My Wonderful Mother

Joan Joyce Schiavon (1928 – 1987)

My mother, Joan Joyce Schiavon
Age 26
Chicago, 1954
“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

3 Thoughts to “My Wonderful Mother

  1. Linda, I'm looking forward to reading that, although I know it will be hard for you. Sometimes, you just need to trust that there can be healing in remembering. And a blessing in passing these remembrances along.

  2. Linda ~ I know all to well that "holding back" feeling . . . I go through it myself when it comes to writing about her. I lost my beautiful mom in July of 2010 and it still feels like yesterday but they do live on in our hearts forever. I like how you said, "Whose warm embrace I still feel, after all these years later." I know that feeling too. I look forward to reading about your precious mom too and it might give me the strength to write about mine . . . thank you for such a beautiful post. Jacqi said it best, "There can be healing in remembering."

  3. Thank you, Gini. I am sorry about your own loss. Writing my parents' story has gotten easier since I posted this article a year ago. I think you will find that, too. As hard as it can be to start, you will feel your mother's presence every time you do so. Not only that, but writing about her will allow you to appreciate her in ways you might never have imagined – an unexpected gift!

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