Where do you, or any writer, get ideas from? Do you do lots of research on a subject you’re not familiar with (military, war, politics, medical)? Or are you like me and write from personal experience, or the experiences of those you know?
In my book Like A Cedar In Lebanon one of the main characters is Lebby who is young, sweet, and naïve. She suffers abuse, control and manipulation by Jack. I understood how Lebby felt, and would feel, in her situation because I had experienced it. Jerry was my Jack.
Jerry died suddenly, unexpectedly last Friday, four days ago. The father of my children, my husband for twenty-two years, and yet we were strangers to each other. Those twenty-two years produced more bad memories than good, and when he left – for I could not leave, no matter how much I wanted to – I was relieved, happy, set free.
God brought healing and eventual forgiveness into my heart. It wasn’t an easy process. I’ve been remarried for almost nineteen years, happily married, and blessed. My heart aches for my children, though. I watch them grieve and I have no words to say. People have said to me (several times), “I’m sorry for your loss.” I have no response other than, “Thank you.” What I don’t say is I don’t feel a loss, at least not in that sense. But I am sad. Sad for my children, sad for Jerry’s wife, Gladys (a good woman), sad for the life he lived.
Jerry loved to the best of his ability, trying to be a good father despite the lack of a good father in his life. I never doubted he loved our kids. I know he didn’t know how to be a good husband. He could have had he given God control of his life. How very sad that so many live their lives troubled and unfulfilled by not surrendering to the love and care of a Heavenly Father.
Jerry’s gone, and I have mixed feelings. All the bad memories have surfaced; things I thought I had made my peace with. But life is a series of choices, so I choose to be there for my children -- to be thankful for the five children that came from our marriage, for the depth of God’s love I experienced because of the dire circumstances in my marriage, the lessons I learned, and the fodder it has given me for writing.