In keeping with the holidays this week, as mentioned in a previous post, Halloween is the "een" before All Hallows, or All Saints Day, November 1.
All Saints Day is a time to remember all those we've lost during the past year, and I'd like to take a moment to remember my mother, who I lost earlier this year.
Relationships with parents are different for everyone. Some people are best friends with their mom or dad, some people have strained relationships with their mom or dad. And then there are people in between. As with any relationship, it takes effort on all parts.
Some of the trickiest parts of my writing involve dealing with the relationship between parents and their children. I've covered everything from the worst examples, as in the Northwest Suburbs series, where the characters have all had to deal with difficult parental relationships, to the closeness between Keith and his mother in Heart for Rent, with an Option. In Return to Hoffman Grove, you see the change in family dynamic when a parent "grows up" and takes responsibility for the damage he's done to his child, and that child (Brody) acknowledging that if he was raised differently, he might have become a different man.
It's easy to blame parents for all the things that are wrong in our lives, but one of the themes I try to keep in all of my books is that people are who they are because of who they are. Certainly parents are the first influence, but they are not the only influence in our lives. Our friends, our teachers, our environment, our society all contribute to the people we become. Genetics is definitely at work, but its more than that.
My mom was a good and faithful woman who worked hard to hold her family together. When her time came, she was ready to go, which made it easier on all of us knowing she was at peace. That doesn't stop us from missing her or stopping in the middle of doing something and thinking, "I should call mom to tell her about this," and then remembering she isn't there.
One of the truths about grief - you don't get over it, you learn to live with it.
For those of you who, like me, have someone to celebrate this All Saints Day, peace be with you.