I didn't exactly tell the entire story of my road trip on the May 6th road trip blog. A little more happened than just me hunting for my books and eating cheeseburgers. There was a moment where I lost my, um, stuff.
I lost my mother to cancer some years ago. She was the person in my life who most encouraged my love of reading and writing when I was very small, and as I continued to pursue my dreams of writing fiction she was always encouraging me. The day before she died, I was able to tell her that I had a book offer for a thriller I'd written and that the "writing thing" was starting to work. I think it was our last happy moment together; even through the incredible amount of pain she was in she had a smile and encouraging words for me.
The deal fell through about a week after she died. I was still grieving, and the deal collapsing made me feel as though the thing I'd told her to cheer her up in her last days had been a lie. I'd had no control over it, the publisher went bankrupt, but even so I'd felt like I let her down. I never stopped writing, but I did take a hiatus from submitting my work for awhile.
It was a very emotional experience seeing my book on the store shelves. All sorts of things were going through my head that day, among them regrets that not everyone I'd loved was there to see my dream realized. I was heading back so I'd be home in time for my own children, who my mom never got the chance to meet. "Return to Innocence" by Enigma (on a set list I'd named "Happy", ironically enough)cued up on the ole iPod, and I realized that I'd played that song for her the last time just she and I went out to lunch together a few weeks prior to her becoming bedridden. The song was playing, and my book was finally on the shelves, and it was just before Mother's Day and she isn't here to see it.
The road kind of got blurry for the next few miles.
Give your mom an extra kiss and a hug today, and whenever you get a chance in the days that follow. You won't regret it. And if you can't be with your mom, give her a call, and if you can't call write or send her an email or a smoke signal or whatever you can to get your message through, because your mom is someone who is always pulling for you, even if she is no longer around for you to see her doing it.
And sending flowers won't hurt, either.