Monday, July 2, 2012

Writing away your troubles...

I am mourning the passing of my mother and although I don't feel like doing much of anything, I thought it may help to pay a tribute to this strong, family matriarch.

I partially followed in my mom's footsteps--she was a published author, too. She wrote children's short stories for magazines. One of her stories was adapted for use in a grade school reader. She loved kids, and always had a passel of them around. Cousins of all ages spent time with us on the farm, sometimes for weekends or summer vacations and sometimes for a year or two because life in our little house in the woods was better than their lives in the city.

I didn't inherit Mom's passion for raising other people's children, but I did inherit her love of books...and writing. She taught me to read at age 3 (at my insistence).  I was a January baby and in those days, unless you were born before the end of December, you had to start school the next September.  Although I was almost 7 by the time I stepped onto that yellow school bus and thrived on the learning part of Grade 1, I found the social aspect of the experience extremely difficult. Most of my days were spent wishing I was home with my mommy.

Last week as I was going  through old pictures to help my daughter create a video collage for Mom's memorial service, I came across some letters...that I wrote.

Mom told me that whenever I missed her at school, I should write her a letter. My teacher apparently told my mom I talked funny. She was probably right, judging by the way I sounded out some of the words and phrases in those lonely, homesick letters...

Dear Mummy I want to see you now. I guess I will aftoeweat (have to wait) to see you. Begose (because) it is not time to go home. I have a lope in my trot (a lump in my throat). I swlod (swallowed) it now. I hop it will not come again. I hop you are doing fin. I am doing fin.I gaive your letter to Miss.young. I! LOVE! YOU!
good-by for now Eileen p.s. over....

[My editors will notice my love of the exclamation mark started at an early age. My readers will notice I began to develop my story-telling abilities at a young age, too.]

It is reses (recess) now. I am tayerd (tired) now. our ool (whole) Room had a esy(easy) test. I will till you now how I made in it. [Notice how I am building suspense.] I made 100 in It. It is lache time (lunch time) now. I wate (want) you very much. I guess it is chast (just) ubout time to go home. I have not-hing to say for now But just went (just wait) [again, building suspense] mayBe I have yes! I do! I can not find aneybody to play with. I think I will tow (?) I can wat to see you now be gouse (because) it is Jues (just) about home time. Soo good-by.
love Eileen


I was obviously learning the therapeutic benefits of writing. I also quickly learned other benefits, too, like asking for things. A few months prior to the above letter, I was in bed upstairs with chickenpox when I sent this note down with my little sister: 

Dear Mummy
I am fanneg [finished] eating now. I am egie [itchy]. It is shallie [chilly] up here and I want you to make my bed


Today I am that sad little girl again...missing her mommy.

Maybe I'll write Mom a letter...

Eileen Schuh, Canadian Author
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Suzy, The Grey Brunette said...

Eileen, I'm so sorry to read about the death of your mother. I lost mine too, when I was 13. It's tough no matter what age you are.
Your post brought tears to my eyes... I can only imagine you bawling your eyes out whilst writing something so dear to your heart.
Heartfelt best wishes,

Miriam Wakerly said...

Very sad news of course and I am so sorry to hear of it, but what an interesting post. I enjoyed reading it.

Susan Russo Anderson said...

Eileen, I am so very sorry for your loss, but such a lovely post. I know when I lost my husband the only thing that made me feel a little bit good was writing. I hope it works for you. Susan

Eileen Schuh: said...

Thank you Suzy, Miriam and Susan, for your kind words. It makes it a bit easier to know others are sharing this very sad time with me.