I’ve spent the past few days re-reading my memoir manuscript from start to finish.
This time I wanted to focus on experiencing the manuscript as a reader would, while watching for any needed edits in sentence structure, punctuation, tone, and voice. In the past, in addition to my developmental editor’s work, I’ve done seven (eight?) complete revisions. I tell myself that after all, there must be a point where I say “The End. Done. Finished.”
This time, the manuscript was a pleasure to read, especially Linda’s voice as she transitions from adolescent to young woman. I found that I liked this young woman and was proud of her commitment to her goals as she rejected the negativity put upon her by her parents.
In the manuscript formatting, I noticed there were now quite a few paragraph indents that shouldn’t be there. I don’t know how I caused them to occur, but no matter, I was happy to go through and fix them. It’s part of a writer’s job, right?
When I got to the Epilogue, I found that I need to change an omission.
I have never addressed how I feel about my parents today, years after their deaths.
When I was in Massachusetts this Thanksgiving 2023, I went to their graves for the first time.
You read that correctly. For the first time.
This year I came to forgive them and I was ready to visit.
One can’t ever know how or why parents act as they do. We/they do what they feel is best at the time.
The best of my own marriage arises from our children. I hope that my memory of providing love and consistency rings true. Because of my own turbulent upbringing, I kissed and cuddled our sons from the start and tried to raise them in contrast to my childhood. They’re now adults—both warm, loving, and productive human beings.
Ultimately, I hope our sons will remember me as loving—because Love is all there is.