Tuesday, May 09, 2006

My Mom is Dying for Me to Get Published

By Darvell Hunt

My mother would love to see my writing get published. Parents, especially moms, always love to brag about their kids and my mom is no different. But I’m discovering that being published isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.

I will get a publishing credit in only a matter of days or possibly weeks because of my mother. And to be truthful, it’s some of the hardest writing I’ve ever done. My family—mostly my dad and my sister—has assigned me two writing tasks that I have been procrastinating because I don’t want to write them.

It’s hard to know what to say in a couple of paragraphs that accompany the last pleasant-looking photo of a loved one that will appear in the obituary section of the local newspaper. It’s also hard to pay tribute to your mother’s seventy years in ten to twenty minutes in front of your extended family and her circle of friends. What can you say to these people that will make any difference, when some of them have known your mother even longer than you have?

The Norsemen from the middle ages believed that writing, or runes, as they liked to call them, had actual magical power that the writer could wield by the mere act of writing. The ancient Egyptians believed that writing was so powerful that they could help preserve the souls of the dead by writing their names in stone.

So I ask, where is my power? What words can I write that will immortalize my mother’s life in the minds of those who hear me speak at her upcoming funeral? What phrase can express the feelings that I have in my heart as the cancer in her body grows and slowly squeezes the life from her?

I don’t doubt that it’s possible to express great power in my written words much like the ancient Egyptians did with hieroglyphs or the Nordic people did with runes.

I do believe that the words of my tribute already exist out there somewhere, yet I can’t manage to find them. It seems to me that all I have to do is figure out which words to use and in what order to place them. It sounds so simple.

Yet somehow, I seem to have discovered some form of writers block in this particular case. Ironic, isn’t it?

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Darvell, that was beautiful. You could start your tribute with this, beginning with "The Norsemen..." It was eloquent.

Darvell Hunt said...

Thanks SO MUCH for your comments. I may do just that. I very much like that paragraph, but I hadn't thought about starting there. Thanks, I appreciate your kind words.

Darvell

Keith Fisher said...

Darvell,
I appreciate your position. I was asked to speak at both of my Granmother's funerals within 4 months of each other and while sitting there thinking about what I could say I realized that so much of what we say at funerals is from the point of view of the survivors. Not from the deceased point of view. That is when it came to me... I gave them their own voice by reading things that they had written in their life. Book of Mormon cover Testimonies, letters to me in the mission field. in one case, poetry that she had written etc. I think it was appreciated by my Grandmothers because it gave them a voice and helped everyone remember the personal experiences and feelings that they had for them. I tied it all together by shareing personal experiences from my cousins as well as myself. thank you for writing the blog.

Triple Nickel said...

Thanks for a very thought provoking blog. Your love for your mother came through loud and clear and that, after all, is what it's all about. Isn't it?

Darvell Hunt said...

Thanks Keith and Triple Nickel. I appreciate your comments.

By the way, my mother died this morning, May 17, at about 6:20am. Today I wrote the first of my two my writing assignments--the obituary.

I seem to be finding peace in the fact that we had her for four weeks when the doctors said five days. It gave us time to say goodbye and for her to meet with just about everyone she cared for in her life.

Thanks for your kind comments.

Darvell