'It was like the biggest gift I could have gotten': Woman writes book inspired by mother's letters

For people who have lost their moms, Mothers Day can be bittersweet. A North Carolina woman wrote a book after letters from her mother changed her life.


For people who have lost their moms, Mother's Day can be bittersweet.


Dara Kurtz has fond memories of her childhood, but for almost 20 years, it was painful for her to even think about her mother. Kurtz was 28 years old when her mom was diagnosed with cancer.

Two weeks after Kurtz had her first child, her mother died.

Kurtz and her husband had another child, but behind the happy family pictures was a layer of sadness.

That changed last year when one of Kurtz's daughters stumbled upon one of their mother-daughter journals. That discovery sparked another memory: a ziplock bag full of more than 100 letters, most of them written by Kurtz's mom.

"I started crying what Oprah calls the ugly cry," Kurtz said. "I felt like I was having a conversation with my mom. It was amazing. It was like the biggest gift I could have gotten."

Kurtz said the letters allowed her to finally find peace with her mom's death. The North Carolina woman is now sharing those words of wisdom in a new book, "I Am My Mother's Daughter."

Kurtz said the letters changed her life, and she hopes the book will inspire others to make a lifetime of connections.

"Don't wait to tell people how much you care about them," Kurtz said. "Tell them now."