As many of you know, I have been working on a book called Childless by Marriage for several years. At least four times, I have considered the manuscript finished. So far, no big publisher has accepted it, but it keeps coming close, and I have hope that that will be accepted this year. One way or another, it is going to be published.
I was out of town on a book-selling trip last November when, as I sank into a well-earned hot bath, I had a sudden realization that changed the focus of the book. I jumped out and typed for the next three hours in my bathrobe. All this time, I have been trying to leave out the fact that my husband Fred had Alzheimer’s Disease, that he spent two years in a nursing home, and that he died in April, 2011. I didn’t want to bum people out, it didn’t seem like part of the book, and, until April, I didn’t know when it would end.
But I realized in November that Fred’s illness is an important part of the story. I can’t hide it from my readers. I wound up caring for him as if he were my child. And, because we had no children together, I did it alone. Now, as a widow, it makes a huge difference that I don’t have grown children and grandchildren to turn to for help and for company.
So now the focus is more on my connection with Fred, the love that led me to give up children in order to have him, and the cruel turn that left me without either one. In essence, I chose Fred, and this is what happened. What do you think?
A piece of good news: An excerpt from the book, a chapter called “My Imaginary Daughter,” appears in the January issue of Still Crazy, a terrific literary magazine. Click here for info.