Jodi Hills

So this is who I am – a writer that paints, a painter that writes…

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These precious days.

I recently finished the book of short stories by Ann Patchett, These Precious Days. The highest compliment I can give it is, it’s not yet finished with me. If you’re a reader, you know this feeling. How the words sit with you, familiar-like at the kitchen table. Laugh with you. Cry with you. Bent over, trying to finish the sentence of “Remember when…” 

This book sits with me. I don’t like to give much away. I think books are made to be discovered. Page by page. And these stories are combined like an album of your favorite music. Luring you in, but not giving you the best immediately. Building slowly. To a crescendo, then leveling you back down. Resting beside you. 

I have written since I was five years old. No matter what I was feeling. Pencil, crayon, to paper, and then hands stretched out, reaching it towards my mother. I suppose I’m still doing this, daily. 

The story in which she speaks about her father passing, she misses this one thing the most — receiving his feedback. She relied on him. Counted on him. For safety. Honesty. And most of all, the immediacy. I had that, with my mom. Her entire life. I had her attention. No matter what she was doing, she would stop. Take the time. Even if it was one word, it filled my entire heart. 

I heard recently that sometimes the best prayer you can say is “Wow!” I know what that means. When my mother gave me a wow it did feel like an answered prayer. An answer to the prayer of protect me, love me, stay with me, sit with me in the familiar. 

These are indeed the precious days. I had this. I have this. I’m learning, even on the days when missing her cracks my heart to the core, I send up the only prayer necessary — a prayer of thanks, of gratitude — I had such a mother — I get up off my knees and shout, “Wow!!!!”