Post by Elizabeth Havey
Mother. Writer. Those are two of the titles that I have proudly claimed for a long time. But now I have something to offer for those two titles—A Mother’s Time Capsule—my first published book. It’s a collection of stories that I began to write when I was no longer teaching, instead raising my two daughters and caring for a home. It was a time when women’s magazines were publishing lots of fiction and I decided I CAN DO THIS! So I set my desk in a corner of the den, bought a decent electric typewriter and before my children awoke each morning, squirreled away an hour to craft some stories.
The strength of my stories increased when I wrote about every facet of motherhood—when I addressed the doubts and emotions, the worries and fears that all mothers have. Writers can be alchemists: we take life experience and with hope in our hearts we create gold—or something meaningful that honors the human interactions that we have witnessed or experienced. The stories accumulated and some of them made it into small magazines. But over time when I began to really look at them, I saw that they all dealt with some aspect of motherhood. My book was born.
A Mother’s Time Capsule is fiction, the stories not pure autobiography. Instead they are tangential to what I have experienced as a mother to my children and the daughter of my mother. I take you on a time-travel journey, some stories pulling you back in time, others taking you to a present place. In the stories you will meet mothers who are married, divorced, aging, young, facing their fears and blinded to them. You’ll meet their children who struggle with responsibility, know the pain of an absent father, ruin the one opportunity to bond with an absent mother, go missing, attempt suicide and teach their parents that being fearful is not the way to live one’s life. There are mothers whose lives are welded to helping their children, and mothers who must settle for only the memory of a child.
Stories about Mothers
Below are a few examples from the 13 stories in the collection:
FRAGILE: It’s a given that mothers worry about their children. But can a wife and mother who worries too much shape her own reality? In the story, a couple takes their young daughters, eight and four, on a camping trip and an accident occurs. My husband and I had two daughters those ages. I certainly had fears, but as I wrote the story, my fears came onto the page and I worked through them, actually learning from my children.
MAKING CHANGE: Motherhood totally changes the direction of a woman’s life, filling up the days and determining choices. The empty-nest years can offer shining promise, but they sometimes bring confusion, health challenges and regrets. Whether a woman has many children or just one, there will come a time when that child takes on an individual life and the mother’s trajectory changes. Even if a full-time job filled the mother’s life, the empty-nest years can bring about challenge.
WHEN DID MY MOTHER DIE? We all know a mother, our own, and even if during our lifetime we never have children—as our mothers age the role will reverse, and like it or not, we will know many aspects of motherhood. This is my most recent story, written after my mother died in 2013. It reflects the anguish and confusion of loving someone so intensely that when they develop dementia and their lives are narrowed down to sitting in a wheelchair, you can hardly bear it. But you have to.
I hope you enjoy A Mother’s Time Capsule and I welcome comments about the stories on http://boomerhighway.org or Elizabeth A. Havey on Goodreads and Amazon. I have also created a board on Pinterest with an illustration for each of the stories. Happy Reading!