Friday, November 26, 2010

A Christmas memory from Cheri Paris Edwards

Happy Black Friday, y'all! Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! If you're shopping till you're dropping today, make sure to pick up a few books to celebrate NBABBABAAGITSNBM.

Following is a guest post from Cheri Paris Edwards, who will be giving away a copy of her brand new novel THE OTHER SISTER. (You can read an excerpt here.) Leave her a comment and share a holiday memory of your own or suggest a book we should all read. A winner will be chosen at random and announced on December 20th.



It was clear Christmas was Mama’s favorite time of the year as soon as you stepped inside her home. Sparkling white lights draped over fragrant sprigs of eucalyptus and glowing candlelight brightened the rooms. Fat gold ribbon curled in oversized champagne glasses sitting on tabletops and Mama perched on her white couch like the queen of her own kingdom, instructing us kids to do whatever was needed. Mama didn’t fool us though. We sibs knew that she was really a princess—a girl of a woman, who believed in fairy tales AND the Lord.

When Mama became ill two years ago, we all took turns helping her. In the hospital, she refused to let nurses bathe her, telling them, “My daughters will do it.” And, we did. Once she was home, we stayed with her in shifts. We never could figure out if she couldn’t do things for herself or wouldn’t. To some extent we had waited on Mama a long time and we wondered if maybe she just got used to depending on others, but we cared for her anyway. Mama lived a year and 6 months past the Mother’s Day Sunday when she lost consciousness in my sister’s garage. My sister told me as we prepared for her funeral that Mama said Jesus sent her back that day, that’s when she heard the two of us praying, and we saw her body snap back to life.

Today as I drove passed my mailbox I wished it held one of Mama’s handwritten cards—the ones I didn’t even open sometimes. I miss you, Mama.

My newest book, “The Other Sister” is dedicated to my Mother.

11 comments:

wdjenkins1 said...

Your mother would be proud, Cheri. Your mother IS proud.

Tea said...

Your writing is so beautiful and touches on the reality we know. Glad I stopped by.

Tea said...

The story makes me want to cry. Keep writing, Cheri. You've got a special gift.

Mardel said...

Beautiful guest post. We should all appreciate our family while they're here with us, because once they're gone...we're going to miss them bad. Thanks for the reminder.

I read the excerpt of the book, also - I love how the book starts off. :)

Cheri Paris Edwards said...

Thank you. It's been two months and a few days since she passed away and this time last year we were together for Thanksgiving. It's a new reality, but I'm thankful for the memories and I know she's with us still.

Tea said...

Cheri, I know you miss her. I still miss my mom. Take care.

Carleen Brice said...

Cheri, My mom died 18 years ago and I still remember how rough it was. Sending you lots of peace.

atinad787 said...

Although all relationships can be challenging (mother/daugher can top the list -- I know both sides), I've grown to understand that we only miss the people who matter the most. It saddens us to mourn, but precious memories -- good and bad -- create a legacy for us to treasure and share.

Cheri Paris Edwards said...

Thank you Carleen. It's still very raw for everyone. @atinad787 - you are very right. In my case my Mom was my only consistent parent, so though our relationship was conflicted it's the only one I had--it's a new reality without Mama. We will adjust but I know as Carleen attests she'll ALWAYS be missed.

Carleen Brice said...

I too had a conflicted relationship with my mother, but I'd give my right arm to have a minute with her again. Cheri, you are right. It gets easier with time, but you never, ever stop missing her. I think that's a good thing though. Imagine if you could just fill that hole in your heart with some other person. That doesn't seem right somehow.

EbethT said...

It is a difficult task to write about our mothers, because we have a hard time conveying, even accepting, the human frailty of motherhood in direct correlation with the nourishing characteristics. From what I have read so far, you have done an amazing job of it. I cannot wait to read the completion of the story.