If she were still on this earth, we would be celebrating her 98th birthday today. It has been 21 years since she left us, but it is as vivid as yesterday. She was the most important woman in my life, for so many reasons.
She was my mother.
In a post I did back on her birthday in 2010 (which you can go back and view, titled A Most Special Remembrance), I cited many of the ways she made my life special. I reread that post today, and everything I talked about then is still just as important to me today.
In addition to all those memories I wrote about in that post, I did fail to include a very important lesson she taught me. She always made me believe that I could do anything I really wanted to do, if I put in the talent and effort to make it happen. I know lots of moms say that to their kids, but she not only said it, she lived it.
When she passed away, I gave the eulogy at her memorial service. I ended it by saying, "I hope I always make you proud." I often talk aloud to my mother, and I've repeated that phrase to her on numerous occasions.
I am certain she would be proud of my published writings. I'm just sorry she didn't live to see my name in print. But there is a way I honor her memory, and give her credit for all she did to encourage my work, from the time I was young. I make sure my publisher knows that my name on the cover of any work that is mine alone always includes my maiden name, hence "Suzanne Rowe Ogren" (I also co-author with my husband sometimes, and I'm credited on those books with just "Suzanne Ogren").
Naturally, my dad is part of that legacy, too, when I use my maiden name. I know he would get a kick out of that. But he would be the first to say that my mother is the one responsible for me never giving up my dream, to pen the things I envisioned in my head, and see them published.
This year, with my first novel, Ribbons, published in April, I just knew this was my birthday present to my mother for 2016. And I believe she's reading it today - and smiling!