Writers are often asked who or what inspired them to write. On this very special day for me (Halloween is my birthday), I going to get a bit more personal.
I was inspired by the most important person in my life, my mother. She loved and accepted me, unconditionally, for who I was and who I became. She never judged my decisions in life and supported my endeavours, right or wrong. So, on this day, the day for remembering the dead, it seems most appropriate to honour her.
My mother died on 3 August 1981, but not a day goes by when I don’t think about her, mentally speak to her, and miss her terribly. She inspired me to be the kind of person she was: warm, caring, thoughtful, outgoing, generous, and, most of all, literate.
She worked the graveyard shift at a large hospital as the night nursing supervisor, while attending night school to get a bachelor’s degree. She took care of my sister and me, always made time for her husband, and, in my eyes, could leap tall buildings in a single bound. I often wonder what she would have achieved had she not died at the age of 56 from breast cancer.
She instilled in me a love of words, a desire to learn, a need to create. She made “learning” seem like a game rather than a chore. My favourite memories of her are tied indelibly to this time of year. And, though she was a deeply Christian woman, she celebrated the holiday of Halloween as joyously as any pagan might.
So, I aspire, in my writings, to educate, to entertain, and to instill an abiding love for the written word; it is the greatest gift I can give in honour of her memory.