Special thanks goes out to Tony Jaa, actor and martial artist, for quoting my latest novel, Seconds Before Sunrise, on his official Twitter page. Known for Ong-Bak, Fast and Furious 7, and his stunt work in the Mortal Kombat Annihilation, visit Tony Jaa on Twitter and Facebook.
Check out my latest interview with Confessions of a Book Geek! I explained the specifics of my book covers, and I also invited five of my characters to lunch. It was a great time, so read it by clicking here.
Today is Mother’s Day – and as many of you know, my mother passed away very suddenly when I was eleven years old. It’s not difficult for me to write about it necessarily, but there is this peculiar heaviness that happens on days like these. I say “peculiar” because it shifts every year. Sometimes, it is crushing, and other times, it is a wave, but it’s always sad. So I find myself doing what I do every year – and that is to find a way to celebrate her life and her love. And I did.
She was the definition of an avid reader. In fact, when she passed, we donated most of her novels to a half-price bookstore, and they joked that an entire library – not a family – was donating. My mother was a library. We had these beautiful, tall oak bookshelves, and she layered the shelves with enormous collections of trinkets. (Hence why I always talk about trinkets.) But she also kept bookmarks, and I reflected on that today – thinking of what bookmarks have meant to me.
A Bookmark is a Memory:
“This is where i fell asleep” is my oldest bookmark. It was my favorite when I was a kid. I believe I read all of the Dear America books and the Magic Tree House series with this bookmark slid in the pages. I even remember getting it at a book fair. (I think they were cheaper because of the grammatical error, but I’m not sure? I think the i” was definitely on purpose and probably didn’t go over well with parents.) ANYWAY – I loved animals, so this was perfect for me. It used to even have a little puppy attached to the top, but that didn’t last for very long [obviously]. I don’t use it anymore, but it sits on my shelf of accomplishments. (Yes, I have something as egotistical as a shelf of accomplishments ::sigh:: It’s how I stay motivated.) But this bookmark reminds me of childhood and how I lost myself and found myself in novels, whether it was my first You Choose the Story Scooby Doo books, Goosebumps, or The Journal of Scott Pendalton Collins: A World War 2 Soldier. (My favorite Dear America book.) This bookmark is a memory because this bookmark represents my childhood love for novels that continued into my adult life.
A Bookmark is a Friend
“i may appear harmless…but inside i’m completely badass” This is my current bookmark, and I love it so much. (And I also just realized the I have a thing for “i” being lowercased.) This bookmark was a gift I received from a wonderfully talented painter, and it brings a smile to my face anytime I open a book and read the words. Just as a friend does, it makes me laugh, smile, and enjoy the time ahead (in this case, a novel.) Also, who couldn’t love the phrase? If you still need coaxing, it’s a magnetic bookmark – so it never falls out. This is good for clumsy readers such as myself. And – once again – like a friend, it is prepared more than I am. It knows I’m clumsy, even before I remember I am. The fact that it is also a gift reminds me of how much a gift can warm a heart up, no matter how small it is. This bookmark is a friend because this bookmark reminds me of laughter and staying true to myself.
A Bookmark is a Lifetime
“A hundred years from now, the world may be different because I was important in the life of my child” This bookmark is the most important bookmark that I own. It was my mother’s, and she was actually using it when she died. I keep it in a memory box to keep it safe, but this bookmark reminds me of how much she loved her family and how much she believed in all of our futures. On the most difficult days – like Mother’s Day – it shows me how she would still be encouraging me if she were still alive, and in a way, she does encourage me by leaving behind a bookmark like this one. I may not be able to live up to the bookmark. I may not be able to change the world in 100 years. But I can at least try to change the world around me by encouraging and helping others to follow their dreams just as my mother encouraged me to follow my dreams.
Bookmarks don’t only mark a stopping place in a novel. They can symbolize parts of life and remind us of all the strength and passion we have to live for. For me, they mark places in my heart , but they also remind me of where I left off so I can begin again.
8 thoughts on “Marking Mother’s Day with Bookmarks”
This is a lovely post Shannon. I hope you get through today without feeling too low. At least you can remember how much your mum loved you and that she’d be so proud of you right now. In fact I’m sure she is proud of you and is watching over you always.
Beautiful post and good insight on bookmarks. I think you’re on your way to proving that last bookmark right. Even if it’s not the whole world, you can change a person’s world with your books.
A beautiful post, Shannon.
My mom is just like your mom was. She too is an avid reader and I’m not lying when I say she got super excited when I got the job in the bookstore I work now, back in 2011! She too has massive shelves, filled with hardbacks, meticulously ordered alphabetical. She’s the kind of booklover that loves to sit and smell new books for a long time, touching and turning and stroking. 😀 She also collects bookmarks and it’s a joy for me every time I’ve been abroad and I can buy new, fancy bookmarks she’s never seen before.
I am lucky I still have her in my life. Though she is sick now, going through treatment on round two of breastcancer…
Your last bit about bookmarks not just marking stopping places in novels are so true. I love the fact that my mom has made bookmarks from pictures of me, me and my husband and even my cat, which she adores. Laminated and all! She makes bookmarks to things she loves, by things she loves. Books and everything related to books have become her and who she is and I know now that is something big I am taking with me when that inevitable time comes.
Thank you for this post Shannon. (And now I’m gonna go because I’m getting all gushy and teary, talking about bookmarks….! o.O)
Even though she was taken from you early, she obviously did a fantastic job raising you. This is a truly beautiful post that she would be so proud of I’m sure! By the way, I have a bookmark collection too, and when my kids were little and wanted to give their teachers presents at Christmas, we started the tradition of giving bookmarks that my boys decorated and put their school picture on. One of their teachers has still kept their bookmarks to this day :).
This is such a great post. It has inspired me to write more and to get stuff done. Thank you!
I think you should return the favour to Tony Jaa by kicking the shit out of a few bad guys!
I will start practicing my high kicks right now!