When told I had two weeks to live, all my expectations for a future of retirement, self discovery, and life with future grandchildren had to be readjusted. Riddles perplexed me: What legacy could I leave? How could I communicate to grandchildren who weren't even born yet how important they were to me and how much I wanted to be a part of their lives? In response to my children's desire to write about my life, how could I select from a lifetime of experiences something meaningful about a life that was not spectacular?
in June 2010, at age 55, I discovered I had a rare Stage IV incurable cancer. Months of chemotherapy caused debilitating weakness, transfusions, hallucinations, and coma, but at the end of the summer, I was still here. Gaining strength throughout the winter and spring, I took a class in "Writing Your Memoirs" that triggered the solution to the riddles.
The assignment to write about something I had always wanted to become seemed a triple win. The essays I wrote revealed who I am, celebrated events from my life with my husband and children, and conveyed to my future grandchildren my deep desire to share in their lives. The events captured in these essays have brought me the greatest satisfaction of my life - everyday joys that knitted together a love shared with children and husband.
This book was inspired by the many times my children and I spent in the kitchen whipping up all kinds of meals, desserts, and even unused concoctions just so they could enjoy the pleasure of mixing. Chemotherapy again is disrupting my life but I hope it will buy me the time to complete a series of these vignettes to leave as my legacy, capturing snapshots of a life filled with simple yet joyful moments shared with the ones I love and who have loved me.
Grandma's Magic Published November 13, 2011