Friday, May 10, 2013

No Gift Can Suffice. Still, We Try!

As you know my favorite way to connect with people is through books.  My own mother is getting a bag of them on Sunday.  Most, not all, of them are promotional copies.  I went to a writers' conference not long ago and two of her favorite authors were there.  Oh yeah, "Favorite Daughter." It's in the bag!  (terrible, terrible  :))

Wanna win the title in your family?  Here are some ideas -

  • Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou (Brand new.  She'd be the hip mom on the block with this one in hand.) Here is a page from it:
Frequently, I have been asked how I got to be this way. How did I, born black in a white country, poor in a society where wealth is adored and sought after at all costs, female in an environment where only large ships and some engines are described favorably by using the female pronoun—how did I get to be Maya Angelou?
Many times I have wanted to quote Topsy, the young black girl in Uncle Tom’s Cabin. I have been tempted to say, “I dunno. I just growed.” I never used that response, for a number of reasons. First, because I read the book in my early teens and the ignorant black girl embarrassed me. Second, I knew that I had become the woman I am because of the grandmother I loved and the mother I came to adore.
Their love informed, educated, and liberated me. I lived with my paternal grandmother from the time I was three years old until I was thirteen. My grandmother never kissed me during those years. However, when she had company, she would summon me to stand in front of her visitors. Then she would stroke my arms asking, “Have you ever seen arms more beautiful, straight as a plank and brown as peanut butter?” Or she would give me a tablet and a pencil. She would call out numbers to me in front of her company.
“All right sister, put 242, then 380, then 174, then 419; now add that.” She would speak to the visitors, “Now watch. Her uncle Willie has timed her. She can finish that in two minutes. Just wait.”
When I told the answer, she would beam with pride. “See? My little professor.”
Love heals. Heals and liberates. I use the word love, not meaning sentimentality, but a condition so strong that it may be that which holds the stars in their heavenly positions and that which causes the blood to flow orderly in our veins.

This book has been written to examine some of the ways love heals and helps a person to climb impossible heights and rise from immeasurable depths.
  • The Lost Daughter - A Memoir by Mary Williams (African American girl adopted by Jane Fonda as a teenager)  This book sounds so deeply wonderful and inspirational.  A literary personification of motherly love from a damaged-turned-healed daughter's perspective.
  • Is This Tomorrow? by Caroline Leavitt - Not mother-related, but just came out this week and a wonderful author and person.  Her next book after Pictures Of You which is so good it led me to discover the highlight function on my kindle.  This one, if possible, could be even better.
  • Invisibility by Andrea Cremer and David Levithan - more for you than her, unless she likes YA.  This one also came out this week.  David is one of my favorite authors and I think this one sounds fantastic.  I just have to share it here. :)
  • Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple.  This is one of my favorite books of all time and every mother I know, young or old, has loved it as much as I do.  It is not directly about mothers or mothering, but the main characters are a daughter and her mother.  It is hilarious and affecting.  A great read, all around.
Obviously, there are millions of great books out there.  These are just the few on the top of my mind today.  If you can, buy them at an independent bookstore instead of Barnes and Noble/Amazon.  This is the perfect occasion for it.  I'm going to misquote this, but I heard something like - "The chains lead you to good sellers.  Booksellers lead you to good books."  (I think I like my version better.  Maybe.  Possibly.  :))

Some other mom-type quotes, too good to paraphrase, that might make a great card?!
  • I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life. -Abraham Lincoln
  • Some mothers are kissing mothers and some are scolding mothers, but it is love just the same, and most mothers kiss and scold together. -Pearl S. Buck
  • The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness. -Honoré de Balzac
  • When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child. -Sophia Loren, Women and Beauty
I hope everyone has a great weekend, celebrating or being celebrated!  To those whose mothers have passed, my prayers are with you on Sunday.  What a glorious legacy she left behind in you.

Take care!  All love!

M.M. Finck
Writer, Women's Fiction

No comments:

Post a Comment