The 12 Years

Laura-Maylene-Walter-300x300It’s time for a huge congratulations.  Our very own Laura Maylene Walter has published this powerful essay in The Sun Magazine.  As an essay writer, I can tell you that having a piece chosen by The Sun is one of those great big stars in the universe, a years-long dream realized.  I’m so proud!

And — side note — as life would have it, just this week I realized that this coming Mother’s Day will be my own 12 years without my mother.  Funny how that works.  Here’s to you, Laura Maylene.

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461_coverHere’s an excerpt from “In the Twelve Years Since You Died”:

In the twelve years since you died, I moved eleven times and saw five therapists. I hiked in the Grand Canyon, backpacked through Europe, and drank wine in the high, open window of a Montreal hostel. I took a train alone from Toronto to Vancouver, sleeping upright in my seat for three nights. I graduated from college. I fell in love. I hung your portrait above my desk.

In those dozen years I considered but did not attend graduate school. I read hundreds of books, wrote four, and published one. I got married, bought a house, and adopted two cats. I walked through graveyards. I learned how to cook, how to garden, how to juggle. I fasted. I stopped eating dairy and then started again. I mentored troubled girls. I led disabled children around on ponies. I took up yoga and jogging and joined the y. I got my wisdom teeth out. I visited the emergency room twice. I kayaked, attended pottery classes, carved pumpkins, and screamed on roller coasters.

I broke no bones in the years since you died. I learned no new languages. I had no children.

I made it through twelve Mother’s Days without you. I made it through twelve Christmases, twelve of your birthdays and mine, my college graduation, my wedding, three career changes, and a book launch. On the day you would have turned fifty-seven, I sat in your best friend’s living room and didn’t mention you once. On your most recent birthday I forgot, for hours at a time, to miss you at all.

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Now get on over to The Sun to finish reading….

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9 thoughts on “The 12 Years

  1. donnaeve

    I’m so disappointed I let my subscription of THE SUN go…but between P&W, WD, The New York Review of Books, and The Sun, plus by close to toppling TBR pile of 40+ books…I had to let some things go….The Sun, and the NYRoB were the ones. Congratulations to Laura ….what an accomplishment!

    I dread “the day” I know will come eventually…A few years ago, I was at work, and my phone rang. I saw on caller ID it was my mother, I rolled my eyes and thought, “she’ll just have to wait.” At another point in time, and I don’t know what was going on, maybe someone’s funeral…maybe something someone said,but either way, I had an epiphany – one day that number won’t come up – ever again. Since then, I’ve made it my goal to try and answer, and now I’m not constricted by the corporate world or cubicles and time management for work, it’s easier…, even if I’m in the middle of a particularly difficult section of the WIP.

    Here’s to all mothers, past and present.

    1. Teri Post author

      A long while back, I had to delete my mother’s number from my phone. Whenever I said the voice command “Home” it thought I was saying “Mom” and would dial…

      1. donnaeve

        Oh Lordy. That wasn’t good. Had to be hard to delete…but necessary for sanity. I read this beautiful essay. I now have something in my eye.

  2. bruce

    Teri that was a touching essay and ironic that it is 12 years for you too. It makes me realize again that though my mom is gone she was here for so many years, and so many life events for her children and all of our family has to remember that when we are sad……..very moving piece, and I know it is one that tugs at your heart strings. xoxo

    Love, Evy

  3. Averil Dean

    Wonderful, Laura. I love the way you write about your mother and the tenuous but unbreakable connections that still exist between you. Congratulations!

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