Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mother's Day

I want to dedicate this post to moms. Most especially, I want to dedicate it to my mother and to my mother-in-law and my stepmom.

I would not be a writer if it were not for my mother, Barbara George Stroup. She hounded me about writing. Told me I had talent. Told me it was what I should be doing. Told me all my young life that writing was what I was placed on earth to do. So what did I do?

Anything but. I got a master's degree in science; I went to sea. Got married, tried not to write.

It wasn't until she passed away, unexpectedly and too young, that I uncovered her children's stories, the ones she’d written, and in finding them I found myself. I returned to writing and everything I write now I write with her in mind. She is the angel on my shoulder, the muse in my heart.

My mother-in-law, June Dings Fox, stepped in when Mom died. Actually, I should say, she cozied in. She never butted in. Never lectured me, never scolded me. She just wrapped her arms around me and encouraged me to be myself. She let me read to her the early versions of Faithful, when I was still trying. She follows my success today. We were and are and always will be dear friends.

And my stepmom, BettyJean Anderson Stroup, who became the second love of my dad's life, is a deeply warm and loving woman who has also become a dear friend, support, confidant, shoulder, and who has brought me a huge loving new family that I cherish. I am so lucky my dad found her. I am so blessed to have her, too.

I love my moms. I thank my moms. Happy Mother’s Day, with all my heart.


Sally Riley said...

Your message was so touching, Janet. I thought I knew a little about you from our encounters in NYC and VCFA, but this post, more than any others that I've read, sheds light into the real person you are. It also makes me realize how important the women in our life are in shaping the person we become -- and the responsibility we have in shaping the generation that follows us. Thank you for sharing this beautiful Mother's Day message.

Janet Fox said...

Sally - you've brought tears to my eyes. Thanks.