Sunday, October 02, 2011

Family *time*

Deborah Reed's debut novel Carry Yourself Back to Me follows heartbroken singer-songwriter Annie Walsh as she digs into the past to exonerate her brother from murder. As a member of From Left to Write book club, I received a copy of this book for review. You can read other members posts inspired by Carry Yourself Back to Me on book club day, October 4 at From Left to Write.

I enjoyed this book a lot. I liked the descriptions of Florida and reading about the family dynamics. However, what stood out to me and something I kept thinking about after closing the book was the fact that we never know what is going to happen in life. Annie lost her dad suddenly, and her fiancee left her without warning. I know we all have had things happen in life that we weren't prepared for or didn't want to happen. I lost my own father at the age of 4, and I've missed out on the chance to know him. Many times I wonder about the some of the character traits I have and wonder if he had them too. I don't even know things like his favorite color or what he liked to eat. That makes me sad.
I talked to a few of my friends about this topic as we celebrated a "Girls' Weekend" together in Monterey this past weekend. Ashley said that she thinks of the quote that you "need to live your life like each day could be your last" (paraphrased by me). So true. It makes me feel teary eyed thinking about that, but also encourages me to hug and kiss my kids and my husband Joe as much as I can. It makes me settle for a less than spotless home when instead, I could be hanging around with the family, chatting or playing board games. It makes me question some of the things I choose to do, things that take away from my family. I've tried to cut back on things that seem like time wasters, including TV. I found that I was spending tired evenings slumped in front of the TV, instead of spending quality time my Joe. It's so easy to sit there, mindless. Which brings to mind the quote about "on your deathbed, what regrets will you have-things you did or things you didn't do?" I don't want to have ANY when it comes to my family. What about you???

1 comment:

Deborah Reed said...

Thank you so much for sharing this story with us. While I haven't yet lost a parent, I have friends who lost one as a child and I can't think of too many things more heartwrenching than to grow up with that kind of loss. When I wrote this novel I was keenly aware of my own mortality. I have two sons, and often think about what their lives would be like if they lost me, or me them. It's so painful to even think about, let alone live through, so my heart goes out to you.
But this is the beauty of writing fiction--to approach these painful topics and make sense of them in a way that brings some understanding and common ground between us all.
All best to you,
Deborah