Back to The Books

by HEAB on August 10, 2016

Books.  Every spare second, I’ve got my nose stuck in one – just like years ago when I could not get enough of Laura and her calico bonnet, Anne Shirley with an “E”, and later on, the Wakefield twins and all members of the Baby-Sitters Club.  I read every book assigned to me throughout high-school and college (except for The Grapes of Wrath.  Oh man, I could not get through that one).

After college I discovered exercise, and those hours previously spent reading turned into miles and miles logged on the roads.  I’m not sad about it though because running led me to my husband and gave me what I hope will be a life-long love of staying active.  CD and I met at a post 10K race party, and soon life was busy with marriage and babies and social media and play dates and meal planning and playgrounds, etc… I could have made time for reading, but for some reason, the focus was no longer there.  Every time I sat down to read, my mind wandered somewhere else – to the laundry that needed to be folded, to the birthday party gift I needed to make, to the email that needed a response, to the restless child who needed late night snuggles to get to sleep.  Some of these reasons not to read truly mattered, but most did not.  So, I’ve let the unimportant ones go, and I think I’ve read more books in the past month than I have in the last three years.

I inherited my love of reading from my sweet mom, who passed away this past February after being diagnosed with stage IV bone cancer in late December. We brought her home from the hospital on a Friday, and she left us that following Tuesday, less than two months after her diagnosis.  I will never forget her last breath. Nor will I forget the hours she used to spend reading.  She would somehow tune out the TV, our friends running in and out of the house, and our constant, “Mom, mom, mom” and lose herself in a book.  It was something that I always loved and admired about her.  There was nothing she enjoyed more than a good read, and I knew the pain had become unbearable when she could no longer focus on the words on the page.  So mom, I want you to know that I am reading again as I want Summer, Charlie, Katie, and Hannah to remember me with my nose in a book, just as I remember their beloved Nonna.  Love and miss you mama – Thank you for teaching me your love of reading, and I promise to never forget such an important lesson again.

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{ 54 comments }

Amy September 2, 2016 at 6:21 am

Hi Heather,
Something told me to check your blog early this morning and I’m glad I did. I’m so, so sorry for your loss. I actually started a book club last May and the women have become some of my closest friends. Not long after, my Mom (also a book lover) was put on hospice and then my brother passed away suddenly in January. I can’t tell you how thankful I am to have that group of friends and a book to get lost in every other month. I wish you peace in your healing journey and happy reading!

HEAB September 2, 2016 at 9:06 pm

Oh Amy,
My heart hurt for you when I read your comment this morning, but I am grateful to know that you have books and supportive friends in this difficult season of life. I’m so sorry to hear about your mom and the loss of your brother. I’m sure these past few months have had some major ups and downs – I know mine have. Everyone tells me it will get easier over time, but man, I miss my mom. I know you understand. Take care and keep reading. I will too. 🙂

Carolyn August 27, 2016 at 9:56 am

I am so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my thoughts. Your post was a great reminder to prioritize both family and reading books. They are both things I love but things that unintentionally don’t take the top spots on the list of day-to-day priorities when most of the time they should. I hope family, your memories of your mom and reading give you some comfort and peace during this time.

HEAB September 2, 2016 at 8:56 pm

Thanks Carolyn,
So true – reading books is important to me but easily gets shoved aside when I have a long to-do list. Definitely trying to make it more of a priority these days. More time outside and more books and fewer commitments. I’m working on it, and I know my mom would approve. 🙂

Heather August 17, 2016 at 12:49 pm

I am so sorry for your loss!
This was a beautiful post that I’m sure would make your mama proud.

HEAB September 2, 2016 at 8:52 pm

Thank you Heather 🙂

Jonna August 16, 2016 at 7:44 am

Heather, I am so very sorry for your loss. Thinking of you!

HEAB August 16, 2016 at 8:36 am

Thanks Jonna. 🙂

Melanie August 15, 2016 at 12:03 pm

Oh Heather, I am so deeply sorry to hear of your loss. There is never a good time to lose your mama. Hugs and prayers to you and the rest of your family 🙁

HEAB August 16, 2016 at 8:37 am

Thank you Melanie. 🙂

Emily August 13, 2016 at 1:44 pm

Oh Heather, I’m so happy to hear you have found reading again and what a wonderful way to remember your Mom. The Wakefield twins! I forgot about those. All the ones you mentioned were my favorites too. XOXO

HEAB August 16, 2016 at 8:38 am

Thanks Emily. Love you friend. Sounds like you have a loooong list of books to order and read after your trip across the pond. You’ll have to let me know of any new favorites. 🙂

Renee August 13, 2016 at 11:50 am

Oh, so sorry about your mom. 🙁 Beautiful picture.

I’ve been reading more this summer, too. Now I’m hooked again.
I know you’re super busy but it’s always nice to see a blog post from you.

HEAB August 16, 2016 at 8:38 am

Thank you Renee. Wish I had more time for blogging. Miss it – thanks for sticking with me when I’m here. 🙂

Katie August 13, 2016 at 6:34 am

So sorry for your loss, Heather. Your mom sounds like an amazing woman and wonderful mom- the gift of reading is one of life’s great joys, in my opinion. Not sure I’d be interested in a world without books. Sending you and your family thoughts of love and solace.

HEAB August 16, 2016 at 8:39 am

Thank you Katie, and I agree. A world without books? No thank you. 🙂

Jen August 12, 2016 at 2:56 pm

I’m deeply sorry for the loss of your mom.

HEAB August 16, 2016 at 8:39 am

Thanks Jen. 🙂

Maggie August 12, 2016 at 8:06 am

Beautiful photo and tribute. I’m very glad to hear you are reading so much – so important to do these things that make us happy. I have been reading a lot too lately!

HEAB August 16, 2016 at 8:41 am

Thanks Maggie,
So glad you’re finding the time to read these days as I know your life is busy with your sweet boys. Hope all is well in New Jersey. Do you miss living in the City? I bet having more space and a yard is a wonderful change.

Sarah August 11, 2016 at 3:51 pm

I love this. You continue to be in my prayers and thoughts. I, too, have recently gotten back into reading and also felt a bit of shame of how I lost touch with something that was always such a huge part of my identity. My current trick is to be reading three books at once (1 for education, usually non-fiction, often education-based for my kiddos, 1 for spiritual growth, and 1 fiction, just for fun). It’s not a huge time commitment to get through at least 1 chapter of each per day, and I get three books finished that way and feel a bit more well-rounded. Let me know if you want to swap reading lists…I’ve read some great ones lately! Love you, friend.

HEAB August 16, 2016 at 8:46 am

Thank you Sarah. I like your reading plan, and I’d love to hear more about some of your favorite recent reads. I’m a little over halfway finished with Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, and I do not want to put it down.

s August 11, 2016 at 3:06 pm

sorry for your loss. what a great photo and tribute to your mom.

HEAB August 16, 2016 at 8:46 am

Thank you S. 🙂

Lynne August 11, 2016 at 12:45 pm

I’m so sorry for your loss. This is such a wonderful post in honor of your mother.

HEAB August 16, 2016 at 8:46 am

Thank you Lynne. 🙂

Tracy August 11, 2016 at 12:13 pm

My heart goes out to you, Heather! I’m so sorry for your loss. Reading and being a great example to your kids is a wonderful tribute to your mother!
xoxo

HEAB August 16, 2016 at 8:46 am

Thank you Tracy. 🙂

Lori August 11, 2016 at 11:57 am

I’m so sorry for your loss, Heather.

I wish I could give you a big hug. I hope the people who surround you give you love, space, and a shoulder when needed.

Peace.

HEAB August 16, 2016 at 8:47 am

Thanks Lori, and yes, lots of hugs happening. Always. 🙂

Susan August 11, 2016 at 10:09 am

Sweet Heather…I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your mom. I know that pain as I lost my mom to leukemia 10 years ago. Moms are our first loves so it really hits hard. She sounds like a truly amazing lady and how blessed you are to have had her. I am so happy to hear you are taking something she loved and instilled in you and getting back to it! Would love to hear some of your favorites because, like you, I have been thinking of how much I need to get back to my books. Know I am sending love and hugs! Take care xo

HEAB August 16, 2016 at 8:57 am

Thank you Susan, and I’m sorry to hear about your mom. I know the pain and sadness will subside with time, but I’ll never fully get over losing my mama. She was amazing, and I miss her terribly. But, she would be so happy to know I’m reading again. Some of my favorites from the past few weeks have been Nightingale by Kristin Hannah (over halfway through and don’t want to put it down), Empty Mansions (fascinating non-fiction about Huguette Clark and family), and Eleanor and Park, (quirky young love, and I couldn’t help but all in love with two main characters). Hope you find your way back to some good books soon! 🙂

Rachel August 11, 2016 at 9:25 am

I am very sorry to hear of your loss. Those we love may be gone but will be with us always in our hearts.

HEAB August 16, 2016 at 8:58 am

Thank you Rachel. So true. 🙂

Scott in Ohio August 11, 2016 at 7:18 am

I cannot begin to imagine how much you miss your Mom, but this is a fantastic post and tribute. 🙂 Sending thoughts and hugs your way, kiddo.

HEAB August 16, 2016 at 8:58 am

Thank you Scott. 🙂

Vickey August 11, 2016 at 7:09 am

Beautiful memories of her. Also got my love for books from my sister. PRINCESS DAISY was the first book she ever gave me to read. Then came Kathleen E. Woodiwiss! Miss our long talks. Miss her, miss you.

HEAB August 16, 2016 at 9:00 am

Thank you Aunt Vickey. I’ll never forget mom with a book in her hand and a pile of Hershey Kisses wrappers next to her on the armrest of the couch. 🙂 Miss her so much and can’t wait to see you soon!

Ameena August 11, 2016 at 6:45 am

What a beautiful picture Heather. I can see where you got your sweet personality and gorgeousness.

I read ALL of the same things. Loved all the LHOTP books.

Looking forward to seeing you in Sept my friend. Thinking of you.

HEAB August 16, 2016 at 9:00 am

Thanks Ameena. Looking forward to our visit too. I cannot wait to be in the City!

Cara (Twinthusiast) August 10, 2016 at 10:16 pm

Heather, so sorry to hear of your loss. The photo is beautiful.

There aren’t enough hours in the day to read everything I want to. The best books I’ve read this summer are Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (so good) and When Breath Becomes Air (memoir of doctor contemplating his mortality as his own diagnosis unfolds). I also read The Martian and really enjoyed it.

My best to you and your reading adventures this summer. It’s wonderful to think of bearing tribute to your mother in that way.

HEAB August 16, 2016 at 9:04 am

Thank you Cara. It’s encouraging to hear from other moms with young kids at home who find the time to read. Thank you for the recommendations – I always enjoyed your blog posts about what books you were currently reading, and I still hope to have a Reading Rainbow birthday party someday. Loved that! 🙂

Lucy August 10, 2016 at 10:08 pm

I’m so sorry to hear about your mama! I can’t imagine! :(. I have missed your posts! Now, I’m going to go read a book…its been a loooong time!

HEAB August 16, 2016 at 9:04 am

Thank you Lucy. Hope you’re in the middle of a very good book! 🙂

Jennifer August 10, 2016 at 9:57 pm

Heather,
So sorry you lost your mom. She must have been very proud to have an amazing daughter like you!
Love lives on,
Jennifer

HEAB August 16, 2016 at 9:05 am

Thank you Jennifer. 🙂

Marty August 10, 2016 at 9:50 pm

Oh Heather, I’m so sorry. What a cherished picture of you and your Mama, and ? I miss your posts. I’m glad you will be reading, with your Mama’s love surrounding you always. Much love to you all…

HEAB August 16, 2016 at 9:05 am

Thank you Marty. 🙂

Cherie Pie August 10, 2016 at 9:36 pm

Beautiful post. Beautiful photo.

HEAB August 16, 2016 at 9:07 am

Thank you C Pie. 🙂

Nana August 10, 2016 at 8:36 pm

So sorry to hear of your loss Heather. You are in my thoughts

From one avid reader to another glad to hear that books are part of your regular routine again. Although those other reasons for why they were on hold seem legit to me 😊

HEAB August 16, 2016 at 9:08 am

Thank you Nana. Glad to have my nose in a book again too. 🙂

Emily August 10, 2016 at 8:10 pm

So sorry to hear of your loss, Heather 🙁

HEAB August 16, 2016 at 9:10 am

Thank you Emily. 🙂

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