Did you ever look at your parents and wonder what kind of romantic relationship they had when they first met? Ever learn something about your mother or father that was so surprising you couldn’t believe the topic had never come up for discussion before?
Sometimes it can take a lifetime for all the pieces of a puzzle to come together. It took Barbara Brabec more than twenty years to finally see the whole picture and decide to write this book about her mother’s life and legacy for the family—and also to inspire others to write a memoir.
Eight years before she died, Marcella—Barbara’s mother—wrote the story of her life in a private memoir for her three daughters and brother. Typed on the manual Smith Corona typewriter Barbara had used in high school, it contained surprising historical facts and delightful never-told-before family tales, revealing Marcella as a gifted writer and storyteller. But what the memoir didn’t mention were Marcella’s unrealized secret dreams as a 16-year-old girl.
Barbara would not learn about them until her mother was in the last four years of her life. On that life-changing day, she gave Barbara a bundle of papers and letters that made her jaw drop, put her head in a spin, and showed her a secret side of her mother that no one in the family had ever seen before. Marcella thought she was just an ordinary woman, wife, and mother, but in truth she was quite extraordinary for her times.
Now Barbara has artfully woven together the memoirs of two authors—a book within a book—to tell a true-life story of three generations of a Midwestern farming family going back to the 1880s. The authentic dialogue, stories, and unusual collection of letters in this book offer a mixture of history, humor, drama, and pathos.
In completing the story of Marcella’s inspiring life and accomplishments with present-day reflections from her sisters, Barbara illustrates the importance of their mother’s legacy to the family and challenges readers to think about the life story only they can tell—one that should be shared with their family and perhaps the world.
|Barbara Brabec Productions
|6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.76(d)
About the Author
She launched BarbaraBrabec.com in 2000. When widowed in 2005 after nearly 44 years of marriage, she reinvented herself on the Web to move in new directions as a book manuscript editor and author's consultant. The publication of THE DRUMMER DRIVES! in 2010 launched her as a memoirist and storyteller. She is now limiting editorial work to give her more time for writing and pub¬lishing her own books, but she remains active in critiquing book manuscripts and author-publisher book contracts. She particularly enjoys consulting with first-time authors to help them successfully self-publish a memoir or any other book dear to their heart. Her website offers many helpful articles for writers and independent book publishers.
Table of Contents
PART ONE: Marcella’s Upbringing and Marriage (1904–1935)
Chapter 1: A Farm Family’s Life in the Twenties
Chapter 2: The Birth of a Writer
Chapter 3: Teaching: A Career Goal in the Thirties
Chapter 4: A Love Story Unfolds in Bill’s Letters
PART TWO: Marcella and Bill—Work and Family (1935–1968)
Chapter 5: Farming with Calluses and No Cash
Chapter 6: Building a House and Business a Little at a Time
Chapter 7: Changing Jobs, Raising Kids, Exploring the Country
Chapter 8: Entrepreneur and Empty Nester
PART THREE: Marcella’s New Work and Challenges (1968–1981)
Chapter 9: Back to School for a New Career at 55
Chapter 10: Living Life with Serene Acceptance
Chapter 11: Making Hard Decisions and Lasting Memories
Chapter 12: Marcella’s Revealing Diaries
Chapter 13: A Day in the Life of Nurse Marcella
PART FOUR: Marcella’s Last Years (1982–1992)
Chapter 14: The Long Goodbye
Chapter 15: Remembering a Sweet Daddy
Chapter 16: A Lonely House without Bill
Chapter 17: Dealing with Grief and Life Losses
Chapter 18: Years Dwindling Down to a Precious Few
Chapter 19: A Glorious Send-Off
PART FIVE: The Rest of the Story (Present Day)
Chapter 20: Reprise
Chapter 21: Buckley, Illinois: A Good Place to Live
Chapter 22: Marcella’s Wit and Wisdom
Chapter 23: Legacy for Three Daughters
Chapter 24: Backstory: Digging for Details
Afterword: On the Importance of Letters
Three Sisters’ Bios
Author’s Website and Contact Information