It Was Very Touching

Written By: Timothy Fish Published: 9/24/2007

When I checked my inbox this morning, I had a message that delighted me. It gave me a good start to the week. The woman who wrote the message stated that she read part of Searching for Mom on Amazon, then she said, “it was very touching.” I do not know this woman’s name because the comment was sent through one of the online communities I frequent, but she did tell me that the reason that she found the story so touching was because her father died when she was young. Just as Sara, in the book, could not do the mother-daughter things, this woman could not do or felt uncomfortable doing the father-daughter things.

During the weeks since Searching for Mom was released, I have received many compliments. Many of these have come from friends and family members, so while I have no reason to doubt the sincerity of their comments, it is not unlike the Mother’s Day card that Janet Rubin spoke of in a recent blog post titled Gramma’s Fridge. Some people are going to have a positive comment about something because they love the person who created it, even if it is terrible. The comment I received this morning is of a different nature. This is the kind of comment that deserves a place on my fridge instead.

Okay, I do not post compliments on my refrigerator, but I do have a special place for them. I print them off and file them away in a folder. I have a small collection of e-mails from people who have enjoyed reading one of my books or an article that has been published in a newspaper or online. If I did post compliments to my refrigerator, the one I received this morning would be one of them. This compliment is special because the person writing it identified with the main character of the book. Many people who will read the book will look at Sara and say, “yes, that could have been me if my mother had died when I was young.” The person who wrote this morning looked at the book and saw a little of herself in Sara because this person experienced the loss of her father when she was young. That tells me that I did something right.