On Folded Dreams, Waking Up Dead…because Mama always said, “I wish you’d stop being so morbid.”

If you have read “Folded Dreams – the Beginning”, you will have seen those words. That’s because the protagonist, “The Child”, and “Mother” are loosely based on me and my own mother. I suppose Mama would consider my unusual interest in death and the ‘hereafter’ from such a young and tender age, as being morbid. After all, children should be all about life and the future and giving their parents a hard time, right?

Mama was more full of life than most people I’ve ever known. She was filled to the brim with passion…her smiles and laughter were a joy to behold and could tame the most angry beast that could take up residence in a person’s heart…and her indignant, righteous rages (for 99% of her blow-ups were due to righteous wrath) could still the heart of a murderer and make him run for the nearest church, recognizing a dire and immediate need for sanctuary!

It was not until the year before she passed away that I found out Mama had her own particular spiritual belief system, regardless of what her church taught. Oh, she was a true believer…a true Christian…one of those few, rare souls who actually strove to live the way Christ taught, even in the face of the cruelties, meanness of spirit and spitefulness of mankind. But even though she respected and honoured her denomination, in her heart she also had her own understanding of the deepest mysteries of life.

I would not have known this, except that we had a very short conversation about the…odd things…that I had witnessed in my nearly half century (at the time) of life. In one indirect sentence, she told me that she hadn’t really thought I was as strange as she had led me to believe, all those years. She didn’t say, “I do wish you’d stop being so melodramatic and morbid. Why must you always be so  facetious?” No, during this conversation…one of the last we ever had…she merely clicked her tongue, cocked her head sideways and said, “Stranger things have happened to more people than you could ever know….to people you would never imagine.”

I think that writing the “Folded Dreams…” books (and basing “Mother” on her), and “Waking Up Dead!”, is my way of thanking Mama for finally letting me know that ‘pooh poohing’ my oddities as a child was simply her way of protecting me from a world that wouldn’t understand, and rarely acknowledges that there is more to life than those things that are visible. It made it much easier to let her go, once I knew we held the same faith.

(Thanks, Anne, for nudging my memories…)

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“Dedication: To God. I get it.” – Waking Up Dead…An Update

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I decided last week that I needed a few days break from “Folded Dreams”, the novel, so “Waking Up Dead” has had my undivided attention…beginning with the Dedication of this project, “To God.” because, indeed, “I get it.”

Many of the choices we make in life are done so without the least regard to our own particular “end of days”. We always seem to think, “I’ve got plenty of time.”

We neither think about, and nor do we care, how those decisions will affect us on our deathbed…a time when all of us, without exception, will be forced to ponder what we actually believe. And sometimes that day comes a lot sooner than later.

Sadly, not even children, teenagers, young adults and perfectly healthy adults are immune.

I’ve always said, “If the atheists are right and the Judeo-Christians are wrong, I have nothing to worry about. But if atheists are wrong and Judeo-Christians are right…well…I have nothing to worry about.”

I freely admit, with pleasure, that I am a believer in Jesus as the Christ and all which that entails. I came to that decision very early…and I don’t think I would be remiss in crediting my mother for such an early pondering of the question.

Which brings me to the Acknowledgement of the book. The primary acknowledgement page reads thus (and you will see the connection!):

“Whenever Mama witnessed or heard about anyone taking unnecessary or stupid, life-threatening chances, or making really poor choices, her inevitable comment went something like, “He’d better be careful. One of these days he’s going to wake up dead and there won’t be any more chances to make mistakes…or restitution.

Your mouth to God’s ear, Mama. Your mouth to God’s ear.”

Believe it or not, “Waking Up Dead” isn’t some dark, religious, hellfire and damnation book. It’s full of stupid, life-affecting choices, questioning…and understanding…faith, discernment of right vs wrong and second…sometimes third…chances.

There is humour and probably those moments when the reader will admit, perhaps with an inward, embarrassed groan, “Oh, jeeze…been there, done that.”

But there is redemption and hope that, in the end, when you eventually “wake up dead”, you, too, will be able to face your Maker and say, “I get it. I was almost too late, but I get it.”

I hope you will enjoy my next project, “Waking Up Dead!”