Knock on my Door


After signing books at Canyon High School last week, I found myself delighted and exhausted the day after.  Repeating my story is hard work, but not just for me—for my readers.  It is odd being a memoir author, asking friends to read my story when they have witnessed much of it live; almost cruel of me to ask anyone to read about Justin’s passing, Jacob’s illness, how hard it was.  But, when a friend knocked on my door the other day, whose wife passed several years ago, asking for a second book, and we talked about his loss and mine and how challenging it is to live without them and the way joy pops up at the strangest times and even so, we still just want to die sometimes, so we can be with the one we miss—that’s when I knew I was not being cruel.  I love bereaved people.  I wrote Blood Brothers with them as my audience.   Writers are odd birds.  So much of what I do is done alone, in silence, and total solitude like the red sided bird, I see from my window foraging under bushes, scratching the ground, hoping to uncover a nutritious nut or grub; the rufous-sided towhee works alone and when the foraging is over it takes flight and lands on a branch where, if I’m lucky, I can see its black cap, blood red/brown sides, flanked by black and white striped wings.  It is a shy bird, but when in view, totally exposed, wow!  I feel privileged to have seen it.  Writing is like that for me.  I forage, scratch, uncover and now my book has taken flight.  It is beautiful and I feel privileged to share it. I was tired after signing over thirty five books.  I’ve never done that before.  I’m thankful I was in the midst of such kind, welcoming, generous co-workers of my husband.  I loved hearing their stories of loss or near loss:  leukemia, aneurysm, old age, drug addiction.  I live for moments like those. After a comfort food lunch with Dave, Jess and Jojo, I went home and took a two hour nap; a luxury—yes, but also a necessity.  Today, I am back to scratching the ground looking forward to the words I discover next.

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