Pearls for My Birthday
A Gift From Cancer
About the Book
The strand of pearls Janie's mother gave her for her birthday represents the story recounted in Pearls For My Birthday. The thread running through the pearls symbolizes the life journey she took while she cared for her mother who had lung cancer. The pearls are symbolic of the episodes in a daughter's struggle to keep her mom alive, against medical odds.
Anecdotes related by Janie's mother's friends punctuate the book. Their wise tales put a knot of hope between each iridescent pearl Janie clung to, as she was pulled to a new understanding.
Pearls For My Birthday is about love, compassion, and forgiveness between a mother and a daughter, whose roles are often reversed during that four months.
Janie's mother revisited her life story, filled with passion, her fears, and the aspirations of her youth. She revealed her best times and her worst times, her weaknesses and her strengths.
Eventually, with her mother's guidance, Janie accepted her mom was dying.
Not morbid or maudline, this is a celebration of life.
About the Author
Why I wrote Pearls For My Birthday
From November 1994 to April 1995, I seemed to be living in a vacuum, on an unrealistic mission to save my mother from cancer. In the beginning, I denied she was flirting with death, but eventually, through dialogue, Mom taught me to accept her fate.
After her death, I reflected on the months I'd spent getting to know my mother while dealing with my own mortality. I sorted through my pain by recording my experience on paper. I emptied my soul onto the page, and my healing seemed to progress proportionately to the paragraphs I poured out. I had begun to write daily because of a compulsion to sort the turmoil I felt. I continued to write daily because I recognized its cathartic effect.
Later, reading my journal, it was apparent my words hung on a very loose framework of a novel. With a new objective in mind, the year following Mom's death, I edited, and shaped my story, creating the fiction novel, Pearls For My Birthday.
Pearls For My Birthday is about forgiveness, and love, and acceptance of death.