Thursday, June 14, 2012

You're Ruining My Life!

When I called my mom tonight, instead of her usual cheerful greeting, she said, "You're ruining my life!"

Surprisingly, I'd never heard her say those words before, although I'd supplied numerous opportunities. Like when I was six and hid my best friend in my room after our parents said we couldn't have a sleepover. Within an hour, police lights lit up the streets like a Christmas tree. Or when I was seventeen and declined my mom's invitation to join her and my sisters on a sightseeing excursion while on a cross-country trip. Instead, I climbed into the back seat of a strange car filled with strange guys and rocked out to Led Zeppelin, which is where my mom found me when she returned. I could go on, but I imagine you get the picture.

"Really? I've ruined your life?" I asked, wishing I'd had a glass of wine or three before I'd called.

"Yes," she said, pausing for effect. "I can't put your book down. I absolutely love it and can't wait to see what's going to happen next. It's ruining my life because I'm exhausted and need to take a nap." The cause of my drama-queen-ness is revealed: It's hereditary! 

"I'm glad to hear this, especially since you hated the beginning." I knew hate was a strong word, but it was drama-queen delicious.

"You're right. I hated it. But, it got better after that." Okay, so maybe hate wasn't such a strong word after all. By the way, she's currently reading my latest women's fiction book-the one that took me a year to write and contains the most cathartic words I've ever penned. The story that made me cry a thousand tears, eat a million chocolate-filled calories, and wander five hundred miles from my home. Lord, I'm one, Lord I'm two, Lord I'm three, Lord I'm four, Lord I'm five hundred miles from my home...

"Glad you like it, Mom. And, sorry. I didn't mean to ruin your life. I hope you'll forgive me."

"I already have. You are such a gifted writer." Another pause. "I'm so proud of you."

Tears filled my eyes, which was dangerous given I was driving.

Fame, fortune, and literary recognition are all well and good. But, you know what? For me, hearing a comment like this from one of the people I love most in this world is the ultimate definition of success. 

What about you? What's your definition of success?

10 comments:

Julie said...

As a person about to embark on the self-publishing adventure, I'd have to say that success is looking around and seeing the amount of people who are rooting for me. A coworker teared up when she saw the proof of my book. My friends are stashing my bookmarks into books at stores they go to. So many people are invested in what has been a largely solitary journey, not because all have read the book (though many have), but because they care about me and know just how hard I've worked to get here. Whatever the book does out in the world, success is the humbling feeling of being loved. And FYI, I kinda love you!

fellow-ette said...

Beautiful post! I can't wait to read your book.

Debra Lynn Lazar said...

Julie, I'm so happy for you - I feel like a proud sister. Indeed, there are many of us cheering you on! (And, no, I won't drag out my old cheerleading uniform to prove it!) Can't wait to get my hands on my very own copy of "The Wildwood!"

Debra Lynn Lazar said...

Sarah, I can't wait for you to read it. ;-))

Kristie Cook said...

Aw, now I have tears in my eyes. At least I'm not driving. Such a sweet post. Do we ever grow out of wanting to make our parents proud? I don't think so.

Debra Lynn Lazar said...

Kristie, No, I don't think we do. I hope I didn't make you cry too hard. ;-)

fudgelady said...

Congrats from a lurker (grabbing Kleenex...) :-)

Debra Lynn Lazar said...

FL, No need for tears! It's all good. ;-)

Jemi Fraser said...

Love this story! Your mom sounds awesome! What a thrill that must have been - congrats :)

Debra Lynn Lazar said...

Jemi, It was awesome. Nothing beats kudos from those you love most.

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