I had the most wonderful blogpost in mind for this past Saturday morning. Just one more read-through of the article Friday night and…………….. Not so fast. Snail mail came early Friday afternoon, along with the letter that I had hoped I would never see—my rejection letter from the University of Nebraska American Lives Series. My memoir, The Autobiography of a Sea Creature, about infant surgery would not see the light of day. Not yet anyway.
I came close, the letter hinted. Colleagues had consulted one another, the market was considered, their line of titles discussed; “reluctantly” though, the manuscript was returned. Woe is me set in. Deep disappointment hit. Crying helped. Blogposts would wait.
My depth of feeling was not simply due to the dashing of the chance to go more public with the infant surgery issue and gain much needed support for my creativity and talent. It was one more loss in a string of them—the death of my brother, Wayne, November 2010; the death of a dear friend, Robert, June 2011; my accident ice-skating in May 2011, where I sustained a concussion and whiplash; and now a dear-to-my-heart book I’d written, and then rewritten more than several times, rejected October 2011.
Rather than plunge deeper into the losses, I want to tell you why Sea Creature is an amazing and important manuscript. It’s the story of my discovery, as an adult, that I did not receive anesthesia for pyloric stenosis stomach surgery at three weeks old. It’s the story of my partner and me taking care of my mother who had dementia in her final years. It’s the story of a life lived full of thrilling highs and abysmal lows, unknowingly besieged by post-traumatic stress (PTS). It’s a story about how sea creatures and certain key people saved my life. It’s about my personal struggle to honor the seed of my intrinsic beauty, inherited at birth. It’s a human story about seeking freedom.
I trust that 2012 will be kinder and that Sea Creature’s time will come. Thank you all for sharing in my journey.