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?