Most of my earliest childhood memories involve books.
I can remember my dad reading to me (especially this book) in our worn out recliner every night.
I remember my sisters reading to me in bed.
I remember my mom buying me books and singing to me and doing all the wonderful things moms do… But, honestly, not a lot of reading from her.
My mom’s always been more of a creator than a consumer.
Sure, she’ll read her scriptures. She’ll flip through a Woman’s World magazine that she picked up in the grocery store aisle, scanning for recipes or diet tips (my mom LOVES a diet tip!). Oh, and there was that one time she got hooked on a church book series about pioneers and read all nine books faster than anything we’d ever seen.
But, overall, she likes to do things and make things.
On a quiet evening, we’d most likely find her painting or doing needlework or sewing or cooking… never just sitting around and watching TV or reading.
I’ve just always grown up with this belief that my mom is not a reader. (And, I’ve always secretly envied mother/daughter duos who swap books and stories.)
Well, that’s all suddenly changed.
Last year, my mom was diagnosed with an unspecified lung disease. Basically, the arteries in her lungs collect clots that restrict air flow and drastically reduce her oxygen levels. She’s on medication and stays on a constant flow of oxygen. We’re all praying she’ll completely recover and get back to her old self. But, in the meantime, her lifestyle has drastically changed.
Around the time that my mom got sick, my mother-in-law, who is a reader, began funneling books through me to my mom in a show of goodwill.
I dutifully passed them on, but I was fairly certain they’d be returned unread. No way was my mom reading all those books! And, now that she was sick, she’d be even more stir crazy. Sitting and reading would be torturous for her!
Well, the first stack of books came back. Not only had they been read, but my mom wanted to talk about them.
Then the next stack came back.
And then the next.
And, so it’s gone for the past several months.
My mom is a book addict. I am her dealer. My mother-in-law is her supplier.
It’s really the strangest thing.
She was over at my house last weekend and we were talking about books (because, at this point, we’ve read some in common) and I just had this weird sensation come over me that I was actually having quite the fulfilling, bookish conversation with my mom!
I can’t tell you how much I love this.
But, let me try…
I also love this lady who is my mother. She reminds me all the time that life is meant to be lived and that you’re never too old or too sick or too anything to reinvent yourself.