Mother & Me

An Intimate Memoir of Her Last Years

Title Details

Pages: 96

Trim size: 5.000in x 7.000in



Pub Date: 08/01/2003

ISBN: 9-781-5883-8115-6

List Price: $20.00


NewSouth Books

Mother & Me

An Intimate Memoir of Her Last Years

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  • Description
  • Reviews
A poignant and often humorous account of how an aging mother and a devoted daughter cope with nursing-home life. This book actually celebrates who we are and our time together.
Mother & Me enlightens and inspires by immersing us in the seething and loving, laughing and crying, ecstasy and anguish of walking life's final walk with a loved one. Its unpretentious telling convinces us that we, too, can walk beside parents who totter on the brink of independence and dependence, understanding and confusion, life and death ... and its intimate authenticity confirms that to do so is to offer both our elders and ourselves a priceless gift!

—Carol Padgett, author of Hearth and Home

Virginia Pounds Brown’s 'little' book is large in love and courage. Beneath the almost off-hand telling of her mother’s last years lies the reality of what it means to grow old. In spite of Dylan Thomas’s admonition to 'not go gentle,' Virginia Brown, with the loving heart of a loving, compassionate daughter, certainly guided her mother gently into 'that good night.' I, whose own mother died suddenly and unexpectedly, envy Virginia’s good fortune for being able to scout that fearful journey with hers and then tell the rest of us what the territory is like. Mother & Me is well told, moving, and funny; I found myself laughing just after wiping away a tear. This is a book for daughters who not only love their mothers but have, in a sense, become them.

—Anne Nall Stallworth, author of Go, Go Said the Bird

Mother & Me tells the joyful and bittersweet moments of an adult daughter parenting her aging mother. It will warm your heart and expand your insight.

—Hoyt Wilson, friend of Virginia Pounds Brown

Virginia Pounds Brown, like a gracious hostess, invites us into the warm moments of her mother's last years. This is a chronicle of struggle and joy. It is a story of hope and love. We watch a daughter mature at her mother's side. Both women become more because of the enduring love of the other. The daughter asks, 'What do you think of life?' In the end, we hear the answer given through the song of the mockingbird. Where there is love, the song goes on and on.

—Elaine Blanchard, reverend of the Pilgrim Congregational Church, Birmingham, Alabama

This diary-like account of the changing relationships between a devoted daughter and an aging mother underscores the role of love in guiding them from independent living through institutional care to a tranquil death.

—Kathryn Tucker Windham, folklorist and author of the Jeffrey collections of ghost stories

I read Mother & Me and found it fascinating in many ways. The specificity of it moves the reader into the relationship between this woman and her mother, which seems to open it to all of us. I began to think of my relationship to my mother, and to every loved old person who is slowly failing, is dependent and hates dependency, is angry and hates the anger, and who—even in the best of all possible care situations—continues to be lovingly and annoyingly human. This book is the perfect length.

—Joanne Greenberg, author of I Never Promised You a Rose Garden

Virginia Pounds Brown’s softly caring words could have been my voice as she described so beautifully the special relationship she had with her mother. I was carried back to my own mother’s time in a nursing home. Led by Pound Brown’s remarkable and gently humorous descriptions, I re-experienced the hunt for lost clothes, holiday meals in the public dining room, rides for ice cream, and the great need to be a child again. A charming and loving work and a must-read for daughters.

—Mary Lou Fuller, KALM Publishing, author of Sisters by Heart; Partners in Aging

Virginia Pounds Brown has written a poignant memoir chronicling the last years of her own 'ninety-seven-pound mountain ... called Mother.' In this disposable fast-paced culture, we take little time to record and reflect on the relationships and the upbringing that make each of us who we are. You can’t read this book without stopping to do just that-to revel in the treasure of the unique mother-daughter bond and to appreciate the depth of emotion accompanying the letting go of life in the here and now. We never stop missing our mothers. From the time the roles reverse and the daughter becomes the parent, there are precious tender—but very painful encounters. Daughters almost need to give themselves permission to accept the reality, to grieve, but to cherish the gift of each day together. Ms. Pounds Brown’s words will encourage other daughters to practice the gentle art of parenting without ever demeaning the honor and dignity of 'Mother.'

—Marilyn Smith, editor of Jackson Christian Family

About the Author/Editor

VIRGINIA POUNDS BROWN is a former librarian, bookstore owner, and publisher who began writing to fill gaps in the available history of her native state and region. She is especially interested in Native Americans of the South and has written several books on the subject. Brown holds degrees from Randolph-Macon Women’s College and Emory University Library School. She is an avid golfer and has written about that subject, too.