The happy ending.

Not all memoirs have a happy ending, but the ending should somehow resolve the narrator’s uncertainty or quest in some way. It’s called a narrative arc.

My memoir will be a tough read until the very end. There’s a lot of pain in it and I imagine some readers will wonder if they can make it through. When I was living the pain, I sometimes wondered if I would make it through, too.

Spoiler alert: Mine is a happy ending memoir. I’m sure you’ll be so glad you stuck it out.

.I wrote about the happy ending in a 100 word essay, published in Drabblez Magazine this week. I was surprised at how much I could tell in so few words. (Unfortunately, there’s no direct link to my essay, but you can scroll down to #18. Better yet, just read it below.)

When muddies waters clear.

His fifth day at Rent Central was his last, after he dropped a couch in the mud.
My son.
Fired from Grocery World when he forgot to show up. Let go from Mighty Mattress
because he confused “extra firm” with “memory core” with “inner spring.” Quit selling
insurance (he hadn’t sold any). Census taker. Phone book deliverer. Temp office worker. None
lasted.
It’s life with a brain tumor.
Will he ever support himself?
“Yes,” he texted yesterday.
“Yes?”
“Yes, I got the job.”
The one with benefits and retirement.
I released the breath I had held for twenty years.

It’s another writing feather in my cap. And I’m now working on manuscript revisions in the section leading up to the happy ending. I’ll be glad when I get there!

Author

  • Karen DeBonis writes about motherhood, people-pleasing, and personal growth, the entangled mix told in her memoir "Growth: A Mother, Her Son, and the Brain Tumor They Survived" forthcoming in spring 2023. Subscribe today to receive Chapter 1: A Reckoning.

No Comments

  1. Sheba on August 3, 2018 at 4:39 PM

    Yay…for all the family! How wonderful for your son.
    Persistence and prayers payoff.

    Thanks for sharing

  2. Jack Herlocker on August 3, 2018 at 5:20 PM

    It almost reads like a poem, Karen! The sparseness counterintuitively lets the emotion come through. Nicely done.

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