Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I am planning on a particular move in my novel RUN!! which I feel I need to think through. It involves my mother.

I have mixed feelings about my mother. I adored her for a lot of my life and then the feeling went. For no good reason. Life wasn't easy for me or my siblings but then life wasn't easy for her. She did the best she could.

Now I find myself thinking about her, wondering how life can be so unfair. She was mentally ill at a time when very few people understood it. People generally thought she was just someone with a bad temper. She could make you laugh, and that was a gift. She should have had help a lot sooner than she got it.

When she was a little girl, she wanted to be an actress. Her stories could make you laugh until your sides hurt. She would have been an amazing actress if she had had the chance.

The picture shows her with my father. I've always loved this picture as the couch seems to be literally groaning under their combined weights.

Only time will tell what happens with her in RUN!! Somehow I feel like I should be able to improve on real life somehow.


JKB said...

I think you can do it, goodness knows that I have!!!


Have faith in yourself, bb. It will work out how it should, don't force it!

marsh to the fore said...

Jen, I think your comment about not forcing it is right on. I'll keep that uppermost in my mind as I work on RUN.

Heidi the Hick said...

That really is a great picture. She looks like a very vibrant person. It's so heartbreaking to know that she didn't get the help she needed.

Don't you think you're breaking that cycle though? Your attitude towards her now is so realistic and accepting.

Again, fiction gives us an outlet to change things. Maybe you can kind of honour her this way?

marsh to the fore said...

Thanks Heidi. Yes, she was vibrant. Nothing about her was ordinary. She was curious about everything. Some of the funnier exchanges between my parents was due to her excitement about life, her enthusiasm, which would take off in any direction. Like: Mother--"Oh, there's the North Star!" Father: "It could be the North Star if we were going North." She could be very funny. And sad. And so angry.

I would love to honor her. I now know that. For a lot of years I didn't know what I was going to do with her memory.

Thanks again for this lovely, thoughtful comment. She did get help finally, and I'm happy to say I was the one who got it for her.

Kerri said...

I agree w/ Heidi. She has a spark in her eye and that smile is so authentic it made me smile looking at the picture. It's sad that there was so little understood about mental illness years ago.

marsh to the fore said...

It's wonderful hearing everyone's reactions to my mother. I realized yesterday that I was really grieving for her now--forty years after she died, and isn't that amazing. Writing RUN is doing that for me.

That kind of smile came when things were going well between the two of them.