Dear Me: The Mother Letters

In the spring of 2018 my book Dear Me: The Widow Letters was published. It is an anthology of letters written by widows to their newly-widowed selves. I asked them – “If you could send a letter back in time to your newly-widowed self – that heartbroken and overwhelmed woman – what would you say?”

The book was well received by widows and by people who wanted to get a better understanding of what a widow goes through. It was a labour of love for me, and I was so pleased with the comments I received from people saying how much it touched them.

So, a new year, a new project.

I want to publish another book along similar lines to Dear Me: The Widow Letters, but this one will be Dear Me: The Mother Letters.

I am looking for letters from women who have experienced the death of a child. I want to know “If you could send a letter back in time to your newly-bereaved self, what would you say?” Would they be words of comfort? Advice? Hope? Encouragement? Warning? All of the above and more?

If you are a bereaved mother whose loss was at least one year ago, I hope you will consider being a part of this project. Your child may have died before birth, at birth, as a child, as a youth, as an adult – they remain your child regardless of their age.

If your letter is accepted for this anthology, you will receive $50 and a copy of the book. I do not want to limit how much you write, but I am hoping that the letters will be at least 500 words. You can use your full name, your first name and last initial, or remain anonymous if you prefer. If your letter is accepted, I would like to include a picture of your child if possible and a few sentences about when and how he or she died (in general terms – illness, accident, etc.), how old you were when he or she died, and how many years into the past you are reaching.

If you are interested in contributing a letter to this anthology and/or if you have any questions, please contact me at dearme(at)sasktel.net  I would like to have all the letters by the end of 2019.

And if you know of any other women who might be interested in participating, please pass the information along to them. Thank you.

 

A look back and forward – 2018

It’s the last day of 2018, so time to look back at what has been an amazing year, and to look forward to what might happen in 2019.

Learning

  • I passed Calculus 30! I didn’t get it at all the first time I took it in first year university MANY years ago, and it always bothered me. So I had told myself, that someday when I retired, I would try again and succeed. And I did! Yay me!
  • I learned to hula hoop! (Another thing I’d never been able to do, but was determined to someday.) I hired a teacher for myself and a group of friends on my birthday. It was a blast!
  • I learned to play pickleball! It’s great and will give me something to do in the winter.
  • I started a 2-year course in Lay Worship Leadership. It’s really interesting and it led me to giving my first service on Dec. 30th.

Books

  • I had two books come out this year! Dear Me: The Widow Letters which I self-published through Driver Works Ink in Regina, and Grampa, Will You Tell Me a Story?, the first Pickles children’s book, which was published by Baobab Press in Nevada.

Travel

  • I visited my son and his partner in Oregon this spring and stopped in to visit Bill’s cousin and his wife at Kootenay Lake on the way home. Very heartwarming.
  • I went to St. Peter’s in Muenster for a writer’s retreat this summer. Very productive.
  • Posey and I went to Kimball Lake for a week in August. Very relaxing.
  • I went with my friends Adele and Ray to Ecuador for 2 weeks of birding in December. Very awesome!

Events

  • Performers I saw this year included Tom Cochrane, Matt Anderson, Michael Kaeshammer, Melissa Etheridge, and the Saskatoon Symphony (doing the music of Harry Potter).
  • The 1st (Annual, I hope!) Saturday Morning All You Can Eat Cereal Cartoon Party at the Broadway was soooo much fun!
  • I ran (?) 10K in the Saskatchewan Marathon.

 

A pretty darn good year, I’d say!

So what’s new for 2019?

  • I turn 60! To celebrate I’m going to try 60 new things throughout the year. Wish me luck! Should be fun.
  • I have a wack of bird pictures from Ecuador to go through. That should take a good part of 2019!
  • I’m going to work on another anthology – Dear Me: The Mother Letters, written by women who have experienced the death of their child.
  • I’m going to visit the Yukon with my friend Myrna. She’s calling it the MAD Adventure (Myrna And Dianne). I just hope it doesn’t turn into the DAM Adventure!
  • I’m going to see one of my favourite bands – Lighthouse!

 

I continue to put one foot in front of the other without Bill. It’s been four years, and somehow I still can’t really believe he’s gone. And in a way, he isn’t. Love lives on, and for that I’m grateful.

Happy New Year!

 

Ecuador – Day 0

Arrived in Quito at about 11:00 last night. Today is our day to relax before our tour starts tomorrow. Nevertheless, we did see some amazing birds already this morning!

Golden Grosbeak

Scrub Tanager

Blue-and-yellow Tanager

Sparkling Violetear

Saffron Finch