Mom cap and gownMom in 1934


Tribute to my mother, Arlene Miller by Tracy Diane Miller

Since I published my first poetry book on May 21st, I have been on a surreal, yet overwhelmingly satisfying ride towards fulfilling a life long goal. Most of these moments have been rooted in gratitude as I thank the many people whose encouragement and support contributed to my writing success.

I often think of my mother. She comes to me in my dreams as well as guide me in my life. I know without a doubt that I would have been nothing, I would have been an angry person willing to blame an ugly environment for my own shortcomings if not for my mother. She taught me that God would never let me down and that the struggles that I faced, I could always survive (and excel) through faith in God, faith in myself and faith in our family.

My mother was the eternal optimist. The little girl who grew up in rural Virginia in the 1930s, who experienced discrimination and segregation on a daily basis, raised her children to see the world through compassionate eyes. When we came across people who didn’t like us or bullied us for whatever reason, she reminded us that we were responsible for our own actions. We didn’t need others to define us or place us in categories that served their own agendas.

I’m grateful for my mother. Looking back at my life (despite the anxiety, despite the depression, despite the self-doubt and self-loathing as I struggle to appreciate my place in this society), I can say that my mother always encouraged and supported me.

I am a poet. If beauty can be found in the words that I write, I owe that to my mother, the eternal optimist who found beauty in life.