Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Writing the Book

My husband and I had a joke of sorts. Or maybe it was wishful thinking/hoping on our parts. He loved to read the little essays I would write him and put in his lunch box. But he was easy to wow, because he hated to write, himself. I was always tinkering with this short story or that. Getting upset when my creative writing prof said I was more of a poet than a writer of prose. But, I do/did see more of the poet in my own writings after that class. My penchant for the run on sentence, abstract breaks, random ideas bouncing in...and, always, the incomplete sentences. But hey, that is what editors are for. But, I am getting off track. I had started a novel (interestingly enough, it was titled "I Promise Not to Laugh During the Seance" until I began this blog, and stole the title. It has sat on my computer for years. It has started and stopped, been deleted, recrafted and abandoned for months at at time. It was difficult for me to keep it together long enough most days to get anything down because,as mentioned, I procrastinate. I have so many memories of things I didn't get done that now wound me, because he asked me often about them.

And then there is the book. We would go out and look at houses. Sometimes they were slightly above our means. He would look at me and say,"When are you going to write that book?" with a wink. I would dither and say something noncommittal about how many chapters, writers block, these things take time, the kids... etc... Over about 10 years, we would sort of joke about this. It was always "When are you going to write that book?"

He will never ask me that again. Today, I realized I never will/can write that book. It belonged to him/us. I begin to think that I would/will have to completely reinvent myself in order to survive. And so, In a second goodbye/funeral/realization of loss, I called up the book one more time

and

I hit delete.

And I hope, somewhere, he is reading the book that I had already dedicated to him. The book that, using fictional characters designed for him to know that they were us, detailed a 2 decades long love story. A pouring out of all that I felt for him. A sort of collection of the things I had written on cards he had read, notes I had sent. They are gone from me now. Just as he is. And it was another rending, but I couldn't look at it sitting there anymore.

17 comments:

Woli said...

Oh Laura - I am so sorry . . .

haylee said...

Ah Laura, how terribly sad. :(

I hope it is of come comfort to know that the book, unfinished on your hard-drive, is written in your heart where Leonard can read it for alltimes.

hugs,
haylee

The girl left behind said...

I had a song like that; we were working on it as a joint project. I thought I'd finish it, but I couldn't.

I still have mayo and horseradish in my fridge from 2005; I bought them for him. I still can't move them. It took a great deal of strength to make that decision today. Remember that you had that strength on the days when you feel weakest.

Anonymous said...

Maybe one day you'll feel a compelling need to finish the book for him/the both of you. You don't feel that now, but I can't help but think that it would be such a lovely tribute to his memory and the love you two shared

elizabeth

Tessie said...

Wow. This is very moving to me. I'm not sure if I feel sad though. The book is with him. It's not gone.

I've always wondered about the title of your blog.

The Stevens Family said...

Laura it would be so great for you to maybe start a new book. Make it about him and let it all pour out. It wouldn't be his book, but it may make you feel better. Just a thought, hugs!

Jeanette said...

I'm sorry that you had to do that. One of these days, when you are in a better state of mind you will write that book. Thinking of you always.

Shannon said...

Oh Laura,

Lots of hugs and good thoughts. It must have been hard to either throw it away or keep it. I can't even imagine the struggle to decide. When we lost our first baby, I gave everything away but a couple of items. I just couldn't bear to even think of them hanging in the closet.

Shelly said...

Wow, that's really sad. I'm so sorry.

Donna said...

My Mother always said, when you don't know what to do, don't do anything....I'm so sorry sweetie...hughug

KamaAina said...

If you ever feel the need to restart the book, bear in mind that I am an old-school hacker who still knows a few tricks about how to recover stuff that's been deleted, by accident or otherwise.

Then again, for all I know, you may have backups of it somewhere. If so, take them down to the safe deposit box or someplace else that's both safe and not in the house.

Artemisia said...

Oh, Laura. I am thinking of you.

Nance said...

I think what you did was incredibly courageous. I find it symbolic of your strength, and an affirmation that your life with Leonard is and always will be a part of who you are. You don't need extraneous things to hold onto it. It might be all those "things" that keep you from what you call surviving.

Karen MEG said...

Laura, it is sad, but it is easy to understand why you did that. I still am in awe of your strength through all of this.
I hope someday that you will think about writing a book, not that one obviously, but another one. I think you will be able to dream again someday. And your writing talent would be showcased well in hardcopy, and not just in cyberspace.
Hugs to you.

Kellan said...

I don't know your whole story, but through this post I felt some of your pain and I am sorry for that. I think sometimes you have to start over in order to heal and it is not always a bad thing. I don't like the thought of your book being gone - forever - but, if that felt right for your then it must have been the right thing. I hope you right a book someday - I do!! One day you will.

Take care and come back and see me. Kellan

Shari said...

:( That must have been hard. I am sorry. I noticed that I glanced at the WWLD band a lot today. Coincidence?

Take care. God bless.

Betts4 said...

Sorry about losing the book. Jim has a book he was writing. I may talk about that in my next post. I told myself I would finish it for him, but it hurts to read it.