I’ve found a new volunteer activity. I’m applying to be a mentor to a freshman student at Brevard College, where I graduated many moons ago. I’ll meet them, talk, e-mail, maybe go out for a meal occasionally. I’m in Brevard a lot because my mother (a retired BC professor) lives here.
While I hope I help the student, I think they’ll also help me by making me more aware of what is going on at the college and how exciting it is to be a college student in these days and times.
I loved my time at Brevard, where I received an AA degree, the University of North Carolina.where I graduated with a degree in English education and the University of Missouri-Columbia where I received my master’s in journalism. Going to school agrees with me. I love reading, research and writing.
(This poem was written on the occasion of a July trip to Florida, the first real trip my mother has taken in more than five years.)
We’re building memories as we go –
My mother and I.
We drive together. We talk a little
And laugh a little.
We remember days past
When I was a child and
She was young
We look forward to future trips –
Short ones and longer ones.
She’s proud that at 96 she can survive 1,500 miles in a car
A little thing like a short hospital stay
Doesn’t knock her out.
It can’t. You see –
We’re building memories.
— Jenny Munro (Aug. 7, 2013)
My mother and I returned from Florida. She enjoyed the trip despite getting sick. The most important things, I think, were seeing Chip (my brother, who had been ill with a vein bleed but is nearly recovered) and getting out of Brevard. I took her home last weekend, and she’s had a slow week of settling into life at College Walk.
I spent my week interviewing and writing a story – a freelance assignment. It was fun and I enjoyed the conversation with the home builder. I also spend time cleaning out drawers and bags and getting more books to give away.
But I’m really excited about a new project.
At a writer’s group, I read a poem about the Florida trip. They know I like memoir so they suggested I write a memoir through poems. What I’ve decided to do is write my mother’s biography in poetry. A decade ago, I wrote her life story. It’s big and long and sprawling – too much for anyone except the most dedicated (like her children),
This time I’ll write poems about special times in her life or pictures that we have of her. And I’ll use some of those pictures. Some poems may be from her point of view (as imagined by me) and some will be from my point of view and some will be more generic. I looked at what I have so far – with a few new ones written in the pas couple of days I have13 poems. That’s a good start although those poems need some serious editing yet.
My goal is to have the book completed before Christmas. My mother will turn 97 on Sept. 4.