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Thursday, January 24, 2013


My Mom, Beatriz Tilan Tabios, was bedridden during her last few months, and she couldn't talk during her last few weeks.  These ... time-pauses ... are what inspired me to write a book on her behalf--one more book by her since her first book so delighted her!  I was initially moved to do so when, in going through her stuff, I saw some address labels she never had a chance to use:

I paused to consider them, to consider specifically the flowers and the waterfall whose images must have pleased her.  My mother adored pretty things.

So I cut up some slips of paper and folded them into a mini-book entitled The Last Words I Could Not Say (though of course she'd ended up saying them by virtue of the book's existence!):

I knew immediately that there would have to be a dedication page like so (as it was in her first book):

One thing never doubted--and which life has taught me not to take for granted--is that Mom LOVED her family.  Because of that love, I decided to write an Introduction:

The tiny Introduction says,

My mother, Beatriz Tilan Tabios, could not speak during her last days of being bedridden from cancer. This only meant that, instead of hearing, I saw--with my mind's eye-- her "last words." I believe they reflect her love for Beauty.
                                                                       --Eileen Tabios
                                                                       Jan. 17, 2013

Mom's thousand-word-equivalents are the stickers from her sheet of address labels.  Here is a snapshot of Pages 2-3:

I thought that these images of beauty reflected the words Mom would utter when she was at her best.

Pages 7-12 are stickers of the same images from the first six pages, except they are of a smaller scale.  Here is a snapshot of Pages 11-12:

The second half, so to speak, of Mom's book are of smaller images to reflect the diminishment of her speaking ability ... and later her breath.

So, the interior of the book was finished.  I then thought about how to create a cover to Mom's book.  In looking through her things, I came across stacks of unused Holiday cards.  I thought it'd be fitting to use one of these cards as her book cover, specifically this one:

I chose the above image because a dove symbolizes peace and I do so hope that Mom is resting in peace.

So I cut up the holiday card in preparation for making a cover.  As with other mini-books I'm making, I used a single staple as a binder:

And all of such would have sufficed to make a wonderful tiny book for and by Mom, but I felt something missing.  I looked around some more among her stuff (Mom was a pack rat; she left behind tons of stuff!).  Among her costume jewelry, I found an earring of black "pearls."  Mom loved pearls.  As I fondled the earring, I thought to turn it into a bookmark!

So there you have it, a tiny thing of beauty by Mom.

Now, on which chair to place Mom's book?  There wasn't even a close alternative.  Of course Mom's book had to be placed on the ethereal beauty of the vintage hand-woven chair discovered by Kathleen La France

R.I.P., Mom.  I miss you ...

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