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Saturday, February 9, 2013


[Related Post: Moi Beautiful Mom's Beautiful Book]

My mother would have turned 83 this past Thursday.  I miss her: Beatriz Tilan Tabios.

When my father died, I wrote out an entire book in the grieving process.  I just spewed it out: 366 pages worth that would come to form my book, THE LIGHT SANG AS IT LEFT YOUR EYES. (Here's one critic's response, Fred Muratori's at American Book Review, which I share partly because I'm surprised at how my first draft-last draft eruption can pass someone's critical eye.)

But with Mom, with whom my relationship was more intense, more complicated, more intimate, more turbulent -- I'm almost speechless in grief (even that phrasing can't capture the emotion of what I feel).  Relative to my relationship with Dad, I would have thought I'd write an entire encyclopedia's worth of words for Mom, but instead find myself mostly at a loss for words when I think about her and our relationship (at least that's how I feel for now...)

Fortunately, I'm discovering that with mini books made for SitWithMoi -- like THIS ONE -- I can at least gesture towards acknowledging Mom's ... passing (how ineffective to just say "passing"). 

The mini books are also moments of succor.  And I just made a second one: a teensy one (1.5" x 1.375") entitled MISSING MOM, Vol. I.  The reference to "Vol. I" is my hope that I make many other such tiny books for Mom.  Anyway, this first volume begins with the cover stock from a mailer sent her by a jewelry store--remember this post? I'd cut out the top strip from the mailer for use as possible book covers:

I thought I'd use each image for a front cover, so that this section would have covered two mini books. 

Instead, I had the idea to cut them horizontally (vs. vertically) so that there would be gems on both front and back covers.  Thus, the front cover would feature what, as it turns out, is her February birthstone, a lovely amethyst:

You then open the book to show the title page:

Then you'd open the page to reveal the content:

If you can't read my handwriting, the text says,
I remember You
buying a bracelet

then rationalizing
the purchase with

"This will be
for my daughter."


The back cover then would reveal what turns out to be my September birthstone, a blue sapphire:

It's quite synchronistic, isn't it, how the mailer ends up featuring my mother's and my birthstones ... Obviously, this mini book was meant to be!

And one last bit of synchronicity?  Since my mother's death, I've been wearing one of her bracelets everyday--isn't it lovely?  Just another lovely gesture by Mom... :

Now.  Where shall we shelve this "Vol. I"?!  How about on a rocking chair, as she used to spend much time on a rocking chair in her bedroom!  The background is her bedcover ... Mom loved color:

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