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.