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Have you read A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider? Here is a glimpse into one of my stories in this book.

My Mother’s Gift

Why did you write “My Mother’s Gift”?

I have been asked why I wrote this story included in A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider.

Here, I answer that question. And below that, please enjoy a short excerpt from my story.

I grew up in a single-parent family in a time when that was very odd. However, for me, my mother set the standard for excellence, leaving me with invaluable gifts that far outweigh the physical things in life we were not able to afford. This story shares the moment when I first met my father, but more importantly shares the most important gift my mother gave me.

Excerpt – Page 48

The first day of school was one of my favourite days of the year. I loved orange-yellow HB pencils with soft rose-coloured erasers. I loved the smell that wafted out of a brand new box of crayons with their perfect chiselled tips. And I loved the empty, lined pages of my notebooks that would soon capture my thoughts in writing.

The only thing I dreaded about that day was the first half hour when my new teacher would read the class list aloud and demand information I simply didn’t have.

Classes at my elementary school began each day by singing “God Save the Queen.” After the teacher read a Bible story, we recited The Lord’s Prayer together. Then the roll call began. When “Violet Ann” rang out across the classroom, I acknowledged my presence, and the questions started.

Privacy rules were nonexistent in the 1960s, making each detail of pertinent information public to the whole class. Unusual names brought snickers. One of my answers inspired confused whispers every year.

“Mother’s name?” asked the teacher.

“Joyce,” I responded.

“Father’s name?”

“I don’t have one,” I answered quietly, providing the answer I dreaded giving. Two-parent families were still the norm in the early sixties, so my response always drew stares from my curious classmates. It was bad enough to say it once, but my grade three teacher persevered, “Violet, what is your father’s name?”

Later, I would explain that I preferred Ann to Violet, but first I had to convince her that I really didn’t have a father. At least no father I knew anything about.

… for the rest of the story, check out A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider

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