In the spirit of things coming full-circle, I drove back to the Steak n’ Shake restaurant in Mooresville, Indiana where I started writing Love is the Middle in 2014. It seemed like the best place to be when I leak this first, short chapter of the book. I hope you look forward to reading the complete book! Love is the Middle is the memoir of my relationship with my father, who died of cancer in 2009. It tells the story of what divided us during my teens and what brought us back together during my twenties, as well as our history and much more. For inspiration and in keeping with where we used to hang out, I wrote this book at various Steak n’ Shake locations and edited it at Waffle House over the last three years. The book will be available for purchase online in time for Father’s Day! Please follow for updates and share! I greatly appreciate it! Also, find my previously published books on Createspace.com and Amazon.com! Just search my full name 🙂 -Luke
It is a hell of a thing to lose somebody you love deeply. And just with the passing of time, it doesn’t cease to be a hell of a thing. Time may knock the edges off of your hurt, but it never completely goes away. At least the hurt from losing my father hasn’t dissipated after six years. I don’t even think that is a bad thing.
I am very close to being finished with the final edit of “Love is the Middle: The True Story of a Father and Son.” For more information on the book, please visit this link to a previous blog: Love is the Middle: Thoughts on Finishing Draft One
I find that it is helpful when editing, not only to read the text through normally, but also once through aloud. Doing so, at least for me, forces a slower pace and I catch mistakes that I would otherwise miss.
With that in mind, I decided that for my out-loud reading of “Love is the Middle,” I would just read the book to my kids about a chapter per day over the course of a few weeks. As of today, we only have a few chapters left and I have enjoyed reading the story to them.
The chapter we read today was about when my dad told me that he had cancer and the three years leading up to his death. Reading that chapter to my kids, like several other sections of the book, was difficult. Since I wrote the entire book in a number of coffee shops, I was forced to visit many deep emotions in a public setting. It was one thing to write the book with all of my internal dialogue quietly being translated into text on a laptop by my fingers . But, I have found that vocalizing those same words to my children is quite a bit more difficult. I not only “think” the words, but hear my own words. The mere act of speaking some of the stories in the book versus only reading them has been quite a chore at times. But, I have managed through the book so far.
As I finished up today’s chapter, which included a story about the last full “normal” day I ever spent with my dad, reading became harder for me. Then, when I saw the next chapter to come, the one that tells the account of my dad’s death and the days surrounding it, I realized that I cannot do my duty tomorrow. When I only contemplated reading that chapter aloud, I quickly realized that it would be beyond the scope of my ability. Or, if not beyond my ability, beyond what I desire to do. I suppose I will just let the kids read the rest of the book through on their own or perhaps my wife will read it to them. But, not me. It would just be too damn hard to speak all of the remaining words. Since I have not had much luck so far predicting how the book will hit me emotionally, I have no desire to break down crying like a child in front of my children. I think that would be the most likely outcome. Rarely do I hold back my emotions from my children, but some of them need to be for only me.
I hasten to complete and publish the book. I hope you will read and share it.
As of today, I am half way through my final edit of, “Love is the Middle: The True Story of a Father and Son.” It was January 2014 when I wrote the first words of the book. Now, other than some final tweaks, it is nearly finished. When I started writing, I did not know how long it would take me to write the book or how long the book would be. My main priority was that I didn’t want to rush it. I waited nearly five years after my dad died to start writing the memoir of our relationship. It took years for the reality of his death to sink in and for me to grieve that loss as fully as possible. Through the writing of this book, I have grieved his death even more— and in ways that I did not anticipate.
Now that the book is almost ready to publish, I have a different priority. Perhaps it is more of a hope. I truly desire that this book grows legs and does some “walking around.” Once my work shifts from writing editing to publishing and publicity, I’ll do my damndest to make that happen. My father and I went from being miles apart in our relationship with a burnt bridge between us, to genuinely saying “I love you” again. The story of how we did that is a hell of a tale. I hope you look forward to reading it.
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