No Offense Intended, but I will be Strong

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strength

strength (Photo credit: S.H.CHOW)

I have been thinking a lot about ideas for my next blog post. Funny how things fall right into your lap.

This past week has been full. I’ve been editing the book, A Girl from the Hill . After my friend Lisa took the time to edit and proof the manuscript, my mother-in-law has kindly taken a second pass for me. Since I’m self publishing I’m not getting any formal editorial services. But with Lisa and Judy I have more than enough expertise and experience, not to mention heart, to get this book ready. I will sit with my mother tomorrow, hopefully, and start selecting pictures. Then we’re done. Fini.

I have been working on this book nearly every day for the past two years. It started out as a rough idea, and became a journey. I got to have some meaningful conversations with my mother, my sisters, my family. I learned a lot about my mother’s life, things I was too young for, or not even born for, for that matter. I learned how much we are alike, and realized how much I do love her, and myself.

A Girl From the Hill is my first public writing experience. It’s taken me my entire life to get enough confidence and strength to do this.  Saying its a labor of love sounds trite, but all my love for my family and the journeys we’ve all taken is woven into this work.

Writing has provided me with a safe haven from the stress of my daily grind, from a world where I don’t always fit in. I’m like my mom, Auntie Phil, Auntie Alice, and my grandmother Maria. I want people’s happiness more than a person should sometimes. I’m a people pleaser. But I am trying, harder each day, to please myself first. It goes against my grain, but if I don’t do it I’ll get eaten alive, I’m sure of it.

You may notice that some of my posts, my excerpts from the book, are no longer posted. Please know that it’s not because I want people to buy the book when it comes out. While I’d love everyone to buy it in tribute to my mother, a money-making venture this is not. But because I don’t want to offend anyone mentioned in my book, and on this site, I’m taking down any potentially offending words.  And I also must consider editing the book further, so that no feelings are slighted.

The old townhall of The Hague. The statues on ...

The old townhall of The Hague. The statues on the facade depict “Faith”, “Hope”, “Love”, “Strength”, and “Justice”. They were made by the Hague sculptor Jan Baptist Xavery before 1742. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I never wrote this book, or posted a single word with the intention of hurting anyone. Most of the people in my mother’s memories are long departed. Many don’t care about their names being posted on the internet, some have been very supportive. From reviewing recipes from the mind of the Crow, guest blogging, helping me identify my roots. I believe in the positive energy of this book. That’s been my goal all along – to declare that growing up and being a woman means standing up for yourself and not taking yourself so seriously that you kill the spark within you.

I don’t always follow this mantra. Sometimes I let the demons slip in. Doubt, paranoia, egoism. All the comments that cause me to stumble and lose my confidence. Like a cold slap in the face they can get me. If I let them.

I do understand that some people may not like to have their names mentioned in print, may think the memories and the descriptions created are less than flattering. They are my mother’s memories. Whether they are true or not is not as important as the fact that they are her reality. Neither she nor I ever intended to malign or hurt those we love. But I do understand.

I am ever-grateful for having such wonderful parents. Parents that worry about me, care about me as a person, that always, treat me like their baby, even though I’m going on 49 in a few months. That make sure my family is taken care of, that get me the special butterfly split chicken breasts from Ruggieri’s market.

My dad said I must be strong, and not care about what others think. I am trying.

So please accept my apologies for taking down some of these posts. And don’t worry. My next book, already in progress, is a work of fiction.

14 responses »

  1. Dear auntie Pat,
    I, for one, want to let you know how much your posts and blogs have meant to me. I have learned so much about our family and have laughed and cried along the way. I cannot wait to be one of the first to buy my signed copy ! And I agree with gramps…. go forth no matter what anyone else thinks!!
    Love, Dawne xoxo

    • Thank you Thank you and Thank you again!!
      Your comment totally made the tears start flowing again- but in a very good way!

      I really appreciate your love and support, Dawne. It’s always been my intention to write in order to bring our family, and other families together. We’ll get there…

      Love you–

  2. I could go on about the evils that exist, the jealousy, greed and the need to be center stage or take the stage from others at others expense, but I won’t. Those that fit these descriptions know who they are ( or maybe not). Anyone who takes the first step in such a wonderful but scary journey as you have Pat is to be lauded and to have crossed the finish line is, well, totally incredible. Take it from someone who starts a lot and finishes nothing. I have read all of your exerpts and it is easy to see that your efforts were born of love and compassion. So sad that some don’t or can’t or are unable to feel that. I will be right behind Dawne, waiting for my copy!! Don’t stop writing, your talent is unquestionable. I am so proud of you!! love, Maree

    • Like I said, there is a lot of positive energy behind this work. You are a big positive force for me– betcha no one ever called you that before — you big positive force, you… :)

      But really, thanks for all the real, genuine support. Words don’t do it justice. I’ve always looked up to you, even when you haven’t felt worthy of it. Serenity and peace are the goal – even when we get pissed off!

      Love you too!
      P

  3. Standing up for yourself and not taking yourself so seriously you kill the spark–I loved this line. I love, too, your explanation of the book’s intent, and your simple reminder these are your mom’s memories.

    Blogging has been such a joyous journey for me, but there have been struggles. Some of these are around making sense of what people are offended by. It’s a joy to figure out how to proceed even knowing this, and though there is no right answer overall, you have found a graceful one for you . . . which is, as it happens, not remotely surprising given its source.

    • Deb thank you for those very wise words.

      I’ll admit that I began down the “patty pity party” road a bit last night. Not the right path at all. But I agree that this next step will also contain joy.

      I have found such happiness in blogging too. I know it will continue.

  4. I can’t wait to buy the book when it comes out! I really admire you for putting it all out there and writing this book!

    Much love to you!

    • Thank you Helen! I appreciate your love and support. It’s all really been a joy to create, bumps and all. And my mom loves it, which makes it all worthwhile.

      Love to you and the guys!
      Xo
      P

  5. Patty,
    Your posts are wonderful, inspiring, and show the reality of a family that lived through love, laughter, tears, and some crazy moments. That’s what family is all about. As you said, the memories are those of your mother and she is entitled to her memories as they are her reality. Move forward with pride that you have accomplished a life-long goal in a way that radiates love and warmth. Anyone who is offended by anything said, or any story told, in the book is taking themselves much too seriously and not living the life of joy and wonder they were meant to live. Every family has members who are sometimes uncouth, harsh, mean, or a little bit crazy. If we didn’t then the world would be a very boring place. The lesson I have learned is to show joy, acceptance, love, and to provide encouragement to those who are brave enough to expose the truths and insights into family life. Move forward with your book, hold your head high, know you have shared wonderful things with your readers, and that you have shown love, respect and honor to your family by not whitewashing the truths we all must learn to face in life otherwise we haven’t truly lived. I can’t wait to get my copy of your book when it’s ready for sale.
    Big hugs, big kudos, and lots of gratitude flowing your way from a grateful reader.
    Laura

    • Laura
      This feedback and thoughtfulness has further made today so much better than yesterday! Thank you. It’s such a privilege to share with you and so many of the other great creative people who continue to provide support and love.

      Aside from bringing my daughter into this world, this book is by far one of my greatest accomplishments. Just to finish and get it out there will be such a blessing. So I know I can’t let any negative energy bring me down

      Even in these frustrating situations there is a positive. Maybe some good dialogue needs to be started. Not to quote a great blog title btw.

      Thank you again. Keep up the great work on your end helping those who truly need it and are most deserving- our older folks

      With gratitude always,
      P

      • Thank you Patty. Sometimes those we think should be the most supportive are the ones who challenge us the most because of their lack of support.

        Please stay true to yourself and your dream and let those who would stop you from sharing the memories of your mother speak their truth, but don’t let it deter you. We each tell our own stories.

        Keep up the wonderful work!

  6. For all of us, with matters of family, much bravery and courage must be taken LOL. This entire project came straight from the heart. Everyone that knows you and cares about you knows that…but most importantly, you and your mother know it. It is about her memories, her truth and her reality as you said. This book is full of positive energy. What an accomplishment to finish it. I can’t wait to see it and hold it in my hands! xoxo

    • So true Tina. Btw, I have gotten more hits and visits to this blog today than I ever have in one day! The support and positive energy is amazing. Not to mention the kindness.

      Thank you so much my friend, for the kind kind words. We will drink coffee and be merry soon!

      Xoxo
      P

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