacks, and supporting me in my many wild endeavors.

    Thank you to all moms!

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    1. I don't think I'm a better daughter. I have my moments like any daughter. I'm sure your mom knows how much you love and appreciate her.

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  32. Your mother sounds truly amazing - what a strong, selfless, loving, courageous person. Your letter was so beautiful. Thank you for sharing it!

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    1. Thank you for your sweet comment, Liz. :)

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  33. That's a lovely letter, and a beautiful picture!

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  34. What a touching tribute, Chrys! No wonder your Mom teared up. It took many years for me to understand why my mother could not be one, but mental illness is layered with so many murky dimensions there isn't always a definitive answer. I like to think she would have been the kind of mom you have :-) At any rate I've somehow managed to raise a loving daughter of my own who actually thinks I'm worth having and I wouldn't change it for the world! A wonderfully introspective post, thanks for sharing!

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    1. I'm so sorry to hear your mother suffers from a mental illness. That's hard. I bet you're a wonderful mom, Diedre. Your daughter is lucky. :)

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  35. Thanks, hon. She passed away many, many years ago at a fairly young age.

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    1. I'm sorry you lost her so young. (Hugs!)

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  36. That's an interesting idea. My daughter same over for Mother's Day.

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    1. I recommend all daughters to write their moms a letter for next years Mother's Day. It's a nice experience for both and something she can treasure.

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  37. My comment didn't go through the first time.

    I don't come from a touchy-feely family, but as I've gotten older, I've come to see the importance of some things my mother always harped about, like cleaning regularly and keeping a budget. She really went the opposite way from her mother, and I have the same casual attitude towards organization and cleaning as my maternal grandma. The disorganized gene obviously skipped a generation. My mother went the opposite way from her mother in a lot of ways, particularly the organization and cleaning. Perhaps, if I ever have kids, I'll have the same experience.

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    1. My family is far from touchy-feely. That would be interesting...maybe.

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  38. Forget to say that's a really beautiful letter you wrote to your mother. It's so important to tell those we love, admire, etc., how we feel about them while they're still in this world. That feeling was what inspired George Harrison to make his song "Pure Smokey," expressing gratitude and thanks before it was too late.

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    1. Thank you, Carrie-Anne! I agree. And sometimes, like for me, it's easier to write down the things we want to say than to say them face-to-face.

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