The Last E-Mail
Born with an eye condition that didn’t allow me to read much, I relied on recorded, braille, or read-to-me books. Prior to computers and scanners, most of my schoolbooks had to be read to me, and that task fell to my mom. Though she worked full-time, sang in the church choir, and gave her time to other community services, she found time to take me to the library for research materials then read them to me. She read me novels. She read me boring histories. Never once did she say she was too busy to read to me.
Books were the glue that bonded us together throughout my formative, rebellious, and adult years.
Mom entered hospice care six months ago. I flew out to see her. The last act of service I performed for her was selecting some recorded books because the cancer had damaged her eyesight, but she still wanted to read. I hated to have to go home and be separated from her, but I had deadlines to meet and a spouse who needed me. We talked on the phone some, and the last e-mail she managed to send said, “I got your new book. I hope someday I’ll be able to read it.”
She had read all my books, but this one remained unopened. She wasn’t going to get better.
When hospice told us they thought she was nearing the end, I rushed back to Virginia to be with her. She was in a coma, but everyone said she could hear. I talked about books we both loved, how I’d just bought the most recent one she recommended, how much I appreciated all those hours she read to me.
Within thirty-six hours of my arrival, she went home to Jesus, and now, as I face the sorrow of my first Mother’s Day without her, I find comfort in knowing she has left me with a legacy that can never be taken from me – a love for the written word.
About Laurie Alice Eakes:
“Eakes has a charming way of making her novels come to life without being over the top,” writes Romantic times of bestselling, award-winning author Laurie Alice Eakes. To date, she has sixteen books in print with five more under contract for release over the next two years. Eight of her books have been published in large print editions, one as a Crossings Bookclub hardcover edition, and one book has been put into Braille. A graduate of Asbury University with a degree in English and French, and Seton Hill University, with a masters degree in Writing Popular Fiction, she also writes articles in writers publications, teaches writing workshops, and gives inspirational talks. She lives in Texas with her husband, dogs, and cats. She enjoys long walks, all too rare rainy days, and knitting—rather badly—while watching movies or listening to music.