Seems like only yesterday when the highlights on my social calendar were: a skin check with the dermatologist, a funeral luncheon, and a dementia screening at the Senior Expo.
And then my oldest son began encouraging (badgering) me to write a book. “People love your Facebook letters and texts to me, and your newspaper and magazine articles... You should write a book!”
“Oh Mike, It’s too late! Besides, what do I have to tell people? Most successful authors have had to overcome hardship. JK Rowling lost a baby, had an abusive marriage, and clinical depression. Laura Hillenbrand produced two best sellers while she suffered with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Hemingway suffered from deep depression and committed suicide at the age of 61. I’ve had no struggles in my life. Well, except for dealing with a mother who was half a bubble off plumb.”
My son’s persistence won out in the end. So I did the thing I love doing. I’ve written a book called "About My Mother." At an age when I couldn’t buy life insurance or get hired for a job, I’m doing things I’ve only dreamt of. I’ve interviewed publishers, recorded an audio book, posted daily blogs on social media complete with pictures, right side up! Not to mention TV interviews and signing thousands of book plates.
This week’s social calendar reads: sound studio for pick-ups on audio book, photo shoot, magazine interview, live Facebook chat. Sometimes I just have to laugh at how my son is doing it all over again – dragging me into the 21st-century world of publishing and technology the way he dragged his father and me into the 20th century, back in the 80s and 90s.
“I can’t believe you still use this rotary telephone!” he said on one visit home, as though we were using two tin cans and a string. The next day he brought us our very first touch-tone phone, over the objections of his father. “Hey, there’s nothing wrong with our telephone! Don’t throw it away. Somebody would love to have that.”
On another visit, Mike shook his head and sounded astonished as he exclaimed, “Why don’t you have a microwave oven, for Pete sake? Everybody has a microwave!” After he left, John said, “Boy, you’d think we were cooking squirrel over an open fire outside of our cave! Kids!” Naturally, for Christmas a week later, Mike gave us a microwave oven for the counter top. And on it went, our son shaming us into the 20th century -- until we bought a VCR and a computer.
And now, when I tell him how busy I am, Mike’s advice is, “Just one day at a time, Mom. You can do it! Deep breaths.”
Is it scary? A little. Do I get tired at the age of 80? Uh-huh. Do I take the occasional afternoon nap? (Headed there now.) Was it too late to write a book? No way! As a matter of fact, I’m well into my second one.