Writing about my mom makes me cry

betty ming liu Art, Inspiration, Relationships 5 Comments

We’re up to Day 3 of National Novel Writing Month. I’m on it! Now that I’m actually writing 2,000 words of blah-blah a day, I understand why I resisted this project for so long…

It’s hard to spend quality time thinking about my mother. Reliving old memories makes me really miss her.

Of course, I do NOT want her back on this earth. Oh, that old lady was SO difficult. But still, she was my mommy.

She died on Feb. 9, 2010. During that final stretch, I wanted to remember everything and pounded a lot of notes into my Mac laptop. But I never looked at them again — until yesterday. And reading them made me cry. After that release, I seriously started to write.

At this point, it’s hard to say what this novel is truly about. But ideas are sparking like mad in my head. For sure, I will spend a chunk of this manuscript on Mom’s final days. If you want to know what that was like, I poured my heart out into a post on my old blog. That post was one of the few that I imported onto this current blog. In the process of moving it, all the wonderful comments attached to it disappeared. So if you’d like to give us some fresh love, please check out my post about remembering Mom.

You know what really got me bawling yesterday? Watching YouTube videos. While my mother was on her deathbed, my daughter Gabi and my niece Alana sat with her. To pass the time, they opened Gabi’s laptop, went to YouTube and sang along to their favorite videos.

I couldn’t remember the names of any of the songs until yesterday, when I went through my notes. The kids picked such great tunes, including “I Will Follow You Into The Dark” by Death Cab for Cutie. The lyrics are beneath the video.

That’s what this writing project is for me. I’m following my mom into the dark.

Yes, Mom, I’m ready.

P.S. — I have an earlier post on National Novel Writing Month. Maybe it’ll get you thinking about your own stories…for next November.


“I Will Follow You Into The Dark” by Death Cab for Cutie

Love of mine some day you will die
But I’ll be close behind
I’ll follow you into the dark

No blinding light or tunnels to gates of white
Just our hands clasped so tight
Waiting for the hint of a spark
If Heaven and Hell decide
That they both are satisfied
Illuminate the NOs on their vacancy signs

If there’s no one beside you
When your soul embarks
Then I’ll follow you into the dark

In Catholic school as vicious as Roman rule
I got my knuckles bruised by a lady in black
And I held my tongue as she told me
“Son fear is the heart of love”
So I never went back

If Heaven and Hell decide
That they both are satisfied
Illuminate the NOs on their vacancy signs

If there’s no one beside you
When your soul embarks
Then I’ll follow you into the dark

You and me have seen everything to see
From Bangkok to Calgary
And the soles of your shoes are all worn down
The time for sleep is now
It’s nothing to cry about
’cause we’ll hold each other soon
In the blackest of rooms

If Heaven and Hell decide
That they both are satisfied
Illuminate the No’s on their vacancy signs

If there’s no one beside you
When your soul embarks
Then I’ll follow you into the dark
Then I’ll follow you into the dark

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

 

Comments 5

  1. Wow! This is an emotional one! I am glad you are ready to face this. You are a good daughter. You are an interesting and talented human. So glad I came across your blog!

  2. My mom has a dark side, too. Most people see her light, charming side. Very difficult for me to deal with her darkness & weird beliefs. I’m about to spend a week with her – in her one-bedroom apartment. Dreading it! Admire you for delving in, Betty!!

  3. Post
    Author

    yeah, lori, i have my moments! and karen, you’re the brave one for spending time with your mom — in close quarters. dealing with mom-as-memory is easy compared to what you’re doing. :0

  4. I remember your post about your mom last year. So much emotion (serving and un-serving). Your writing talent plus your raw experience is what will make your book meaningful to others…but you know that. I have a feeling it will serve in many ways you haven’t considered as well. Peace to you always.

    1. Post
      Author

      kellie — i’m thrilled that you remember the post. to be memorable is the whole reason that writers like me write. thank you for making my day! and thanks for the writing encouragement. xo

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