Read this memoir.
The games I remember most from my childhood aren't Little League or hoops. Instead the game I remember most was penny pitching. This was usually played in hospital waiting rooms. I grew up with leukemia and spent a lot of time in hospital waiting rooms. To pass the time, my mother would take off her shoe, push it onto the middle of the rug, and we'd take turns pitching pennies into her shoe.
Now when people ask me what it was like, growing up with leukemia, I do not tell them about the scabs around my mouth or IV lines. Instead I tell them that what I remember most is the thrill of the perfect arc and the soft thud as the penny landed squarely in my Mum's shoe.
I am writing this column not because this has anything to do with Memphis or sports, but because I do not want another year to go by without saying thanks. My mother took a potentially scary time and made it sweet.
And isn't that the meaning of September 11? Whatever it is we have been meaning to do--we need to do it, and do it now. Write that letter. Go for that job. Make that phone call...
Answer these questions.
1. What makes this a memoir?
2. What elements make it a personal narrative?
3. What are some small ideas in the story?
4. What are some big ideas in the story?
5. What are some themes in the memoir?
***Continue working on your memoir. Be careful that your memoir isn't just a retelling of events; that becomes a story. You've already written a personal narrative. Bring out the small and big moments.