Dear Mom

by Angela - on May 8, 2014

Dear Mom,

Sometimes I really miss you, but mostly I’m just really grateful for you. I’m sure you know about, in general–and are confident in–the good in my life, but I wanted to write you and let you in on a few details. I wish you’d met my husband, I know you’d love him. I can see you two scurrying off to talk without me (kind of like what happens with Cynthia, who I know you would be very happy married Dad).

For so many reasons, you’ve been on my mind a lot…one main overarching reason is that it’s Mother’s Day this weekend and I’m doing a show called “Listen to Your Mother.” Those of us who got cast (13 out of 100, so that’s flattering), wrote and will perform essays we wrote on motherhood. Of course, I wrote about you. I would like to apologize in advance that I talk about your underwear. (See, you are a really good speaker…I have to go for the cheap laugh.)

We are also moving right along with Petalwink. You would be so excited about our upcoming Song and Dance Showcase!! Probably even more excited than me. It has been challenging to say the least and there are more reasons for that than I care to go into unless you want to come hang out with me on the couch for about eight hours. But it’s also glorious and just plain fun. I remember when we were all at Knots Berry Farm and Ryan wasn’t sure he wanted to go on the roller coaster and so you stepped up and went with him. You didn’t do it because you like roller coasters, but so he’d go. I don’t remember much else except that afterwards, your hair was windswept and you were giddy and open-mouthed smiling. That’s how I feel.

I want you to know that all those times you thought I wasn’t listening, I was. And now of course, I wish I’d listened better. But that’s par for the course in growing up, huh? I also watched you. I watched how you took on every project with roller coaster windswept giddiness (and I mean every project). I watched how you let the whole world into your heart and just loved…everyone and everything. Whether they were lovable was not the issue. In fact, there were more times than not that you loved when any other person would have said it wiser not to…but the result was that you changed someone’s life with Love. I’m learning that love doesn’t go anywhere, but it’s right here as it’s always been; maybe I’m not sleeping against your chest and hearing your voice and the (big) rise and fall of your laughter as we drive home from a long day waterskiing at the lake with friends, but I feel as close to you and comforted as ever. I’m confident that no child is ever without Mother Love because it isn’t found in a person; you taught me that. So thanks.

Happy Mother’s Day; I know that you are embraced in that same Mother Love as me. Do me a favor and tell Cookie and Jo and Aunt Gail and Mary Jane and Grace that they are loved, too? I’m sure you do all the time.

Love, love, love,


Ang & Mom


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Billl Holland June 28, 2016 at 7:39 am

Hi, Angela–

I’m weeping as I write this. Your mom was very special to me, and I didn’t realize until I read your tribute how much I still miss her., how I’ve never really gotten her departure. I was her speech consultant with the Board of Lectureship back in the 80s. I remember being your Sunday School teacher when you visited the Mother Church. I remember flying out to Medford, Oregon to hear her give her first lecture. I think we even saw a Shakespeare performance together.

Most of all, I remember the wonderful hours I spent with your mom reviewing her life to discover what ingredients would make a powerful talk that would match her personal experience with a broad public’s deeply felt needs. And the topic we came up with was self-esteem–how she’d grappled with self-depreciation, how a practitioner she had an appointment with wouldn’t let her leave the office until she loved herself. She overcame so many personal limitations on her way to becoming the spectacularly successful lecturer she became during her all-too-short career. The way she filled auditoriums of churches on the verge of closing their doors, with grass growing in the parking lot was irrefutable proof that the spoken lecture could succeed in ways that the televised lecture–the path then being pursued by the Board of Directors–could not. She became something of lightning rod because of her success, and it wouldn’t surprise if the turmoil of that era is one reason she’s not still around.

Anyway, your mom’s influence on me and Grace, the other consultant, was so profound that when we eventually married 12 years after we’d worked with her, we named our first daughter Sylvia SAGE Holland in her honor.

So glad that you’re a children’s author and that your mother’s loving influence reaches through you to bless another generation.

Loving regards,


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