It’s been a while since I’ve done writing on my new book, Wounded Angels or updates about my book activities and writing in general. Instead, I’ve been helping to organize and run a large extended family reunion, catching up on many long-neglected home projects and starting to devote more time to connecting or re-connecting with family and friends. Many people have asked about when the new book will be ready and I’ve given and missed several projected dates. Many of those who know me personally know that Wounded Angels was a fictionalized account of the experiences of my wife’s mother, Charlotte. The book recounts how Maureen Russo, Charlotte’s character in the book, met and married her husband, spent a lifetime with him and lost him after more than fifty years. It goes on to describe the devastating effects of that loss on her and an odd friendship that sustained her during that period, until she met and married the second love-of-her-life and remarried in her eighties.
I experienced this story first-hand and thought it was a lovely tale that is reminiscent of so many people who have to cope with the loss of a loved one. Charlotte’s second marriage was a deeply romantic and satisfying one for her and I hoped to have her attend the first book signing and provide her with a first copy of the book, but that was many years ago. In the interim, her second husband developed Alzheimer’s disease, which greatly distressed Charlotte. When he passed away after more than fifteen years together, Charlotte had to cope with a second devastating loss and one from which she never fully recovered. Eventually, she also developed Alzheimer’s disease. Those of us who loved her have had to stand by helplessly as the disease took a little more of her each day and also diminished her ability to cope with the physical reality of her aging. Most recently, Charlotte has been bed-ridden and suffering from pain both real and imagined and we have been praying for God to release her from her suffering. Last night, God answered our prayers. I realized that part of my lack of progress on completing Wounded Angels, has been my own coping with the story I was trying to tell, the demands of writing it a way that could be published and the reality of what was occurring in the real-life person I was writing about.
My relationship with my father was a complicated one and it was only in the months following his death that his life came into clearer focus for me and I came to appreciate the man he was. I’m taking the same opportunity now with Charlotte and I am suspending my writing activities for the next several months. I hope to resume them at the start of next year. Until then, I wish you and yours every good thing. Warmest Regards, Chuck.