“This isn’t just a celebration of your mother, it’s a celebration of all mothers.” That was the comment made by a friend of author, journalist and broadcaster, Joe Jackson in 2009 after she read in an Irish national newspaper, his fragment of autobiography, A Song For My Mother. He hopes that this book, which includes that piece of writing, will serve a similar purpose. He says, “I’d love to remind people, lest they forget, that A Mother’s Love is a Blessing, as the old song says.”
Jackson, who has interviewed more than one thousand of the world’s most famous celebrities, often found himself moved by how many interviewees, such as Irish singers Christy Moore and Honor Heffernan, spoke lovingly about a parent who was deceased. So, in 2009, when his own mother, Phyllis Jackson was going through what she told him was “the darkest period” of her life, he decided to write “a kind of eulogy while she was still alive, something that showed not only the world, but my mother herself, how great and graceful a woman she was.”
Those words came back to haunt the author, in January 2013, when his mother who had been diagnosed with lung disease, then suffered a stroke, died in his arms. Less than six months after her death, “in an effort to ensure that she is not forgotten” he has compiled what he calls “this small anthology, a kind of pamphlet” of writings about his mother. Some were previously published; some were not. It includes the actual eulogy he wrote and delivered at his mother’s funeral. The introduction also charts his own attempt to deal with the loss of the woman he called “the light” of his life. But overall, he insists that, A Mother’s Love is a Blessing, “is meant to celebrate all mothers, all women.”
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