Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving and Birthdays

I love Thanksgiving. It's my favorite American holiday and not just because the focus is on thanks and giving and food, lots of food. See, my mother's birthday falls near Thanksgiving and I can't help but think about her and what an extraordinary woman she was.
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Recently, my uncle emailed me some old pictures (I don't have a scanner) so it's lovely to share this picture of my mom at age 22. Isn't she simply beautiful? I can almost hear her voice, her silvery bell laugh. She's married, keeps house, is a mother of two boys already. My sister and I haven't yet arrived on scene. She died over twenty years ago at the age of 51. I still miss her.
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I share stories about her with my children and she will live in their hearts long after I'm gone. I'm writing a few vignettes -- things I remember, things she told me -- and I hope it will paint a fuller picture.
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Not only was she a character in real life, but I've borrowed many of her traits for mothers in my stories. Driving Lessons, my young-adult short story contest winner (Children's Writer) a few years ago, captures her voice. I really should find a home for that story ... ah, the writing life. I am thankful to have one. Very much.

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13 comments:

kevan said...

Ahhh, you are definitely your mother's daughter, Vijaya! And YES -you absolutely MUST find a place for Driving Lessons. That is such a moving piece.

MollyMom103 said...

Yes, you are wholly your mother's daughter. That's just a beautiful picture, I think perhaps you might revisit Driving Lessons and see if you might find more there...just a thought.

Evelyn said...

What a lovely picture, Vijaya! Your mother was beautiful, and you do indeed look much like her. Thanks for sharing this special part of your life with us. I'm glad her birthday comes near Thanksgiving, so you have that extra joy of remembering her at this time of giving thanks.

Nandini said...

Vijaya,
I love the picture of your mother; you look so much like her! I'm sorry you lost her so soon in life. My Mum married young too, and raised four girls and a boy with special needs, all while following my military Dad all over India. I lucky to still have her, even though she is halfway across the world. She has always supported my choices, and my writing.

A while ago I posted some old pictures of my Mum (and her pets) on my blog. Have a look

http://www.nandinibajpai.com/2008_07_01_archive.html

Happy Thanksgiving!
Nandini

Fiona said...

Oh my goodness, the resemblance is uncanny! That could have been you when you were 22.

Your children will be grateful for your stories when they are older. What a gift.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Jen said...

I'm sure your mother is very proud! The first thing that struck me is that I see your daughter in her... the mouth and the tilt of the head.

Vijaya said...

Thank you. I didn't see the resemblance until I saw both pictures on the same screen.

Kevan and Molly, I hope to find a home for Driving Lessons by itself, but I also see it (revised) as a last chapter of a book of which I have several chapters written ...

Nandini, thank you for visiting. I will check out your family pictures as well ... Even though I miss my mom, my mother-in-law gives me some TLC when I need it. She's wonderful.

Fiona -- the writing plate is always overflowing ...

Vijaya said...

Oh. My. Goodness. Jen. You're right. My daughter has my maternal grandmother's elbows ...

Kelly said...

Yes, you do resemble your lovely mother very much!
I love how you described her silvery bell laugh..so pretty!

Vijaya said...

Thank you, Kelly.

laurasalas said...

Oh, what a stunning photo. And what a lovely tribute, Vijaya. How wonderful that you have so many stories to tell your own kids. I wish I knew more about my own grandparents.

Stella said...

What a lovely vignette of your mother. She looks so young! And you do closely resemble her.

I lost my Mum last year and I miss her terribly. But, I'm thankful she was around long enough to meet her grandsons.

Vijaya said...

Oh, Stella, I'm sorry about your mom. It's still too soon for you not to miss her all the time. How wonderful that she got to see your boys. That's the part that hits me hard sometimes ... but I take comfort in knowing that she is our guardian angel, watching over us.
Hugs.