Joan Shillington, Julie’s mom, is an accomplished writer. She recently had poems published in the Fall 2012 edition of grain – the journal of eclectic writing, published by the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild and in prairie fire – A Canadian Magazine of New Writing, Volume 33, No. 3.

And she dedicated them to amm. If you would like to support Joan, information for purchasing the poems can be found on each of the publisher’s websites.

Here was my email to Joan:

“Dear Joan,

It has taken me much too long to contact you about your unexpected Christmas gift. And the only reason I have for this time between opening your gift and now emailing you, is that I needed the time to process it all.

What you have given me and my family is something that is the greatest gift one can give – you have given us the remembrance of Anne-Marie / mom / amm.

Dad gave me the books and I opened the packages alone as he had told me what they were. And I cried. I was so overwhelmed by your thoughtfulness and kindness and love for amm that I let it out through tears. I was so happy about your writings being published and grateful for you remembering amm in such a significant way. I read your poems through heavy tears.

I wanted to call you right away, but knew I wasn’t ready to speak on the phone. The emotion was just still too raw. And even after a month, I picked up the phone to call you tonight, and again,  I couldn’t. I just began to cry all over again. And knew that you wouldn’t be able to understand me at all. So instead I write. Actually, maybe writing is more fitting.

I loved seeing you and amm together. You had such similar interests and mannerisms and this soft powerful-ness. And I loved to hear you talk about your writing. You are such an inspiration.

I feel that I have so many things to say, but can’t get them into this email in a way that would make sense.

Your dedications are…I am just crying. Your dedications just make me cry – out of joy and happiness and remembering. You are so generous and thoughtful – thank-you.

I don’t know how I can ever truly express my thankfulness. Maybe it will be when we see each other again in person and I can wrap my arms around you and you around me, and we hug. A hug between a mother and a daughter.



PS I am going to include this on of course. :)”

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