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13 June 2006 @ 10:03 am
it's been a long time  
since I posted about books. Today marks an unhappy anniversary for me and the family: our daughter Meredith died a week shy of her 36th birthday some 4 years ago today. As anyone who has lost a loved one will tell you, not a day goes by without a thought of Meredith. I have three living reminders close at hand just in case: Cali, now 20, Corrie, 15 and Natalie, 13. Yesterday, a book arrived in the mail that somehow must have been meant for me to pick up and read today. DREAM JOURNAL by Karen Halvorsen Schreck is the story of Livy (Olivia). As the novel opens, Livy is writing another entry in the journal her mother gave her for her last birthday. Now Livy's mother is dying of cancer, and the nightmares seem to multiply. There seems to be no place to escape the sadness that hangs over Livy's life. It is only when she zooms away with her friend Ruth for an evening of drinking and hazardous antics that the pain of her mother's inevitable death seems bearable.

It is sometimes hard for me to read books like this as they still touch a raw nerve. I do remember, though, as a teen seeking out books like this one. I think I was somehow putting myself to the test. How would I handle this situation? Could I survive like Livy does? Now, I find some sort of comfort in these same books even though they might lead to tears. Cali and Corrie and Natalie are the same. We have read ELSEWHERE and THE LOVELY BONES and AFTERLIFE and wept, not just for the characters in the books, but for ourselves as well and our losses.

I hope THE DREAM JOURNAL makes it into the lives of many girls. For some, it will be comforting to read about a character surviving the ultimate loss. For others, it will serve as a test of sorts for how they might one day react to a similar situation.
Current Mood: pensivepensive
sdnsdn on June 13th, 2006 08:56 am (UTC)
i send you love from here.
Debra Garfinkledlgarfinkle on June 13th, 2006 09:03 am (UTC)
I'm sorry.

Take care.

I wish I knew what to say.
Susan Taylor Brown: rocksusanwrites on June 13th, 2006 10:12 am (UTC)
I'm so sorry for this difficult time for you. I'm glad you are able to find some comfort in books.
Kerry Maddenmountainmist on June 13th, 2006 11:11 am (UTC)
Dear Professornana
I'm so sorry about the loss of Meredith...

I'm so glad you have your granddaughters...thank you for writing about "The Dream Journal." My own daughter's best friends are going through something very similar and it sounds like a beautiful book. Thank you, and again I am so sorry for your loss.

All best
alixwritesalixwrites on June 13th, 2006 03:12 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry, Terry. As you may know from my blog, I have a Meredith of my own and can't imagine a world without her. I am glad that you can find comfort and catharsis in books. It's thoughts like that, that can make writing them worthwhile.
Little Willowslayground on June 13th, 2006 06:27 pm (UTC)
Good thoughts for you and your family.
beachalatte on June 13th, 2006 10:01 pm (UTC)
Thoughts to you for your daughter
I hope the DREAM JOURNl goes everywhere it is needed
professornanaprofessornana on June 16th, 2006 02:05 pm (UTC)
I appreciate all the lovely posts about Meredith. Thanks for making a tough day a bit more bearable. Love to all of you.
(Anonymous) on August 22nd, 2006 05:27 pm (UTC)
Karen Halvorsen Schreck
Thank you for such a personal, well-written review. In addition to reading a powerful story that seems to reach in to your core, it is enlightening to meet the author and find out about her and where the book comes from. Karen will be at The Magic Tree Bookstore in Oak Park, Illinois on September 30 at 11 a.m. If you want to add a link to our store, www.magictreebookstore.com that might help people with more information.

Thank you.
Iris Yipp, co-owner of The Magic Tree Bookstore