And yet . . .
As we prepare for the major endeavor of typesetting 23 books for The Unbound Bookmaker Project, I have been able to finish a very sweet project. Melba Kaye Smith, my grandmother, wrote up her experiences and I had the privilege of making it into a book. It took over a year and I had the help of my grandmother, my father, my aunt and uncle, and perhaps a little help from above as well in creating this 135-paged history. My Grandma Kaye had what I would call a tough life: she worked hard on a farm in Hooper, Utah; she had her little finger cut off by a farm machine; she experienced appendicitis and the mumps; she was involved a terrible car accident that nearly decapitated her and left her on the edge of death for many months; her father died after getting caught in a hay baler; she had a sad divorce that left her with four little children; she worked herself to the ground to support her family by herself; she had the awkward experience of a second marriage and being compared to her new husband's first wife.
And yet . . .
My grandma endured it all, and she endured it all with her faith intact. She had many spiritual experiences along the way that buoyed her up and helped her feel that despite all that this mortal world could fling at her, she could survive it and still be grateful and positive. It is very clear in her writing that even in those times of agony, she knew that there was a God who loved her and that angels, earthly and otherwise, supported her from day to day. Her second marriage was filled with love and peace and respect. I think my favorite story from my grandmother's book was when she kept hearing how great her second husband's first wife was from other women in the neighborhood. Grandma, despite feeling inferior and like she was always playing second fiddle to someone else, said to herself, "I'll just have to fill my own shoes. I can't fill hers." I admire my Grandma's strength and steadiness. This book was privately published for family members and close friends, but we plan on making a public version available in the next few years. Thanks to Suzy Bills who proofread this book as well as my grandpa's personal history book that we did last year.
While I still edit science books and help kids create stories, I've moved my focus to writing fiction and non-fiction stories. See more at www.jamiezvirzdin.com.
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