On caregivers, faith, family, and writing…

“It’s for you,” David said as he held his cell phone out to me.

I knew who it had to be. It was our RV friend who always calls just as we’re sitting down to dinner. But why did he want to talk to me instead of to David?

“Hi,” I said. “What up?”

“Shame on you for quoting me in your blog,” he said.

“But I didn’t use your name,” I said.

“Right, but I know what I said.”

I heard a smile in his voice and laughed with him.

“I was just reading your blog and had to call you. Go enjoy your dinner, and I’ll talk to you later.”

That’s the danger of knowing a writer. You never know when you’ll see yourself in print. I learned that when my son Christian wrote his first novel at 16 years old. I recognized myself in the over-protective mother who woke her son each morning with a cheerful Good morning, Sunshine. Over the years I’ve seen my politics and religion opened to the world. I cringed as my failed marriage was discussed, and I cried when he thanked me for showing him what it meant to be a person of faith. There’s always payback though. He shows up a lot in my memoir. Maybe that’s why I started to write. Don’t get mad, get even.

I worry about what people will think when I write about them. That’s part of being a co-dependent, always wanting everybody to be happy. I’m not a Mommy, Dearest kind of diarist, but the people in my life aren’t perfect. I try to be gentle but truthful and follow the Apostle Paul’s admonition to speak the truth in love.

It’s a real issue when the subject is caregiving. Dad would be mortified to know that I write about his hygiene issues, and Mom would be embarrassed for people to know that she sometimes puts four socks on one foot and two on the other. But that’s part of the truth about caregiving, and I tell my stories in hopes that some other caregiver will be encouraged, inspired, and maybe even amused. I tell them because I get responses like this: “As the tears pour out of my eyes, and I shake my head in belief, I smile and again know I am not alone.”

So I’ll keep writing about what I know and who I know. And to my dear RV friend, here you are again, and I’m not ashamed. I’ll make you a promise. If you decide to become a writer, feel free to write about me as long as you speak the truth in love. I promise not to get mad – but I might get even.

Comments on: "The Danger of Knowing a Writer" (4)

  1. With my memoir coming out next year, I’ll have it coming and going. Piss off the parents and my kids all at the same time…oh, and my wife too!

    Hey, being a memoirist ain’t a popularity contest with the ones you love.

    Good stuff.

  2. My friends & family tell me they are going to get me the, ‘Careful you might end up in my Novel’ t-shirt. There is truth in that. Writers write what they know and sometimes it’s who we know the best, Good luck, Linda! & you be nice, Christian! 🙂

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