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8 May 2011 ·

Mothers Day thoughts

It’s the evening of Mothers Day; I spent much of it helping my husband fix a fence, I have wire grass cuts and ant bites on my wrists – and I’m feeling contented. My son lives in Canberra, and my daughter in New York, but I talked to both of them on the phone – and tomorrow when it’s Sunday in Canada,  I’ll talk to my mother there. I’m lucky. Lucky to have two children, lucky to have had them both grow up to be adults I’m proud to know, lucky that technology allows us easy contact in between visits. Lucky that I still have my own parents, who are active, healthy, and also people I’m proud to know.

But I can’t help thinking of the women who aren’t feeling so contented today; the women for whom a celebration of motherhood must feel like salt in a wound. Thinking of friends & family who still grieve their inability to have children; who had to give up babies or were not allowed to acknowledge them as their own; who live in fear of the future because their children’s lives have gone inexplicably, horribly wrong, or whose children’s lives have ended in a car accident or in Afghanistan. And those going through their first Mothers Day after their own mother’s death.  Some of these women are relatives I never met, some are close to me, but my heart goes out to them all.

If you’re wondering what this has to do with writing… well, everything. The first step in writing is putting yourself into someone else’s life for a while. But even if you don’t want to write, it’s a healthy thing to do once in a while.

Happy Mothers Day, to everyone who’s ever nurtured another human being.


  1. Lauren Wendy, what a heart-felt post. And I appreciate how you bring it round to writing and stepping in someone else's shoes. Happy Mother's Day to you!
    May 9, 2011 at 8:20 am · Reply
  2. Diane I've only raised and nurtured horses, dogs and cats--no kids. And my mother helped, of course. She helped with everything. She's been gone since 1998, but I'd like to think I would have been a good mom, if I'd done half as well as she did.
    May 11, 2011 at 11:26 am · Reply
  3. Wendy What a lovely tribute to your mom, Diane. And it sounds as if your nurturing of animals is a living tribute to her.
    May 11, 2011 at 11:28 am · Reply
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Wendy Orr is a Canadian-born Australian writer. Her books for children and adults have been published in 27 countries and won awards around the world. Nim’s Island and Nim at Sea have also become feature films, starring Jodie Foster and Abigail Breslin (Nim’s Island) and Bindi Irwin (Return to Nim’s Island.) Her latest book is Cuckoo’s Flight, a companion to the highly acclaimed Bronze Age novels Dragonfly Song and Swallow’s Dance. Read full bio