Letters to my Mother

Yesterday, Easter Sunday, we drove up to visit my parents like we usually do. We enjoyed a nice, quiet lunch at Cotton Patch…..okay, just kidding, that place is so noisy, you have to yell to carry on a conversation. Afterward, we visited more at the house, and my nephew, his wife and their adorable 3 year daughter came by to visit.

I had asked mom for some letters that she had kept from the time my kids were small, so yesterday, she handed me a large envelope full of letters and some photos. YAY…..more treasures! Oh, but wait….maybe not. The first letter I opened was from El Paso in 1986, after I had moved there with my boyfriend. It was quite sobering, even though I was sober to begin with. How my life has changed since then. For the better, of course.

The rest of the letters were far more entertaining, written in the early 1980s when we had moved to the country and were living in a ramshackle farm-house that we were renovating. Renovating is really an exaggeration. Trying to keep it from falling in on our heads, is more accurate. Most of the time that we lived in Forney, Texas, we didn’t have a home phone, so I wrote letters to keep my parents informed of our general progress on the house and the kid’s activities. Just an aside…..the postage stamps ranged from 20 to 22 cents on these letters.

The farmhouse….we paid $2,500 cash for the house and had it moved around the corner to our 2 acres.

The house did look better about a year later, and was still standing in spite of the wood-burning stove in the living room. Luckily the house did not burn down the winter that everything froze up for more than a week. We endured cold winters, and very hot summers in that house….and lots of dust, dirt and construction. Whew.


The best thing in the envelope was a hand written poem, that was once set to music, that I wrote for my mom for Mother’s Day 1979. I actually don’t remember writing this down and decorating it like this, but I did.

And she kept it.

All these years.

And people say *I* am a hoarder!!!

This is quite fragile as it’s written on construction paper, and I even made an envelope from the paper also. Who knew I was so thoughtful and resourceful?


So, the most funny thing was a handwritten list, I must have been as young as 13-14…..titled “My Real Life Problems”….

I particularly love #15 and #18……my little brother was quite a brat back then. You can see I had a very low self-esteem, and I outgrew that for the most part. It does sneak in every once in a while to try to bring me down. I’m not sure about #14 as I never had trouble with my complexion, I was blessed with good genes in that department! Still, pretty funny to read now and see how insecure I was then. (this proves that I have always been a really good speller!)


When I began writing this today, I had intended to scan some of the actual hand written letters and include them; however, after re-reading them, they seem intensely personal to me, so I changed my mind. Some things are better left un-shared, I think. But, these letters reinforce my belief that my life has gone through a great many changes in the last 30-40 years, and I have come out on the other side a better person. The once painfully shy first grader who wouldn’t speak a word for six weeks, somehow morphed into a musician who loved to entertain on stage, and then became a force to be reckoned with in the retail world.

So, thanks mom, for keeping these for me. I am sorry for the many times I’ve let you down, and I’m thankful that you always forgave me, and you never gave up on me.







by Debi Snider 1979

this song once had music, which I have totally forgotten,

so now, I suppose it’s just a poem.

Evidently I was full of angst in 1979 .



She was only sixteen, the summer she met him,

so began their romance with a midnight swim.

He was so much older and she was naive

that everything he told, she always believed.


She was only seventeen the day they were wed,

and her mama and her daddy cried softly in their bed.

He was so persuasive that she made a vow to him,

that anywhere he went, she would follow him.


She was only nineteen when her daughter came to be

and then when she was twenty he wanted to be free…

he was like a bird and he spread his wings to fly,

then he up and left her without explaining why.


He was just a drifter who called no place his home

and if she ever needed him, he was always gone

They all tried to tell her that he’d break her heart someday

but she just turned her head and slowly walked away.


She was only twenty one when the little daughter died

and she could see that he was hurt no matter how he tried

to cover up his feelings, when he asked if he could stay….

…..but she just turned her head, and slowly walked away.


If You’re Happy and You Know It….

If you’re happy and you know it, then most likely, someone, somewhere else is unhappy. That’s the yin and yang of life. It would be ideal if everyone in the world, or in our own little world, could all be happy, all at the same time. Life doesn’t seem to work that way. Of course, it isn’t fair. When we, ourselves, are happy, it’s only natural to want to share our happiness with those around us, and we don’t want to see someone else in misery, because it infringes on our joy and makes us feel bad for being happy!

What do we do about this? If we are the happy person, do we try to uplift the sad, unhappy person? Or do we get down to their level and commiserate? If we are the sad person, do we look for the happy people to try and bolster our spirits? Having been in both places emotionally, sometimes in the same day, or same hour, even, I can say for certain, that I don’t have any answers!

Sometimes, if you are hurt, sad, mad, or unhappy, you just have to work it out, get through it, until you come out on the other side. Sometimes, it takes time. Sometimes, it doesn’t matter what others say to cheer you up, even though they are sincere in their efforts.

There’s really not a huge point to this post, since I am not a therapist or philosopher; just an observer. But, next time you are bouncing off the ceiling with excitement and joy, think about those in your orbit that are living with the equal and opposite feeling.

The world needs more kindness and compassion.


Bless the Beasts and the Children

Hugged an old friend today who is hurting, we shed a few tears as we talked; she is going through a very rough time, but she’s a smart, determined young woman. She’ll make it though to the other side, where the sun is shining, and the future looms ahead, beckoning.

She has children, you see…..and she loves them more than life itself.

It made me remember this song by Karen Carpenter,

Bless the Beasts and the Children.…..

Bless the beasts and the children
For in this world they have no voice
They have no choice

Bless the beasts and the children
For the world can never be
The world they see

Light their way when the darkness surrounds them
And give them love, let it shine all around them

Bless the beasts and the children
Give them shelter from the storm
Keep them safe, keep them warm

Light their way when the darkness surrounds them
And give them love, let it shine all around them

Bless the beasts and the children
Give them shelter from the storm
Keep them safe, keep them warm.

No one sings it like Karen did, but I did my best. For my friend.