Slice of Life Story Challenge 2020 Day 10

Today, March 10th, 2020, I’m participating in Two Writing Teachers’ Slice of Life Story Challenge.

I noticed the small pile in the basement a few days ago.  On somewhat of a cleaning mission now, I kneeled down to take a closer look.  On top of the pile rested a CD. Right then I realized what this was.  Affixed to the CD was the smiling face of my late mom.  Picking it up, I held in my hand the disk she had lovingly entitled, “Tutu Sings” on which she had recorded around 18 children’s songs a capella.  She’d sung these songs and recorded them for my daughters many years ago.

Gently, I began to sift through the pile.  Beneath the disk lay a list of credit card logins, passwords – a list my wife had written down in an effort to help my dad sort through what was once a joint financial life but would now become his and his alone.  For on April 21st, 2017, my mom had passed away suddenly, the cancer finally winning out.

Other artifacts from that terrible time rested in the pile, as well.  A mournful collection.  My eyes clouded a bit as I looked through it all and remembered.  Mixed in were touching photos of Mom and a baby, now my ten-year-old daughter.  Wow, I thought, these pictures are now ten years old.  In each picture, my mom is smiling vibrantly.  Always so happy.  Always spreading joy to others.  That was the essence of my mother.  She lived her life as a bright light illuminating darkness.  Always helping others. Always love.  That was her.

I located a small box for the contents of the pile, and with a heavy heart I placed the items inside and closed the box.  But I know my heart will never be closed off from the wonderful woman I was privileged enough to call my mom.

Donna Rae Callaway Ball died April 17, 2017.  May she rest in peace.

Author: Lanny Ball

For more than 29 years, Lanny has taught, coached, presented, staff developed, and consulted within the exciting and enigmatic world of literacy. With unyielding passion and belief in the possibility of workshop teaching, Lanny has worked to support students, teachers, and school administrators around the country in outgrowing themselves as both writers and readers. Working first as a classroom teacher, then as a coach and TCRWP Staff Developer, Lanny is now a literacy specialist, working and living in the great state of Connecticut. Outside of literacy, he enjoys raising his three ambitious young daughters with his wife, and playing the piano. Find him on this blog, as well as on Twitter @LannyBall. Lanny is also a former co-author of a blog dedicated to supporting writing teachers and coaches that maintain classroom writing workshops,

12 thoughts on “Slice of Life Story Challenge 2020 Day 10”

  1. This is a beautiful tribute to your mom. I lost my mom a few years ago, also to cancer. It is so hard. My mom was also a person who was always happy, always positive (but she didn’t have much of a singing voice). My dear friend refers to her as a window person (He categorizes people as window people (who look out to the light) and door people (who are closed in). Your mom definitely sounds like she is in the window category.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I just lost my mom last month to cancer. My mom was the light and salt in so many people’s lives. Your ending grabbed me. “But I know my heart will never be closed off from the wonderful woman I was privileged enough to call my mom.”

    As I sort through the physical and financial mess left behind and care for my dad, I hope my heart will not harden and become closed off.

    Thanks for sharing and getting me thinking.


  3. So beautiful. Our memories sustain us, but how wonderful to have actual artifacts, to be able to hear your mom’s voice and to see those photos. I’ll be thinking of you today.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lanny, this is the second post in a row I’ve read about a mom and cancer. It’s such an insidious disease. Lung cancer took my mom. Most touching for me is the CD your mom made. You’ll forever have her voice to treasure. May you find peace in memories of your mom’s beautiful gift and life.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes this is a wonderful post, how great that you do have lovely memories. I would just like to add that you are fortunate as I had a very strained relationship with my mum and I really have no memories I can now treasure of her. So sorry for your sadness and that she can’t see your children growing up.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Lanny,
    Bless you today as you think about and reflect on your dear mom. We get a glimpse of the beautiful woman she was through your words. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Yet another beautiful tribute to your beloved mom.
    I am thankful you have a CD of her voice singing a cappella. What a true way to remember the clarity of her voice.
    May your mom’s memory always be for a blessing.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. My mom had a beautiful voice as well. One year we made a recording of her singing her classics. It is a gift to listen to now that she is gone. May you find comfort in that CD and the other momentos.


  9. The memories of those we love and those who have loved us, sustain us in ways we never anticipate until they gently appear when we least expect it… Thank you for sharing your beautiful post.


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