Close to My Heart by Carol DeVaney

Over the years many people have made a mark on my life, but none so significant as my mom. I’m sure if I polled that statement, Mom would come in first in the highest percentage of voters. Good or bad, a Mom’s decisions are usually spot-on. Whether we agree or not.

My mom turned ninety in April and still, of course, often voices her opinion. If you don’t want to hear what she has to say, don’t ask. What mother doesn’t? Seven children later she’s lived long enough to have seen it all, there were no paint by numbers resolutions for this lady. Even when she clamps down and says nothing, her expressions reveal her active mind is still at work. We’ve all seen that look. Ha! But, her heart is big and she’s fierce about taking an underdog under her wings.

Characters I bring to life in my books, must have the Mom staying power applied to their lives. Different phases of their personal history, combined with a specific goal and the outcome, is what I strive for. Do I struggle with the aspects of the story? You bet I do.

My son and I talked about an actress the other night. I asked him if he thought the lady was gorgeous or not. He admitted she was okay. It was then my grandson voiced his opinion. But not as pretty as Mom. What an honest and sincere statement. That’s a revelation from our young. No thinking about it, it just is  truth to him.

While I attempt a character that’s true to life, I think about all these things and how their comments bring about simple, yet a genuine accounting with premise.

The more I write, the more enjoyable characters become. They are you. They are me. They are Mom. They are so many personalities rolled into one.

Please visit my website to find out more about my books.

10 thoughts on “Close to My Heart by Carol DeVaney

  1. Nice tribute to your Mom, Carol. I lost my Mom two years, and there isn’t a day I don’t think of her. We became very close after my Dad’s death. I often have a mother, grandmother or mother-in-law in my novels. They usually reflect my mother’s outspoken nature, tastes and characteristics.

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    • Mona, I understand, and I’m so sorry your Mom is no longer with you. Losing your Mom is such an important loss. My Mom’s health isn’t good any more and when I think of her not being here I about lose it. But, the memories I have are loving and full. I know yours, as well as Joan’s, sustain through the day. I hope so anyway. I find myself going over favorite photos, and those bring tears to my eyes when I see her so young and vibrant. I think of all the things she did and see her hands. Her hands are burned into my memory. Those hands provided so much to many. We do use characteristics of those we love in our stories. I think that’s part of the truest form of art. Honesty. Hugs!

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      • Never really thought about it, but I can still remember my mom’s hands. Mine are shaped much like hers, but that is the end of their resemblance.

        I lost my mom about 30 years ago. I was a young mother and when death finally came I breathed a sigh of relief. It was over for all of us. No more tears.

        I didn’t go to the funeral as it was out of state and I really couldn’t afford it.An aunt commented as to why I didn’t come, and how disrespectful it was. It was probably a good thing that I couldn’t reach across those miles and strangle her on the spot. Where was she when Mom lay in bed and knew no one? Where was she when I changed the sheets? Where was she when I gave my mom baths, lifted tiny spoonfuls of broth to her mouth, and sat up nights and listened to her breathe? That aunt wasn’t around because she couldn’t handle watching her sister die.

        So I’ve picked up the pieces of my life and moved onward. My mom raised me to be independent and strong. I’m not sure that I’m always as independent or as strong as I should be, but she firmly believed that women were not the weaker sex. I wonder what she’d think of my writing? She probably roll her eyes, tell me to sit up straight, act like a lady, stop wearing jeans and acting like a tomboy, clean my house, and if I must write, at least be intelligent in what I’m writing! She was a hard-task master and demanded the best from me always. (And you wondered how I became such a perfectionist about so many things?)

        I envy those of you who still have loving mothers. Not everyone is that lucky. I can tell you that life goes on and the warm memories stay with you. Take comfort in the fact that Mom had a good life and got to see the next generation(s). Our days are numbered. We’re supposed to bury our parents. It’s the normal cycle of life.

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        • Thanks, E. I’ve always had a obsession with Mom’s hands. The hardships she endured, the loving things she did with those sweet hands, when she could barely stand. She did what she had to do, and I’ll always honor her for being so selfless. I’m sorry your aunt found fault with how you handled one of the most devastating moments in your life. We can’t please everyone, but know we did our best. Others have to live with their choices.

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  2. Dear Carol,
    Wonderful post about your mom. It’s funny how vital parents and their opinions are and how much we come to rely on them as we age. Your mom will be alive and well in the decades to come in your writing and that is a tie and a tribute you carry with you that is really cool. Thanks for the blog…it’s got me a bit nostalgic.
    Leigh

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    • Thank you, Leigh. How does that old country song go? I miss you already, and you’re not even gone. A kaleidoscope in my head. I want to honor my mom, and with no regrets. She deserves that. Happy memories.

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