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Searching For Spenser: A Mother's Journey Through Grief

Searching For Spenser: A Mother's Journey Through Grief

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Overview

Winner of the National Indie Excellence Award 2019!

“Margaret Kramar’s memoir is a testament to the pain and beauty of parenthood—and the vulnerability it requires.” —Laura Moriarty, best selling author of The Chaperone, and American Heart.

Parenting can be a struggle; especially parenting a disabled child. In this flawlessly written memoir, Kramar describes championing her son, diagnosed with sotos syndrome, through his short life. She examines the experience of loving and losing a child and reminds us that there is a way forward through the grief. Kramar’s memoir offers guidance, wisdom and inspiration. An amazing story of redemption and hope.

“This book is a reminder that living with a most difficult and painful thing gives us choices. Making the right one makes all the difference. Margaret kramar has written this story for all the right reasons. And no matter who you are, you will find yourself in these pages.” —Maryemma graham, university of kansas distinguished professor & founder/director, project on the history of black writing

As his most ardent cheerleader, Margaret encourages Spenser to transcend the arbitrary limits of his disability. Spenser flourishes, emerging as a happy child who loves to act, dance, and draw. One spring day, while the other children are playing, Spenser clings to his mother at the school carnival because he is tired. Margaret takes him to the hospital on a Sunday night, and in a startling turn of events, he dies the following Monday afternoon.

After his death, Margaret questions whether she ever really knew her child. She searches for him in the memories of former teachers, relatives and friends, embarking on a journey that takes her beyond the grave, even to a psychic in Lily Dale, while she finds support and solace in the monthly meetings of The Compassionate Friends.

Written in starkly honest prose, Searching for Spenser chronicles the costs and joys of loving a child with Sotos syndrome.

Margaret Kramar taught English at The University of Kansas and Washburn University after receiving her Ph.D. in 2012. “Star Wars,” a chapter from the memoir, appeared in Echoes from the Prairie in 2013, “The Soap Opera,” a chapter from Searching for Spenser, captured the first place award in the 2009 Kansas Authors Club District Contest and another chapter, “The Birthday Party,” appeared in Exceptional Parent magazine in 2008. A short story about Spenser was anthologized in Reading Lips: And Other Ways to Overcome a Disability, published by Apprentice House in 2008. Her work has also appeared in Contemporary American Women: Our Defining Passages, The Grinnell Magazine, newspapers, and other print and digital magazines.



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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781941237182
Publisher: Anamcara Press LLC
Publication date: 04/06/2018
Pages: 264
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Margaret Rayburn Kramar is an educator and author whose memoir, Searching for Spenser, explores how she was transformed through the death of her disabled child. A graduate of Grinnell College, she received an M.A. in journalism from the University of Iowa. Subsequently employed as lifestyle editor for the Denison Newspapers, her work received awards from the Iowa Press Association Better Newspaper Contest and Herbert Bayard Swopes Memorial Awards. In 2012 she received a Ph.D. in English from the University of Kansas and taught English composition, drama and American literature. Previous to the Ph.D., she was employed for twenty years as a civil rights investigator by the Kansas Human Rights Commission. Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies and print and digital publications. A chapter from Searching for Spenser captured the first place award in the Kansas Authors Club Contest. She and her family live on a small farm in northeast Kansas where they produce organically grown fruits, vegetables and free-range eggs.

Cover image by Nina Niebuhr, Shutterstock, Another Journey: "Misty Flowers."

Table of Contents

Prologue: The Memory Bank.......................xiii

Star Wars.......................................................1

Marriage........................................................9

After the Wedding.......................................17

Brendan........................................................21

The Sinister Toys..........................................28

The Verdict...................................................35

The Screening Test.......................................47

At The Office.................................................52

Believe..........................................................55

Jean..............................................................60

The Hospital Visit..........................................63

The Big Yeller Dog........................................67

The Birthday Party........................................74

Kindergarten Roundup.................................81

The Gathering Storm...................................86

The Forgotten Years..................................101

White Concert Hall.....................................104

The Dance..................................................114

Perils...........................................................120

Reconciliation.............................................124

Courtship....................................................129

The Roto-Tiller............................................134

Green Beans..............................................141

Reversals...................................................147

The Wedding.............................................154

Pain in the Side..........................................162

Belle...........................................................166

The Nutcracker...........................................170

The Conference..........................................172

Star.............................................................176

The Dancer.................................................179

The Sympathy Card....................................182

The Elephant Man.......................................184

The Third Grade Teacher.............................191

Phooey to Any Disability..............................196

The Angel Pin..............................................200

The Immediate Aftermath............................208

The Police Officer........................................214

Another Christmas.......................................217

Lily Dale......................................................222

The Shrines at the Theatre..........................234

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