How should I structure the story?
I now had the letters ready and decided they should be the middle of the book. They described an event that happened when I was two turning three. It was not anything I remembered or anything that was ever discussed in our home. It was not part of my life until now. Therefore, I wanted to begin the book with the life I knew with my parents. I wanted people to have a sense of their character before they read and formed an opinion based on a terrible mistake that took place 60 years ago.
I found myself still a bit of an emotional train wreck. As hard as I would try to distance myself from the story, it would still catch up with me at times when I would read in my mother’s letters things I would do or say and how I missed my daddy.
My friend, Jade, suggested I speak with a psychic that her niece in California had told her about. Jade made the appointment for me and the only thing this woman knew about me was the two-hour time difference. I called her from my home at the appointed time. The first thing she asked was the color of my eyes. She then told me that she works with Tarot cards and that she had several decks that she used. I had her on speaker phone, a pen and legal pad to take notes and a recorder set to record the conversation. My cat, Miss Trixie Delight, was not amused and for the entire hour kept trying to jump into my lap.
As she turned over the first card, she begun by saying it looked as though I had been going through a great deal of turmoil for the past couple of months. She elaborated on that and then stopped and said: “It’s not your fault. None of this is your fault.”
She told me that the room was full of spirits and chatter and it was all positive. She mentioned an older woman and said the name “Mary” came to her. She asked if that meant anything to me and I said my grandmother’s name was Mary. She told me that Mary was saying: “It’s time.” She went on to say there was a younger woman with her with “perfectly coiffed hair.” To me, this was my mother who I was told was “tired of sweeping it under the rug.”
She asked what I had found – what were they talking about. I told her I had uncovered a family secret from years ago and was trying to make sense of everything. She hesitated, then said, she understood and that I had found this when I was supposed to – that I needed to make a timeline – no, I needed to write a book. She asked if I had considered that and I told that I had already written the book. She replied “good” and told me it would be of help to others – that I had been in a dark place but was now coming into the light. I had to agree.
J. Ronald M. York, author of Kept in the Dark, is also an accomplished musician and founder of York & Friends Fine Art Gallery.
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