Ann Brent’s chapter in A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider

My Mother’s Gift

Page 48

I grew up in a single-parent family in a time when that was very odd. However, for me, my mother set the standard for excellence, leaving me with invaluable gifts that far outweigh the physical things in life we were not able to afford. This story shares the moment when I first met my father, but more importantly shares the most important gift my mother gave me.


The first day of school was one of my favourite days of the year. I loved orange-yellow HB pencils with soft rose-coloured erasers. I loved the smell that wafted out of a brand new box of crayons with their perfect chiselled tips. And I loved the empty, lined pages of my notebooks that would soon capture my thoughts in writing.

The only thing I dreaded about that day was the first half hour when my new teacher would read the class list aloud and demand information I simply didn’t have.

Classes at my elementary school began each day by singing “God Save the Queen.” After the teacher read a Bible story, we recited The Lord’s Prayer together. Then the roll call began. When “Violet Ann” rang out across the classroom, I acknowledged my presence, and the questions started.

Privacy rules were nonexistent in the 1960s, making each detail of pertinent information public to the whole class. Unusual names brought snickers. One of my answers inspired confused whispers every year.

“Mother’s name?” asked the teacher.

“Joyce,” I responded.

“Father’s name?”

“I don’t have one,” I answered quietly, providing the answer I dreaded giving. Two-parent families were still the norm in the early sixties, so my response always drew stares from my curious classmates. It was bad enough to say it once, but my grade three teacher persevered, “Violet, what is your father’s name?”

Later, I would explain that I preferred Ann to Violet, but first I had to convince her that I really didn’t have a father. At least no father I knew anything about.

Ann Brent’s Bio

Ann Brent is passionate about getting God’s Word and His message of salvation through Jesus to as many people as possible. As Director of National Ministries for Empower Ministries, she produces publications that inform, challenge and inspire people with the news of how God is working around the world today. A lover of words, she fully understood the meaning of “overjoyed” when she held her first grandson and that understanding multiplied with her granddaughter’s arrival. Ann is determined to face life’s changes and challenges through the filters of laughter, optimism and faith.

Why did I write it?

My plan was to write a humourous story about some of the changes both men and women can face as we age. However, when I tried to write it, I could not get the words out. Eventually I understood that I had to first complete an entirely different story. My Mother’s Gift is that story – a tribute to my mother. It shares the lessons she taught me, while raising me as a single mother in an age when that was definitely not the norm. And it explains how she so greatly impacted my life. When that initial story was written, I was able to complete my second story in the book, which is the first one I had tried to write. That story is called Visual Gymnastics.

Links to Author’s Sites

Ann Brent’s website

Links to where readers can buy the book

That’s Life Communications


Chapters Indigo