In November 2018, I began my National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) challenge. I was about 20,000 words in when I realized I needed to hear from those who knew more than I did – my parents. It’s surprising to realize that things you thought you knew…weren’t exactly what you’d been told. But, then again, how do you explain to a child that inside them is a new heart valve and a square silver box (which I still say looked like my Dad’s cigarette lighter – c’mon this was the early 70s!) that helps their heart beat regularly.
I became part-cyborg (to quote a friend), part vampire (always cold and little blood circulation), and someone who always felt caught somewhere between this world and the next.
So, I reached out and asked them each to write what they remembered about those earliest years, the years before the surgeries. I asked them to share their feelings, their fears, their thoughts, whatever they could recall. We were a small family of three and I was a sickly child.
It’s been an interesting experiment as my mother spent a couple of months recalling and I’m told wrote her feelings down in a matter of minutes. One page. Typed.
My father, who is more analytical, went straight to work recalling details such as doctor’s names, hospital locations, and dates with some feelings mixed in. Seven pages. Handwritten.
It was when I began to put our thoughts together, I came up with the title because as you see, while we were a family of three, I also had three separate defects over the course of three surgeries.
The story is farther along now and is a Work in Progress (WIP) and is affectionately known as a Bio-Memoir. I don’t know if that’s a genre yet, but I’m willing to bet it may be. And with luck and dedication it will be published, mid-summer. This is important as this when Matt and I are hoping to walk the Camino de Santiago, a 500-mile walk across Northern Spain. Oh, did I mention? I am not your average heart patient and they tell me walking is good for you. Plus, if two friends can go – one in a wheelchair – then I have no excuse. Do I?
So, to borrow an idea from a fellow blogger, I plan to release snippets from my upcoming book and would love your thoughts as it comes along. I hope when it’s fully fleshed out, readers find a connection, inspiration, mindfulness, laughter, and more.
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