By Christine Edwards Thackeray
My mother passed away this week and I just got back from her funeral yesterday. It has been a fascinating and difficult time. Since my father passed about two and a half years ago, I'm officially an orphan and that gets to me now and then. But I've got eleven other siblings, a fabulous husband, seven busy children and more on my plate than I can handle so I just need to get up to my elbows in the mess of life and much of my grief will simply drift away in the noise of my reality.
But for today, I have a breath of time and this little space to still consider all that I learned and am because of the great woman I call mother.
My mother was Jaroldeen Edwards, author of twelve books, hundreds of articles and a popular public speaker. Surprisingly, at the funeral I learned a lot of things I hadn't known before about her. Collette, her best friend growing up, said that during her high school years, there was never a wedding in Lethbridge where my mother didn't perform. She would either tell a story or do a reading and apparently they were so dramatic and touching that people were drawn to her. As all my brothers and sisters were sitting around talking about the intricate stories she would weave before us that would entertain us for hours, my sister mentioned that my mother said to her when she told a story that she always was certain of two things, where she wanted the listener to end up and how she wanted him to feel when he got there. Every element of the story was told to feed those ultimate goals.
This gem gave me pause. Not only did it make me re-evaluate my own writing and delete a few chapters and add a few others on my WIP, it has also made me look at life with my eyes open wider. Are my daily choices each based on where I want to end up and how I want to FEEL when I get there? What a great idea! Just like with my manuscript I imagine that in the next few weeks I'll probably do a little deleting of my plans and add some wonderful afternoons of family fun, a few more date nights and an extra temple trip or two.
If the good choices I make today are an obligation, my attitudes may not be much better in the here after. I've got to do better at enjoying the great things around me so when I get to the other side, it will be exactly my most joyful place.