Lit tealights

Blessings on my memoir.

My week was full of blessings.

My husband Michael and I were in California visiting my parents. While we were there, I coordinated an 85th birthday celebration for my mom. It was a production—a live digital video virtual party (is that even the right way to say it?)—so my five siblings from all over the US could participate. This is not my forte, in case you don’t know—neither the organizing nor the digitalizing.

A few times, when I woke up at the crack of dawn, as I tend to do, I worked on an essay about D-day—the day my son Matthew was diagnosed with a brain tumor. I plan to submit the piece to a literary magazine, but every time I looked at it, it seemed more and more flawed and I was close to trashing it.

Writing-wise, the week was a bust.


Except that I asked my parents to read part of my memoir manuscript–the story about how ill-prepared I was as a person and a mom for my son’s rumble with a brain tumor.

I asked them for two reasons. First, I want them to know the full story—the parts that they could not have known being 500 miles away at the time; the parts of my pain that I never shared. My own husband, who lived our drama with me, didn’t know about some of that pain until I asked him to read it last fall.

The other reason I asked my parents to read my manuscript is that I want their blessing on it. Not on my story, but on their story within it—who they are and how they raised me, which made me the parent I was and the person I am.

My parents’ blessings was important to me.

There’s nothing really unflattering about them in it; my Mom and Dad are the nicest people you ever could meet, and I was raised to be nice. But when you’re faced with a serious life challenge, “nice” doesn’t cut it. And I didn’t know how not to be nice because I had no role models for it. It was on-the-job-training for me.

It’s very possible the book will be published after my parents have died, which is why I asked  for their blessings on it now. And I got it. Thank you, Mom and Dad.

So I haven’t done much new writing. I didn’t finish that essay. I didn’t submit to any magazines.

But I crossed a threshold and I’m energized to get back on track. I have a memoir to finish.

No Comments

  1. Karen DeBonis on March 16, 2018 at 1:22 PM

    Thanks for commenting, Cheryl. Like you said, my parents are important to me and I want them to like what I write just because! And the last thing I would want is to offend them (or anyone) with what I put out in the world. I hope you get your check soon – we writers put so much of ourselves into our writing, it’s nice to get a little bit back.

  2. Jack Herlocker on March 16, 2018 at 4:42 PM

    I was starting to worry a little bit… glad to know it’s just a matter of dealing with Real Life and not being flat on your back in a hospital bed or something. Sounds like you have new material, anyway! I look forward to reading it!

    • Karen DeBonis on March 16, 2018 at 11:18 PM

      I have to remember, now that I followers (all three of them), that they do wonder when I’m absent. It’s humbling. And thanks for caring, Jack. All is good!

  3. Robyn Ringler on March 16, 2018 at 5:06 PM

    So happy for you, Karen. ❤

  4. Paula Ransbury on March 18, 2018 at 1:15 PM

    Thank you for another heartwarming story of real life Karen. Such a blessing to celebrate 80-some birthdays with your parents and to share life stories. Your parents must be so proud of you! So happy to know you are still at it while I look forward to reading your memoir one day.

  5. Karen DeBonis on March 18, 2018 at 6:54 PM

    Thanks Paula. It is indeed such a blessing to have my parents around, and still so sharp, for all these years. I know more about them and about myself each time we visit.

  6. Pat Rampolla on April 8, 2018 at 12:08 AM

    My dear Karen I love you so much. I wish I could heal all the hurts that you have endured. It is very hard for me to admit how powerless I am to do that. That is something that I learned from therapy years ago. I can’t make everything better , only you can and I know that you have the courage to do that. It is a lifetime journey to know yourself. You are only part ways there. Don’t turn back, dear.

    • Karen DeBonis on April 8, 2018 at 11:37 AM

      My dear Mom, I love you, too! I am so glad to have you here, on this page, and in my life. Valuing personal growth is something I learned from you. It may be a difficult journey, but I won’t turn back, no matter how long it takes.

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