It’s hard for me to believe that March 2018 marks the third anniversary of the publication of BEV: The Invisible Sister, which came a year after Bev’s death in February of 2015. Just before my book release I established this website to provide me with a public entity. Within this website is my blog, which I’ve been using primarily to report on my book signings and promotions. It’s time for that to change - it needs to be more than that. But one of the reasons that I haven’t written in this blog is that I wasn’t sure what I wanted to say here.
BEV is a memoir centered around my intellectually disabled sister. My main purpose in writing the book was to come to terms with how my family and I dealt with her disability. There was so much I didn’t know about the whys and wherefores of her being sent to live at Pennhurst State School and Hospital as a child. A cloud of guilt and fear and shame hung over me when I thought about how we had let her become invisible, a shadow who lived in some sort of limbo between two worlds. I needed to understand how that happened and how that affected me personally. I had never been able to move beyond looking at my sister Bev through the eyes of a frightened child. I was a prisoner of my memories. Writing BEV was a breath of fresh air that blew through the past and let the truth shine through. It is said that the truth will set you free, and it does. Once I found out the truth I could let go of the guilt and let myself love Bev as a whole person in the here and now, not in the past.
BEV was a once in a lifetime book, and I will never write anything like it again. But now that I have written it, I want to keep writing. During the eight years I spent working on BEV, writing became a part of my life that I don’t want to let go. And so, I would like to use this blog to write about writing and creativity and late blooming. Though I will always be glad to talk about Bev and the book I wrote about her, I don’t want to do that in this space. I want to explore what I found in the process of writing her story. By writing that book I opened the door to my self expression. I became fearless in expressing myself and believing in what I have to say. Through my writing I hope to become true to myself and my own heart. I promise that what I write here will always be true.