This was the comment I made on Barb Parker‘s page dedicated to her memoir: “My Sister’s Journey” “From Headache to Heartache” by Barb Parker, I never knew less than a year latter, it was going to be my turn to recollect my brother’s: Marie A Abanga
31 December 2013 at 08:01
Barb Parker, thank you for writing this book, it sure is a deserving homage to your sister and an honour to us the readers. Before I continue, I was just a bit disappointed that I don’t see pictures of your sister in her glows before the headaches began. I have an only brother who was a geek, everyone called him a computer he was super intelligent and my Mother’s Boy, I loved him so much and fought real fights for him. One day his life changed and ours as well. He sunk into a depression and is still so unstable well you know much more. The last time I was blessed to speak with him, he sounded so happy and spoke for 30 minutes but the next day he wrote to me saying I should mind my business. When I read your book, and how Deb said things you would never have imagined of her like someone is cruel, I understood more. Yes there is strength in what remains and all things work out for the good of those who fear the Lord. Happy New Year.
And now, it’s been a good damn month, and I just finished his book at 23.15 pm on September 02, 2014. I couldn’t sleep until I had that first draft. It is thus dedicated:
To my dearest, one and only brother Gabriel. You were always a love after my own heart until mental illness stepped in. This is my lasting legacy to you!
To all mental health patients, both diagnosed and undiagnosed, I dedicate this to you too. Mental Illness will one day be rid of stigma and shame and the ‘system’ will be much more holistic. That’s my dream!
To you Sebastien Aiden Daniels, Bold Kevin, the ProzacQueen and you Mr T behind the blog takingthemaskoff, I wish us all the best!
Of interest in the Acknowledgments are these lines:
My brother’s classmates especially those in Seat of Wisdom College where several memories spring up, all his and our friends. Oh no, we were that close, I literally knew more than 50% of his friends. Even while in the USA, when he had some, he will tell me and I will try to befriend them too. And vice versa.
My e-family means so much to me. I think of the Mental Health Writers Guild and all my other gentle readers and followers. You are a constant source of inspiration, motivation and information.
I must sort out Barb Parker, whose memoir of her Sister’s Journey from Headaches to Heartaches, inspired the title and direction of this memoir.
I couldn’t have gathered the courage to write this book now had I not have fallen in love with writing earlier on. Sports and writing are such a big part of my own therapy, I am so grateful for them.
and the concluding lines of the epilogue:
In all due respect, love, affection, solidarity and care for mum, I dare reckon her that her son didn’t live nor die in vain. I also wrote this memoir for her. I know she knows it all and even more than what I wrote, but I equally know she will treasure this other work of mine. I am sure it will be both a legacy for her beloved son, and a tribute of her daughter’s love for them both.
It is sad I am still so blank about dad. I wished I knew how to reach out to him, or maybe the other way round for a change? I will send him a copy of this though, just like he had asked for and received a copy of my own memoir published earlier.
May you my dear readers, find empathy, comfort and love in your faith and respective journeys.