|Logan & Lily with my mom, April 2012|
If it's one lesson my mother never failed to bestow upon me, it is to always go after what you love. A dream may be impossible, but how will you know if you don't even try? Her story is one that has empowered and motivated me my entire life. She decided in her 30s that being a nurse wasn't enough. So even though everyone (including her own relatives) told her she was crazy, she went back to medical school to become a doctor. That's amazing enough on its own. But she also did it as a single mom with two girls who received no child (or any other) support from my father. She took care of us, helped take care of her own ailing mother, worked the night shift as an E.R. nurse in multiple hospitals, drove us to dance classes, helped with class projects and was always there for us... all while hitting the books as a full-time med student. She graduated years later, number four in her class and the only female in the top ten.To this day when I'm feeling completely overwhelmed I stop and think about my mom. If she could do all of that, I could conquer my own stressful day. I want my own children to be proud of my accomplishments. I don't just want to tell them to follow their dreams, I want to show them. I'm proud of myself for writing a novel. It's something that I've wanted to accomplish for multiple decades now. But editing will be hard work. I'm already realizing just how hard as I reread my earlier chapters. And though I daydream about seeing my book on an actual shelf in an actual bookstore, the known reality is that it more than likely won't happen. I'm very much aware of that. However I'll just pick up the pieces and start again.
After all, this book was always my 'practice piece'. The story of my mom--my tribute to her--is the one that I hold most dear to me. It is the story that I've wanted to write for years. If this first book doesn't work out, I have faith the next one will. And it will be another lesson for my kids to see: If you fail, just get back up and try again.