Retired minister Glee Miller found a way to combine her love for history and storytelling by writing “The Moss Rose Antique Shop: Memories of Southern Grace,” a captivating book honoring the life and memory of her grandmother.
The 73-page book tells the story of Johnnie Mae Peel, a strong Southern woman from Holly Springs, Mississippi, with whom Glee spent many summers as a young girl.
Glee first began thinking about writing a book ten years ago when she realized that out of all her living siblings and cousins, she was the one who most vividly remembered spending time with her grandmother.
“It just dawned on me that my sister never knew the stories about my grandmother,” shared Glee, the oldest of Johnnie Mae’s grandchildren. “I knew that if I died, the stories would die too.”
While Glee knew that she wanted to preserve the memories of her grandmother, it took some time for her to get started. A boost of unexpected motivation came when Glee shared her thoughts with her close friend, Harriet.
“For three nights in a row, Harriet dreamed that I had to write this book,” Glee said.
And write it, Glee did. It took nearly five years for Glee and her editing team to complete the book. The writing process began with Glee relating her stories to Harriet, who then transcribed them on the computer. When Harriet told her husband Gary about the project – who, like Glee, was a retired minister as well as an experienced technical writer – he shared his time and expertise to add some extra touches and increase the book’s historical value.
Glee ensured that her family remained involved throughout the process by asking them to contribute their own thoughts and memories about her grandmother. According to Glee, they are all grateful to her for taking the initiative of safeguarding their family history.
On June 14, Glee celebrated the completion of her project with her fellow residents at The Meadows Apartments by hosting a book presentation with editors Harriet and Gary. The community’s activity room reached full capacity as residents showed up to support Glee and to learn more about her book.
Now that the book has been published, some readers have asked Glee about her plans for a sequel. While that’s not a priority for Glee at the moment, she has not completely closed the door on writing another book. For now, she’s encouraging others to share their own stories with their loved ones before it’s too late.
“I did this for my family, with the purpose to leave a legacy, because then they would never know the story of my grandmother. Now I’m encouraging others to try it. I challenge you to go home and tell your stories,” said Glee.