Wednesday, September 17, 2008

When Family Pulls Together

Welcome to my blog, a public diary chronicling the joys and frustrations of writing for a living, and a few points of interest along my life's meandering journey.

I write inspirational stories about relationships that share wisdom and teach important moral and life lessons, stories in which the reader might find hope, guidance, rekindled affection and a reason to smile.

Please visit www.gregoryelang.com and click the red corner on the home page just beneath the “Projects” tab to learn more about what projects I may be working on.

NOTE: The deadline to offer a mother-daughter story for “Mom’s Little Angel” has passed. Please continue to visit this blog for updates on the book as it begins the last leg of its journey toward publication (Spring, 2009).

Now on to today’s post~

As the book went through its last review before going into production, we discovered there were too many stories about death. Certainly death is a part of life. It is a time when family pulls together and the love shared between the one passing and those left behind is made obvious, but we didn’t want to book to be a downer. To that end, several of these kind of stories were cut. Here’s one, although not appearing in the final book, I thought you’d want to know about:

“A single mother in Texas in the mid-70’s, Florence held down two jobs to make ends meet yet still found the time and way to make sure Gena felt like the most important person on the planet. Whether it was waiting tables at night after working all day in an office or selling Tupperware on the weekends, she saw that Gena got what she needed and more. No amount of fatigue kept her from finding ways to provide for her child, and still she made it a priority that they spend quality time together.

Even after she remarried and began to have additional children with her new husband, Gena remained Florence’s confidante, her special buddy. Their time alone had cemented a bond that was not undone by remarriage or new babies. The days back when it was just the two of them were gone but not forgotten and certainly not minimized in their hearts and memories. Often when they were alone in the house they relived the mischief and fun they had once gotten themselves into, laughing about things only they held dear and understood. They were more than mother and daughter to one another; they were best friends.

Now, more than thirty years later, Gena sometimes struggles to get out of bed in the morning but she always does. She loathes her exhaustion, the sore muscles and tired bones that rob her of sleep and precious time, time to spend simply visiting with her mom. Pushing past the desire to collapse back into bed, she dresses quickly and goes to the spare bedroom where Florence now lives. Gena steps through the door, breakfast and medications in hand, and greets her mother with a cheerful “good morning” where she rests in her hospital bed.

Florence’s brain tumor took from her every familiar facial expression and personality trait as it grew. Once a vain clotheshorse who boasted nearly two-hundred pairs of shoes, she now wore only a single pair of hot pink slippers and cares little if she even has them on. Nor do the food spills her face and gown seem to bother her. Gena dutifully takes her mother to the toilet on the hour every hour in the hope that some modicum of dignity can still be preserved, knowing though that this too will one day be lost. The tumor has robbed both women of much.

Feeding her, Gena wonders if her mother really knows just how much she is adored, or if she has any clue that the strong woman she raised sits before her now afraid of the life she will soon have, a life without her beloved mother, in her eyes the still beautiful and once vital lady who taught her everything about everything.

Gena, the mother of four active boys spread from elementary to high school, curses her exhaustion but does not miss a beat, for she does not know how much more time she will be given to spend with her mom. She does know, however, that in spite of the physical and emotional drain of giving care to her dying mother, she is thankful for every day that they do spend together, just the two of them, as it was when it all began.”

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Now go out and hug somebody!

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