A Mere 480 Words

Congratulations! Our Voices of the Year committees have selected “The Hair on My Chinny Chin Chin” to be honored at the 5th annual Voices of the Year Community Keynote!

When I read these words, I jumped up without even reading the rest of the email. I instantly thought of Mom and Grandma and the words I had written about them.

As I burst into my daughter’s room where my husband was reading the girls a book, I had to say that I was fine even though tears were streaming down my face. Ed jumped up to congratulate me; however, Lily and Emmy just wanted Ed to get back to reading Ella Enchanted. They love me, but they didn’t understand how I could cry if I was really happy.

Back in November, the anniversary of my mom’s death was getting close. As I was looking in the mirror and rubbing a chin hair, I remembered a story my mom had told me about my grandma. I was amazed at how much emotion one little chin hair brought out in me. I knew I had to write it down. As I typed out my memories, I realized it more more complex than just plucking chin hairs. It was all about relationships between mother and daughter, daughter and granddaughter. I agonized over my word choices as I struggled to explain my grandmother’s stoicism since I know the most important thing in the world to her was her family. Grandma didn’t express her feelings very often, but she felt them. Then I stumbled upon another theme: everyone grieves differently. Grandma didn’t shed a tear at my mom’s funeral, but we all knew she grieved deeply. As I wrote, I cried, read, revised, cried and read those 480 words again and again before I clicked “publish.”

I truly didn’t expect my words to honored as one of BlogHer’s Voices of the Year. I submitted them on a whim, wondering if anyone would even read my words. My sincere thanks to those panelists who did read my words and understood all the emotion behind them. At the end of this week, I’m thrilled that I’ll be at BlogHer13 in Chicago, where I can thank them in person!

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29 Responses to A Mere 480 Words

  1. This is amazing! What an honor, and well deserved. I just read your piece for the first time, and it’s absolutely beautiful. As I write this, you are probably enjoying BlogHer. I hope you have an amazing time!

  2. Oh, I’m SO excited for you!! This is so fantastic! You’re going to have a wonderful time, and this will be SO fulfilling on so many levels! And you’re going to get to meet Arnebya, which is going to make me crazy jealous! I want to hear all about it.

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