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franklin county times

Meridian author knows the power of a mother's love

By Staff
A CUP OF COMFORT Richelle Putnam's short story, "The Power of a Mother's Love," is included in the new book "A Cup of Comfort for Mothers &Daughters." Putnam is a Meridian resident and shares her story about the bond between her and her oldest daughter, Erin, who is pictured in photos above. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Penny Randall / staff writer
May 11, 2003
Being a teenager is hard.
Young people are trying to find a place in the world and they handle the transition from childhood to adulthood differently.
Richelle Putnam, 49, of Meridian, knows the pains of teenage rebellion and the joy of reuniting with her daughter after years of estrangement.
Putnam admits the rebuilding of her mother-daughter relationship was difficult and it took a life-altering event to bring Putnam and her oldest daughter, Erin, back together.
Putnam shares the experience in her short story, "The Power of a Mother's Love," which has been published in a new book called "A Cup of Comfort for Mothers &Daughters."
Divorce is rough
Putnam was going through a divorce and her two oldest children were asked if they wanted to live with their mother or their father.
Putnam's oldest son choose to live with her, but Erin, only 13 at the time of the divorce, wanted to live with her father.
Putnam said she kept in contact with her daughter through phone calls and almost daily visits.
A phone call
Putnam's short story opens with a phone call from Erin who tells her mother, "I just got back from the doctor. Yes. The pregnancy test was positive."
Erin was just 17 years old at the time.
The conversation continues as Erin says, "Are you busy, Mama? I thought I'd drop by."
In the months to follow, Putnam and Erin begin to mend their relationship.
But in her sixth month of pregnancy, Erin began to have problems and was sent to a Jackson hospital. A few days later on Jan. 21, 1997, Erin delivered a stillborn baby boy.
Putnam remembers the moment in the book.
A mother's love
Erin, now 24, is married and lives in San Antonio, Texas, with her husband, Lance, and two children, Lance Jr., 3, and Brett, 6 months.
Erin said she realized that what happened to her was painful, but it happened for a reason.
Putnam said her point in writing the story was not to place blame, but to help other mothers and daughters who might be going through something similar.