The last time I posted here it was as an announcement for a book I wrote called Finding Nine. At the time I told myself and others the book was not about the son I lost. And in fact it was inspired during a road trip with his daughter long before he was even ill. My loyal readers though seemed to know the truth while I continued to find pleasure as I continued to write surrounded by my own denial. The kind of denial that stays with a mother long after her child has died.
This month I’m once again writing in the NaNoWriMo 50,000 word count rough draft challenge. As I write it comes to me there is no way for me as a newbie writer to write anything that I do not know. So in goes an overheard conversation, a detail taken out of my own life, a stolen vignette from someone else’s, a piece or many pieces of my son’s story. His life, who he was, who I wanted him to be, the man he became. Little bits and pieces here and there making up for his absence in my real life. In fiction he is always by my side. I write in a character by his name during the rough draft, changed later on. But while I write it is him who comes to life on the page, or parts of him mixed in with someone of my imaginings.
He is beside me. This is what I forgot recently while I sat ensconced in the weight of misery. Putting off writing until I felt lighter and less alone. But he is here, right here with his voice whispering details in my ear. Thank you Jason, Write on!
Finding Nine by Author SUKI LANG
Suki Lang lives and writes in British Columbia. A story teller by nature she has a strong belief in miracles and a certainty that there is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way – This writer has no trouble finding happy endings.
This is the story of John, a 16 year old who loses his mother to cancer. During the last year of her life she writes a series of eight letters for her son to read after her death. Designed as a treasure hunt, the letters take John to a place his mother left long ago, where he meets a family he knows little of. The object of the hunt seems to be to find a perfect spot to place his mother’s ashes. But John soon discovers the letters are his mother’s way of helping him move through his grief, and of letting him know she will always be by his side. The journey he takes is about finding hope in the love of two people who welcome him with open arms. And John’s arrival is a gift never expected but long hoped for by two of the people his mother did not forget. Through the natural order of things a son is given the opportunity to fulfill a mother’s last wish and to discover her many secrets yet untold.
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I wish I had a picture to show you what made me happy or why I’d be happier today than another day. I had a surprise, it was a feeling deep inside my chest bursting with warmth. It felt like love but it was a bit different and much more complicated in a way I won’t explain. Today I purchased a Father’s Day gift for my husband; Jason is gone but he is still a dad right? Jason would want his dad lavished with love, kindness and gifts.
So today I got him a hand made gift from a local artisan. As it happens it is someone our Jason knew long ago. While we chatted we discovered we have some unusual and very specific things in common and I had a hard time dragging myself away. Letting them get back to the business at hand I finally made my way home. And as I drove, the surprise feeling began to grow in my chest. A warm pressure was building until finally it burst inside me and I wept. Because without trying at all, without keeping my focus on the moment or attempting to find happiness, and quite by accident, I found joy. The joy of meeting a like minded person who knew my son. The joy of hearing someone say Jason’s name and remember him and talk casually about him with regard. To talk to me about my loss of him and all that he was to me, to my husband to the rest of my family. I felt joyful, I feel joyful, my tears are joyful. This happens to me at unexpected times when an event takes place that is so full of goodness I am filled with hope! What a kindness Jason sent me today…..Everything happens for a reason. And today I am happy! 98 days to go!