I write from the heart. I write about what I love. My subject must have meaning otherwise why would I bother. Having never written a "genealogy book" I selected a subject that mattered. I chose to write about my mother's brother.
Mom's brother, Dick, died tragically causing immense sorrow for my Mom and Grandmother. Their grief was so strong that Mom and Grandma never spoke about Dick. All I knew was that Dick was in Navy, that he fell from his ship while in dry dock, and died. His death defined his life.
As I researched Dick's life, I began to get an idea of who my uncle was. I came to love him and with that love came grief. It was the first time I really understood my Mom's sorrow.
Mom was a faithful mourner. She mourned every anniversary. One day, years ago, as I spoke with her on the phone, I sensed a sadness. Something was bothering Mom, so I asked her to dinner. We were seated at one of her favorite local restaurants. It was late; about 7:30 when dinner arrived. Mom picked up her fork, about to take her first bite of dinner, when her arm dropped to the table. Her body slumped, she heaved a sigh and said, "My brother died just about now." Tears followed. I now know that the day was 2 October 2007. Mom had received the phone call informing her of her only brother's death. She earnestly mourned him for 57 years and missed him terribly.
Now that is an emotional story and that emotion is exactly what I was including in story! Over and over I wrote emotionally never really liking how the story progressed. I tore up my words countless times.
I finally realized that it was up to my reader to find his or her own emotion. The idea of just telling his story took hold. Nothing more was needed. I began to share, in word, what I had learned through years of study. I began to share the moments that made his life.