Joan Joyce Schiavon (1928 – 1987)
|My mother, Joan Joyce Schiavon
“So when are you going to write about my Grandmother?”
A few evenings ago, my son, Michael, asked the question I have avoided for far too long.
I told him I was trying to work toward writing about my mother but struggled with it because we were so close. The pain of losing her was holding me back, even now.
Michael pressed for a better answer. Born in 1988, just eight months after my mother’s death at age 59 from lung cancer, he never had the chance to know her in person, as he had known my father and his paternal grandparents. Nor, he reminded me, had his younger brother and sister, Kevin and Erin.
Michael added that she was not just my mother, but his and his siblings’ grandmother, their Nana, too. He wanted to know more about her – the story of how she got lost as a toddler in the Michigan woods; what it was like to grow up during the Great Depression; her struggles and her triumphs; her sense of humor; her fascination with Mexico; and her passionate love for my father, her daughters, and her grandchildren.
It was then that I realized that this year will mark 25 years – a quarter of a century – since my mother died. My mother would have smiled at me in her wise and gentle way and said it was high time to move forward. She would have been right. Silly me to not have heard her voice in my heart. It is time to do this. It is time to honor my wonderful mother and to share her life with my precious children and the rest of the world.
I will do my best to do that, beginning today. For Michael, Kevin, and Erin. For my sisters, my family, and myself.
And for my mother, Joan Joyce Schiavon, whom I love more than words could ever say and whose warm embrace I still feel, all these years later. “I knew you could do this,” she might have said knowingly. “Better late than never.”
Copyright © 2012 Linda Huesca Tully