I’m writing a memoir. Yes, you read that correctly. Fortunately for us both, a memoir is just a peek into my life. Chapters. A full blown autobiographical accounting since my birth would be a yawner. I know, my immediate family and close friends may be the only ones who will read my memoir and still, I write.
I am calling my memoir: Between The Lines. #btwthelines
My youngest daughter describes me as someone who looks a little deeper at scenarios most people overlook. She says I often see the blessings in the mundane, and I make connections between people, places, and intuitive feelings that remain hidden to most. According to her, “I see between the lines.”
I started writing to heal.
Some shitty things have happened to me. I wrote through my first husband’s affairs and my daughters’ teenage years. I captured sad episodes of my second marriage in a journal I penned: Menacing Moments. I write when saner people slumber because I have to make sense of how I feel. Always I write about Celeste.
I have no desire to play the victim. I could not care less about blame. Still, that does not erase the inordinate tragedies that I have lived to tell.
No, I am not a wounded veteran or former POW, I’ve never been homeless or raped, and I’ve never been trapped living in a third world country. That is some bad shit.
You may be thinking, what’s she got that beats the time I ________ (insert your worst tragedy)? I know. You have dealt with tough shit, too.
I learned a long time ago that tragedy is relative. I don’t think comparing tragedies is helpful either. Relishing in them even worse.
I did hold my daughter as she took her dying breath, though. During the fight to beat Celeste’s brain tumor nurses would comment about my strength. They expressed amazement about my resilience, especially since at twenty-two, I too was a baby.
For me, age seemed irrelevant. What did it matter if I was twenty-two or forty-two, battling brain cancer with your daughter would suck at any age, right? All I knew how to feel was love and compassion for her.
Celeste’s illness taught me tragedy is relative. Her worst tragedy took her life. My worst tragedy has been to make sense of life without her.
Yours is all that too; it is the tragedy you proclaim the worst. No one else gets to make that claim. For a long time, my thoughts and words did not feel worthy of publication (even a blog).
Twenty-five years after Celeste died, a friend pointed out that he recognized a lot of love in the wake of my pain and suffering. I decided then my words had value enough to share and the constancy of my love more powerful than any tragedy.
So, I write knowing my words are enough. I write to give others encouragement or a funny reprieve, and by giving I receive.