Since its publication, I have been talking to people from all walks of life who have had similar experiences in taking care of their mothers. Reading Tea Leaves is helping them remember their own mothers and their own experiences
Margaret, 87, a woman who I met at a senior center, told me about losing her own mother when she was 10. Her mother was from Ireland and had 7 children. Margaret has spent her life working — for many years she was a data entry operator for the rail roads.
My friend Jim wrote to me that Tea Leaves brought back memories of his mother ” on the eve of what would’ve been her 89th birthday. Have had that thought you expressed, that I wish she had survived in whatever form, that I would take what I could get. She had other plans, however. ..she had them turn off the respirator & turn on the morphine drip. This decisiveness, a quality I admire, spared her much pain & futility. She was thinking of herself, after so much time spent thinking of others.”
Just this afternoon, I talked to a reporter from Milestones newspaper, in Philadelphia, who had the same experience as me taking care of her mother who died from pancreatic cancer.
Suddently, I feel like a cultural worker, forging connections with others.
During Pride week in NY, I am reading at the New York SAGE Center. The Center, which was opened in the Chelsea section of New York in January of 2012, is the first full -time senior center serving the LGBT community. And in late May, I am meeting with the members of PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) in Collingswood, NJ.
During my travels, I was on a wonderful panel at the Equality Forum and was interviewed by a WHYY NewsWorks reporter:
I was also profiled in the Chestnut Hill Local by reporter Len Lear:
Janet Mason, a second generation feminist, intimately explores the paradoxical legacies of family and culture. Any woman who has borne witness to the passing of her mother will be moved by this account and any woman who has yet to face this life-changing transition will be illuminated and directed, as if by a map.
—Sheila Ortiz Taylor