Welcome to week 44 of the Marketing for Romance Writers 52-week blog challenge. This week’s prompt is A Person That Inspires Me.
I have to be honest with you–this one made me pause. At first glance, I don’t have anything to write about this week. I don’t consciously think about feeling inspired by another person…ever. I’m well aware that everybody on the planet is as flawed and fallible as I am, which leaves me with the impression that most of us are just faking it, hoping we appear to have it all together, sometimes believing our own spin, but most of the time are barely hanging on, barely keeping our heads above water, and hoping to get through another day.
I’ve been asked this question in many different contexts over the years, and I’ve never been able to come up with a good answer. There’s nobody I consider “my hero,” nobody I consciously look up to, nobody I consider a mentor. Certainly no-one in the usual places people suggest we look. Politicians? Absolutely not. Celebrities. Um…no. Athletes? You’re kidding, right?
But hen I think of the people from whom I draw strength, and I realize there are people who inspire me. It’s been a tough few weeks for me, and this week alone I’ve been inspired by my daughters, my granddaughters, and a handful of friends, not to mention my mom.
And that’s who I’ve decided to talk about today. My mom.
I admire her, and that’s the bottom line.As a kid, I thought she was perfect. Then I found out she wasn’t, and that upset me a bit, but eventually I “forgave” her for being human. And then I finally grew up and realized that merely being human wasn’t an issue. Once I learned to see my mom as a woman just doing her best to get through this life in one piece, I began to see just how truly remarkable she is.
She’s been alive now for 92 years, so she’s working on her 93rd trip around the planet, which is something in itself. Not many of us make it into our 90s, but I guess Mom comes from solid stock because her older brother is still chugging along, too, at 95. Their oldest sister was in her late 80s when she died, their dad was 89 when he passed on. I’m counting on those genes to carry me to a ripe old age.
Bit I digress…
Mom has always been the best wife, mother, and grandmother she knows how to be. She never did anything by half-measures. She sewed our clothes, cooked our food, grew and preserved our food. Oh, sure, she’s faltered and stumbled, but she’s always gotten right back up on her feet and kept on going. She’s endured hardship and heartache, pain and sorrow, but she’s also enjoyed joy and love and happiness.
I talked to her the other day about my memories of our vacations when I was a kid, and I expressed my awe at how she spent days getting us ready every year, doing laundry, packing suitcases, frying chicken, making potato salad, mixing dough for rolls and baking them so we’d have a delicious morsel to go with our potato salad and chicken. I told her how much I now, as an adult, appreciate all her hard work. She laughed and said, “Was it work? I didn’t know that. I was just having fun.”
My mom taught me to read when I was just 4 years old simply by reading to be so often I learned how to recognize the words. She bought me a gazillion Nancy Drew books, which I appreciate more than I can say–although she eventually sold them to buy Hardy Boys books for my brother who I’m pretty sure never actually read a single one of them. When I got older and she realized that the books I was reading were too simple for me, she introduced me to authors like Willa Cather and Edna Ferber and threw open the windows on my world.
She taught me to be a free-thinker and tried hard to teach me not to doubt myself. She taught me to value family. She has always believed that her children and grandchildren are the best human beings on the planet, and taught me that people will either rise or fall to the level of your expectations, so always to expect the best from the people around me
She taught me how to crochet and how to knit, and how to navigate the almost exclusively right-handed world of my childhood as a left-handed person. She championed me, went to bat for me when I needed someone in my corner. She taught me music and encouraged me to write, and she taught resilience and perseverance and unconditional love through example. Not unconditional acceptance or every stupid mistake I ever made, but love even in the face of some pretty big blunders.
When I was a girl, I thought she found my active imagination and deep emotions trying. By the time I became an adult and had published my first few books, she admitted that my annoying imagination and my ability to feel things strongly were two traits that made me a good writer.
Not only is my mom probably the biggest influence in my life, she’s also one of the few people on the planet who actually inspire me but, I have to admit that I draw inspiration from her siblings, as well. They’re a scrappy bunch who don’t suffer fools and don’t take much guff from anybody. I’m proud to be one of them. And funny? Oh my gosh! The things that come out of their mouths! I guess it’s true that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
Though my mom’s strength is ebbing, her eyesight filing, her memory is growing more lacy by the day, she’s still hanging in there. She’s a rock star through and through.
This is a blog hop, so make sure you check out where the other participating authors find inspiration. Their links are below…
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