Unexpected Moments

“If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together… there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you.” —The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne

As my first book is nearing publication, well, 5 months away, but who’s counting, I think a lot about this quote. I knew when I got my YES, the yippee-woohoo moments would fill my soul and explode with joy at every moment on the path to publication. What I didn’t expect was the moments of sadness that have, at times, crept in. Now, don’t get me wrong, these are not languishing moments, just times of missing. Because in my world, Pooh’s tomorrow is here. My mom died twenty years ago at the age of 55. She was quite simply, my hero. She made me believe I could do anything. She was the one who showed me how to color outside the lines, be brave, have fun, and, maybe most importantly, love unconditionally. So as my dream to become a published author is about to come true, I miss her. It’s simple. I want the people in my life who I love the most to be here when Finding Perfect becomes a real book with a real ISBN and real readers who aren’t related to me. Topping that list is and always has been my family. I am beyond grateful and downright giddy to share this journey with my boys and my husband. Just wish my mom was around to share it with, as well.

So, I hope with all my inner twelve year old enthusiasm that Pooh is right.  That my mom will be with me as I traverse down this wonderful path. That she is somewhere with my father-in-law and my gram, drinking her white wine, smelling the lilacs, and reading my story.

me and mom at camp

***

IMG_9552  Elly Swartz is a middle-grade author whose debut novel, FINDING PERFECT, comes out October, 18, 2016 (FSG). FINDING PERFECT is a middle grade story about a girl named Molly, friendship, family, OCD, and a slam poetry competition that will determine everything. It took thirteen years, numerous drafts, many Twizzlers, loads of hugs, and much unconditional love, to find her way to YES. Through the years, Elly’s been a Sesame Place ride operator, messenger, lawyer, legal author, and college essay adviser. She lives in Brookline, Massachusetts with her husband, two sons and beagle named Lucy. If you want to connect with Elly or learn more about what she’s working on next, you can find her at www.ellyswartz.com, on Twitter @ellyswartz or Facebook.

 

 

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21 Comments

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21 responses to “Unexpected Moments

  1. Thank you for this post, Elly. I’m right there with you, having lost my mom 17 years ago. ❤ ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Elly Swartz

      Together we will celebrate these bittersweet moments. Relish the wonderful and remember the ones we wish were here with us. xoxo

      Like

  2. kevanjatt

    Oh, Elly. I know from which you speak. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  3. mariagianferrari

    Hugs, Elly! ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Elly, my heart goes out to you. But I think the quote from A. A. Milne you picked says it so well. I truly believe that your mom and my mom are smiling down at their daughters and beaming with pride. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, Elly. I know somewhat how you feel. My Dad was still living when my first book inspired by his childhood in France, Black Radishes, came out, so I know I am very lucky that he got to see it and come celebrate my debut novel with me. But I just had the release party for the companion volume, Skating With the Statue of Liberty, inspired by his experiences when he came to America. It was held in the same place, Wellesley College’s French House, which was important to me. But I remembered where he was sitting, and this time he wasn’t there. It’s very hard. Thinking of you with love. What a wonderful photo of you with your Mom.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elly Swartz

      Thank you for sharing, Susan. Agreed, loss is hard no matter when. There is no right time to say goodbye to the people we love. I am glad your dad saw his influence on this part of your life. I imagine he was so proud. The book was a gift you gave eachother. And, I can feel how hard it was not to have him for book 2. As Kathleen shared, he knows and is proud of his remarkable daughter!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Janet Fox

    Right there with you Elly, and sending you many hugs. She’s cheering you on, I know it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elly Swartz

      Thanks, Janet. I wish so many people I care about couldn’t relate to this post. I appreciate the hugs and send them to you, as well. Cheering from above, I like that image : )

      Liked by 1 person

  7. tpierce

    Hugs, Elly. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m with you on this one. Joys that are bittersweet when a loved one is gone. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elly Swartz

      Thanks, Lisa. Bittersweet, is a tricky thing. Happiness with a sprinkle of something else. Something a little less joyful. But, I would still take bittersweet, as it means we were lucky enough to be loved and to love so completely. xoxo

      Like

  9. I sort of relate, Elly. My mom is still with me but has dementia. She is excited about my book but doesn’t really understand. She was a first grade teacher and sharing my book with my pre-dementia mom would’ve been so much fun.
    Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elly Swartz

      Hugs to you, too! I imagine that your situation feels similarly hard at times. As your mom and a former teacher, I know she must be so proud of you!

      Like

  10. I’m late to this, even though I read it when it posted, but I wanted to say Thank you for a special and heartfelt post. xoxoxox

    Like

  11. Darcey Rosenblatt

    I’m late to this too, but it is so lovely. I have often thought how lucky I am to have my parents share this time with me, but you reminded me to hold that close. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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