In my new memoir, “As a Result”, the stories retold from my childhood and later years are based on memories which often fade, and sometimes slip. As in any large family, perspectives vary from sibling to sibling. In our case, we were like two different generations under the same roof.
Our parents had three children for a number of years before Mom had the last three of us in rapid succession–she always said her last three were born in the small span of just thirty months! Imagine all those diaper changes! The oldest three were in school, and with three babies, Mom seldom had a moment’s rest. She said when the school bus pulled onto our lane every afternoon at 3:00, and the older siblings walked in the back door, they took one look at her and said, “Mama, go lay down. We can handle the kids while you rest.” And according to Mom, she did just that, until time to get our supper prepared.
Growing up the youngest of the six, I didn’t miss much. Becoming a writer and composing the stories about our family has given me liberties to express my perspective, which may be counter to my surviving siblings’. “As a Result” is personal on many different levels, and in an effort to shield my family from any pain or embarrassment, I’ve selected new names for most everyone.
All families go through trials. Our mom said she and Dad were always “dodging bullets” so originally, I chose that as the title for my memoir, when I was trying to give it a name that would best describe the book. But two editors shot it down for various reasons (no pun intended). When I suggested “As a Result”, which is taken from the simplest definition of an alcoholic: a person who has problems as a result of his drinking, it stuck. Alcoholism and its effects have taken their toll.
“As a Result” is dedicated to the memory of my brother, John Edward Blizzard: November 5, 1957-June, 1981; and to the memory of my infant daughter, Amy Lynn; November 3, 1979-May 8th, 1980; and to the memories of my sister, Nancy, my brother, Phil, and to our parents, Paul and Nellewood.
If you have thought about the challenges your parents faced, what were some of them? Please comment below. Thanks so much for leaving me your comments.