A Mother’s Day Remembrance

Richard Charpentier Notes from Rich Leave a Comment

After the amazing changes in the Airstream, and freeing up a ton of storage space with the new work area, I’ve been doing a lot of “Spring Cleaning,” and reorganizing.  You wouldn’t believe the things I’ve found in the Airstream over the past few days.

Now in less than 200 square feet of actual living space you know you can’t store too much.  But amazingly enough I’ve had things “lying around” since 2006 that I didn’t remember I had with me.  Like what you ask?  Well, my draft copy of my Masters Thesis for one.  Photo prints were also in with the thesis that I forgot I brought with me.

In addition to finding so many little treasures that have traveled with me around the country in my Airstream, I found one more item that I wasn’t sure what to do with until today.  I found the original hand written start of a book that my mother had wanted to publish.  Somewhere in storage I know I have the final version, but the original hand written start was in with a few other documents that I deemed important enough to keep with me in my travels.

Years ago, while I was in high school and college my mom had wanted to publish a book about her experience as the first successful long term survivor of a Bone Marrow Transplant.  December 7th of 1973 was her D Day of a different sort.  The start of her journey of survival from A-Plastic Anemia.  Unlike today these types of transplants weren’t common place, and had a low survival rate.

I remember talking to her while off in college.  She had finished the full manuscript and was trying to find a publisher, but never could.  There weren’t services like LuLu or Mag Cloud back then, self publishing wasn’t a “thing” yet.  I can remember her disappointment after a few failed attempts at getting the book out there, and I remember her shelving it.  Now I know I have the final version most likely in storage, but what I’m going to share with you today is a glimpse at the person who was my mother.

When she first started working on the book she used a standard little notebook with a twist.  The pages were pink.  That’s my mom for you.  Writing on pink paper.  Yup.

I decided to post this today as it is Mother’s Day.  And I know for a fact that one of the things that drove my mom to survive her terminal illness was a deep desire to see me grow up.  I heard it for years, and believed her every time she told me.  Kind of makes a guy feel special that he helped you hang on!  And she always made me feel very special indeed.

To my family and friends that walked through the ordeal with her…..these pages might be hard to read.  But they are representative of mom, and of a woman who lived 25 years longer than she was supposed to and got one of the things she wanted.  To see her son grow up.

I’ve packaged the first 18 pages of her story into a PDF.  You can download it to your Adobe Reader, or view it in your browser if you have the Adobe Plugin.  Once again, I warn you, she wrote this on pink pages!  🙂  Oh and there are scribbles here and there as she worked through writing this.

Click here to read, or right click and save.
"The Tree"  One of my favorite Prescott Photos.

“The Tree” One of my favorite Prescott Photos.


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