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How to write a tribute to your mom

Julie Bielenberg is a Denver-based writer who served as managing editor for a regional home and lifestyle publication before starting Tweeter Communications, her editorial services boutique. With a BA in journalism from the University of...

Thanks Mom

How do you write a tribute to the person who brought you into this world? Mother's Day is around the corner, and letting your mom know how much she means to you is the greatest gift of all. It is hard for many of us to put our thoughts and feelings on paper. Follow these tips and exercises for a truly memorable Mother's Day.

Woman Writing

Get your thoughts on paper

"Whenever I write anything, whether it's an article for the paper or a simple 'thank you' note, I always start by making a list of the ideas I want to include in that piece. This will also help organize your writing once you get started. For a longer essay like a tribute to Mom, I would recommend arranging a list in order of importance, and start writing. So often the hardest part about writing is just getting started," explains Elana Ashanti Jefferson, features editor and writer for The Denver Post.

Try writing down some of the favorite places you've gone with your mom, or some cherished memories you've shared with her such as going to the zoo or when she accompanied your third-grade class to the nature museum.

For the writers

If writing and expressing yourself comes easy, then this is a great option for you. Write how you feel — anything from free-flowing thoughts to structured paragraphs. Use the brainstorming activity from above and begin from there. "Start with concrete thoughts such as the treasure hunts my mom used to make for us, the time she spent reading to us as kids, the way she encouraged us to be artistic and creative. Put things in perspective, and write how much you appreciate everything your mother has done for you," suggests Amy Shearn, journalist and book author.

For the creative

Scrapbooking is not that overwhelming. "I just jog my memory of special events and try to find accompanying pictures. I place the photos on a page. I write little stories about the event and words that describe how I felt that day. It's not just a gift for the recipient, but a gift for me as well to relive the wonderful memories," states Andrea Kahnovitch, an art and elementary school teacher in Chicago.

If you do not have photos or cannot ask your mother for them, use images from magazines or newspapers. Write about the memory — anything from a sentence to however long you need to express the thought. Use one sheet for each memory, and describe your feelings on paper of that specific day or event. You need not go overboard; a scrapbook can be a couple pages or dozens.

Apply simplicity and use adjectives

If you have always struggled with writing, try using adjectives. Decorate a lovely piece of paper, buy a card — find just about anything to write on. Use words that describe your mother and write them any which way. Is she kind, caring, understanding, sympathetic, emotional? Express the characteristics that you most appreciate about her.

Don't forget to accessorize

Add a bouquet of flowers or your mom's favorite candies. If you love to cook, bake her some cookies or your award-winning banana bread to complement the writing. If she has a favorite spot to visit with you such as a botanic garden or coffee shop, make sure to stop by on her special day.

For the departed

Sadly, not all moms can be present on Mother's Day. Take your work to the cemetery and read it to her. You also can arrange for some peace and quiet, and use five minutes of your day to either think of or talk aloud to her.

Regardless of your approach to a tribute for your mother, these intentions are the best of the kind. Letting the person who put you on this earth know and understand how much she means to you is the most precious aspect of this time-honored holiday.

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