October is a time for change. Here in Oklahoma, the hot season of summer is on the wane and we’re getting nights when the slight nip of fall is in the air. It is my favorite time of year. As a child of the country, and then a farmer’s wife for so many years, my life has always revolved around harvest of one sort or another. If we weren’t picking something from the garden to freeze or can, we were harvesting a crop. I’ve had my fill of that life, and do not miss long hot days in a wheat field, or cold wet days trying to save yet another year of a peanut crop from ruin.

And so it goes.

Now my life is always in a cycle of change. From the birth of a story that I dream, to the long hours of work getting it on the page. Then sending my new baby off to a publisher, praying they don’t cut it up too badly or rename it without my consent. Babies are precious, even when they’re books, because it’s a creation that comes from the heart. All this is a part of what I am, and what drives me to keep writing. Any work worth doing, is worth doing right.

Daily, I witness the changes in my little mother’s hold on life. She is in the autumn of her ninety-third year; a life in which she’s persevered and conquered that which would have laid a grown man in his grave.

She’s buried two of her three children; seen her ex-husband to his grave. Lost her parents, her only sibling, and every friend her age she’s ever made. She was a child of the depression. She lived through the Dust Bowl of Oklahoma and stayed put with her family when others turned tail and ran for their lives. She’s outlived everyone who knew her as a child, and when that happened; when there was no one left to know the story of ‘remember when’ – a part of her died with them. Now her memories are all confused. Ninety-three years of living all jumbled up in her head.  She’s changing, and I, as her only living child, stand mute witness to the deterioration and struggle not to weep.

Daily I remind myself that change comes to all of us, and change is good. Were it not for change, discoveries would never be made. I would never have known what a magnificent person my little mother really is; had I left the care of her last years to someone else.

She’s wicked funny, when she can remember the words she wants to use. She doesn’t like to be wrong and will never admit it. She likes things clean, clean, clean, and has OCD to the point of obsession when something is out of place. And within all the ‘stuff’ that comes from turning into the adult version of your little self, I have also seen her fears and felt blessed to be the one who stood between her and emotional devastation, just as she stood between me and danger when I was her little girl. She spent thirty-one years of her life educating other people’s children, and although she’s been retired since the early eighties, she still marks each day by if it’s a school day, or if it’s not.

My mother’s love for chocolate has never changed, and she has stashes of it all over her room. I know one day when I am going through her things I will find little hoards tucked in out-of-the-way places. I have already made myself a promise when I find one to have a piece of candy on her behalf.

As this October continues, I have seen great changes in her spirit. She’s done with this place, but hasn’t learned how to let go. I will cry some on that day, but I will also rejoice that her change of residence will have nothing to do with the love I have for her in my heart.

And, as I move through the changing seasons of my own life, I don’t have to look back to remember. Some things you never forget.




20 thoughts on “A TIME OF CHANGE

  1. As always, your words touch me deeply, Sharon. You and your Little Mama have become very special to me through your stories. May the seasons of changes ahead serve to make the days sweeter than hidden chocolate – for her and for you.

  2. It is so rare, for me, to see the kind of love that you have for your mom. I know that I have many regrets, where my mother is concerned, but most were caused by her inability to show or verbalized her feelings, except for frustration and anger. You will have no such regrets. You devotion, to your mom, amazes me on a daily basis. You are one talented awesome lady!

    I just started Going Once, and I love what I have read so far!! Looking forward to the entire series! Blessed be {{{HUGS}}}

  3. Ah. A poignant post, one that’s tugging at my heart that’s always been called too soft. I think, I know, that on the day your Little Mama gives up the tenuous hold she has on this side of life that hundreds, maybe even thousands, of people will be having a piece of chocolate in her honor. Guilt free!!! Perhaps we could coordinate something. You are loved.

  4. Wow! Your writing is amazing, your love for your mama and family even more amazing. We have come to know your little mama and you from your daily posts, and I am always reminded of the last line of Alan Jackson’s song, Where Where Were You? “Faith, hope and love were the good things he gave us, and the greatest is love.” I will always remember the love in your voice when you talk about her.

    • Thank you, Anna-Marie. I hope I am taking as good care of her and she did of me and my little sister. She’s always been my cheerleader.

  5. You are blessed and what’s so beautiful is that you bless all of us through your honest expression of what you know to be true! Through all of it, the good, the bad and the sometimes ugly, you persevere, recognize, rejoice and deal realistically with the cards that are given. I hope you know how truly beautiful you are and how much you enrich the lives of each and every one of us you touch. Many of us have never felt nor will we ever experience the depth of emotion, deep unfailing devotion, or love and unwavering commitment you have for your mother. There are times you make me laugh out loud and other times, I have to fight really hard not to cry. In the end, all of this is enriching, life affirming and deep in our souls, whether we recognize it or not, the very essence of what living life is all about!

    Love you lady!!!


    • Rosalyn, thank you for the affirmation. I know it happens, but I find it difficult to imagine how a parent would not only love and nourish their children, but help them grow up knowing they are loved. I was blessed this time around.

    • PJ, really really pleased that you liked the book. No, I’m not planning any further stories there. The conflicts were solved. I think they went through enough misery without me doing it to them again.

  6. I have all the books you have written, quite often re-read them. All of them are excellent. I am looking forward to Going Twice, already pre-ordered it. I can relate to caring for your mother, my mother-in-law just passed away at 89, she had that awful disease for seventeen years. It is a blessing when the suffering for both of you is over. You cry and then rejoice. God Bless and take care.

    • Thank you for reading my stories, Charlene. My condolences to you on the loss of your mother-in-law. It is, indeed, an ugly disease.


  7. Sharon, I have become an ardent fan. I read as many as your books as there is allotted time to do. My first introduction was as Mimosa Grove by Dinah McCall. A friend gave me the book through a book exchange. I am a Texan and I’m sure that you can hear the accent even as you read this message.

    However, I wanted to send this note because like all your readers, we love to hear about you and your mom. October’s blog made me think about my Granny.(Paternal Side)

    She was quite a lady. She too buried a husband and four of her seven children before her death in 2009. She was 101 years old and had she lived to October 2009, she would have made 102. Until her late 90s, she lived in her own apartment near one of my aunts. When she could no longer be on her own, my aunt and uncle took her in their home.

    My aunt told me this story. She said that my grandmother was in a Sunday School Class where there was one other lady that was ahead of my grandmother at 102. I don’t know what other name to give to this class but “Nearer My God To Thee.” Yet, every time this woman saw my grandmother, she would blurt out, “2…2 and hold up two fingers.” My grandmother’s competitive spirit would kick in and she would say, “Me too, me too,” and hold up two fingers and smile.

    Thank you for your wonderful stories, your heartfelt passion on subjects some writers fear to write about, they touch the deepest part of my soul. I believe in that special “sight.” Continue to be blessed with your writing and your mother.

    Joan Freeman

    • Joan, first thank you for reading my stories, and then thank you for the great story about your Granny. Sounds like she was an amazing lady.
      As for what I write about, it’s strange because when I sit down each day to do that, I don’t know ahead of time what I’m going to say. It just comes out the way it’s meant to, I guess.


      • Sharon,
        My Granny was an amazing lady. I wrote a story about her. In real life, she grew rose bushes for each of her seven children. In the story, when it was time for her to step over to the other side,
        my grandfather was there with her favorite roses to help make the transition. Through the tears the words came. I understand. The characters literally come alive on the page.

        Looking forward to Going Twice!

        Joan Freeman

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