Wednesday, October 03, 2012

The Connections We Make

The connections in our lives are so important. They are anchor points in our lives, and define us in many ways. This is precisely why I can tell you so much about myself by saying that one of the biggest connections, outside of family and friends that I’ve made in my life has been with books. For years, other authors have entertained, informed, and even provided me with an escape from difficult times. My recent trip to Kentucky and Ohio, one for a major surgery for my granddaughter, ended up being a strong reminder of how both the people I care about and the printed page continually manage to intertwine in my life.

The people side, the trip opened with a reunion of the folks in Louisville I loved from my teen and young adult years. No, not a high school reunion, I’ve never actually attended one of those. This was New Life Fellowship, or “The Club,” as most

of us called it. A bunch of us met in a basement twice a week, studied the most important book I’ve ever read, the Bible, went water skiing together, and were a family in all the most positives senses. We were so close to our group leader that he was the one to walk me down the aisle in place of my absent father. I had to laugh when the man who introduced me to my husband and Bible ended the evening with his request for a picture of me with a copy of my first book in hand. It was a proud papa moment.

Before I left Louisville, I took a trip down memory lane and visited the new location of the Eline Library. I spent many an hour there as a teen, searching the shelves for the just the right books to put on the back of my bike and pedal home to read. It was so cool to give them a signed copy of my book while I was there. Kind of a full circle moment of life.

In Lexington, I spent time with Julie, one of my closest friends from the club. She graciously opened her house to me, fed me, made me cups of tea in the morning, and generally supported me after the end of each long day at Cincinnati Childrens Hospital. I both added to and raided her book shelves for my printed page fix, reading a book a night to decompress. Yes, I really do read that fast…

It was only fitting then that I take the sister of my heart to meet a biological sister I’d only met once before when tracking down my birth family. We all got on like the proverbial house on fire, swapping stories over breakfast at Denny’s one morning. I hated for our time to end and we parted with my gift to her, a signed copy of my first book, The Doctor’s Mission. It was the best way I knew to leave her with a little piece of my heart.
Of course my most important people connection is still my own family, and on this trip the focus was my son, daughter-in-law,and the precious granddaughter in my life. I vividly remember reading one of Love Inspired author Mae Nunn’s books when my granddaughter lay in ICU fighting for her life after being airlifted from my house in septic shock a few years ago. That book saved my sanity when my mind wanted to go to all the worst places. Happy to report that this time the hospital was a good thing and while books were still a tool to decompress, the most effective tool was really this little girl’s smile! Oh, and yes, we share a huge love of books!

It amazes me how important books have been in my life. What about you? What place have books taken in your life? Got a memory of when a book gave you comfort, escape, or joy when you needed it most? Share or just comment below and be entered for a $20 Starbucks gift card. Commenting also enters you in this blog blitz’s contest for a Kindle Fire!

Be sure to also introduce yourself to me at this year’s Southern Magic Readers Luncheon—one of the best ways I know to connect to an author and their books! Don’t have your ticket yet? Really, with Sherrilyn Kenyon, Dianna Love, Barbara Vey and a host of other authors, they'll sell out fast! Go to www.southernmagic.org/luncheon.html now before they are all gone so you can connect with an author and their printed pages!

24 comments:

Lisa J said...

Books are very important parts of my life. Rereading a book can bring me back to the first time I read it, be that good or not so good. I remember the book I read at the hospital when I was waiting outside the ICU for news about my Uncle after he suffered an anuerysm, the book I was reading when I went with a friend to a doctor appointment, the day my first nephew was born, and so on.

Naima Simone said...

Awesome post, Debbie, and I'm so glad this hospital visit went well! I can't think back over my life and not associate books with it. Some of my happiest memories are of my sister and I sitting on either side of my mother as she read from Grimm's Fairy Tales or the Saturday morning trips to the used book store with my father. Reading Son of the Morning for the first time. Books have been an important and huge part of my life, like friends that I don't ever have to leave behind!

Ingeborg said...

Books have always been a comfort to me. When I feel lonely I open a book and it takes me to a different place.
Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com

Amanda K. said...

Great post. It reminded me most of how I came to love books so much. I spent a summer as a teenager with my grandparents and they didn't have a television. It forced me to read and while I hated it initially I came to love it. I will always have that connection to them. Whenever we talk it's always, "What are you reading?/What have you read?"

Debbie Kaufman said...

Lisa, that you can remember those books is so cool. Glad I'm not the only one :)

Naima, how wonderful that you have book memories that surround your parents. I think there is a special place in heaven for parents who instill their love of reading in their children :)

Debbie Kaufman said...

Ingeborg, me too! Totally describes quite a bit of my childhood.

Amanda, I spent summers with an aunt who only allowed a certain amount of tv per day. Fortunately she lived near a library.

Alison said...

Books are a great stress reliever for me. I love rereading my favorite books. I always find something new in them.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Thanks for commenting, Alison. I find that a good book, read with little interruption, works like a glass of wine might for others!

Na said...

Also, aside from family and friends books are one of the most important things I connect with. It's because I connect with the characters, their plights and their worlds. It's important I can connect and really escape. Books have always been a part of my life from my youth and now. I remember my parents taking turns reading to me and my sister before our bedtimes. It's a tradition I hold dear :)

Cambonified(at)yahoo(dot)com

CrystalGB said...

After my mother passed away in January, I found that reading books with a happy ending to be very comforting. They are a great escape.
Crystal816[at]hotmail[dot]com

Debbie Kaufman said...

Na,glad you are carrying on the tradition!

Crystal, I couldn't read any suspense/thriller type stuff in the hospital waiting room. Sweet romance was the only thing I could read.

Jane said...

I can't imagine living without books. I became a bookworm after reading Maurice Sendak's "Where the Wild Things Are."

janie1215 AT excite DOT com

Tiffani Zumba Love Long said...

Instead of a "crazy cat lady" I am a "crazy book lady"...I have so many books and so many memories...one of my favorite childhood memories is reading Madeline..I still have a copy and still pick it up..she was so brave and such a leader, that girl ;) I loved the illustrations and can still remember each one with the words specific to it...my other fave from childhood, is Dr. Seuss' ABC...I can't see the letters of the alphabet without saying their specific rhyme "barber, baby, bubbles and a bumblebee"...I have too many adult reads that have touched me, made me laugh, changed me in some way...but one that stands out is "Saving CeeCee Honeycutt"...it helped me heal in a way and was such an amazing read! Books are my therapy, my escape...great post Debbie!

Tiffani Long

Debbie Kaufman said...

Jane, love what Sendak did for kid's lit :)
Tiffani, If everything on my Nook were on my shelf, I'd give you a run for your money on the "crazy book lady" title!

Chris Bailey said...

Books are such a great way to escape, to find courage, to meet heroes and heroines. Thanks for contributing, Deb!

Shadow said...

I love books. I started reading to escape. I love them. They make life easier. If things are going bad at the moment, ill pick up a book and loose myself. By the time i finish, things are better. I love the characters, the HEA's, the romance and chemistry.

Cris said...

I absolutely could not live without books-- they're my escape when nothing is working in lab (and help stave off the OMG-what-am-I-going-to-do-with-my-life-once-I-finish-my-doctorate crises that pop up every few months). They also were instrumental to my post-thyroidectomy convalescence: reading helped keep me sane for the three weeks it took me to get back to lab/work! I don't take very well to sitting around with nothing to do...

bn100 said...

Books are a great way to relax.

bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

Donna Coe-Velleman said...

How wonderful you were able to take that trip and experience so much.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Hi Chris, love it when we can meet memorable characters and escape into their world.

Hi Shadow: I'm with you, books make everything better.

Cris, wow, if you can read while working on your doctorate, I'm impressed. Considering what's on TV in the daytime, what would we do without books when we're recovering?

Debbie Kaufman said...

Hi BN, yes they are my favorite way to relax.

Donna, yes it was quite an experience :)

Bama said...

Don't know what I would do without my books... :)

Twimom227 said...

Thank you for your post. I have a few "comfort food" books that I can lean on when I'm feeling down or having a tough time. Usually it's not even the whole book, but a specific scene or chapter. Rereading brings back the feelings from the initial read. Helps the day feel better.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Bama, right there with you. I think I'd need meds, LOL!

Twinmom227, never thought about doing that. What a cool idea!