Thursday, January 26, 2012

Dear Diary: This is Why I Read Romance

Another crazy day in house renovation land. Have I mentioned that I'll be glad when this is all over? Yes, I thought so! I need to compliment the speedy customer service of the furniture company, which set my mind at easy that they can send us a new drawer to replace the damaged one. As a result, we were able to complete the furniture set up and get the old stuff ready for pick up by the Salvation Army today. It pains me to get rid of a bed and dresser that belong to my grandmother, but you can't keep everything. If I had a bigger house, I'd stash it away, but I know it would stay stashed for many years to come, so why do that when someone can be using it? Sigh... The new mattress will be delivered later today, allowing us to move back upstairs to our regular bedroom. Last on the renovation list is new doors for all the rooms. The guy came to measure them yesterday. I think of the doors as the "final frontier" before we're back to normal around here.

The upside of the "some-assembly-required" bed was that while Dan was putting it together last night, I did Jake's basketball practice drop off and pick-up (normally handled by Dad), which is how I managed to be standing five feet from him when he sank a perfect three-pointer in a scrimmage game. The basket was so perfect, it didn't even touch the rim and went through the basket with an audible "swish." He doesn't score many baskets, so his entire team (along with his friends on the other team) went crazy congratulating him on the perfect shot. His grin spread from ear to ear. I was very glad I got to witness such a great moment for him, and it was all because of the house project from hell. There's always an upside, right?

Yesterday was a day of nonstop interruptions. After the gym, one thing after another kept me from writing. By about 3 p.m. I realized it just wasn't going to happen with so much chaos going on around me, so I put up the white flag and surrendered. I decided to read the first chapter of "Fairy Tale Interrupted," by RoseMarie Terenzio, who was JFK Jr.'s assistant for the last five years of his life. Of course, one chapter turned into the whole book, which I finished at 1:30 a.m., feeling unbearably sad at the terrible grief described by the author upon the loss of her boss and good friend, as well as his wife, who had also become her close friend. I liked this book a lot because it felt like a love letter to John and Carolyn, and not at all like the self-promotional stuff some of their inner circle has done since their deaths. 

RoseMarie said in People magazine that it took her 10 years to even be able to talk about it let alone write about it. She gave them her whole life for five years, and when they were gone she was left literally with nothing. She couldn't even get a job. As she put it, when you've been the assistant to the most famous man in the world, where do you go from there? I was awake for a long time thinking about the book, about the terrible waste of three young lives, and wondering about what might've been for JFK Jr. had he lived. Would he be president today instead of Obama? They would be roughly the same age, so it's very possible he may have turned his attention to elected office in the next decade of his life. I so vividly remember the details of that awful weekend in July of 1999. Having grown up in Kennedy country, I've always been interested in their family. That weekend, we held our collective breath waiting to hear the unimaginable. It was the weekend of Emily's fourth birthday, and I recall forcing merriment for her sake in the midst of terrible sorrow. I also remember the poignant words spoken at John's funeral by his Uncle Ted: "Like his father before him, John had every gift but length of life." 

This is the first non-romance I've read in ages. As I sobbed my way through the retelling of the accident that took the lives of John, Carolyn and her sister Lauren, I was yearning for the happily ever after that wasn't to be for them.

What was the last non-romance you read? Did you feel the same way afterward?

Thanks to all the new members of Marie Force Book Talk who've joined after reading about our merry group here on the blog. It's great to have you! Off to write! Have a great day!


Bex said...

I remember that day and the feeling that it just couldn't be true. It still breaks my heart to think about it. I am glad this book is a genuine tribute to them and not the cashing in that you described.

And one thing I love about you is that you always find the upside of things. I hope the house chaos calms down soon!

Marie Force said...

Thanks Bex! I try to find the upside even in the midst of chaos! :-)

I think the day we heard JFK Jr.'s plane was missing was one of those days that everyone remembers exactly where they were and what they were doing, just like the day his father was killed. So awful.

oklanannie said...

Glad that out of chaos came a special moment in time for you to share with your son. High fives to Jake!

Sweet Dreams - and enjoy the new nighttime digs! (Poor Brandy!!)

Marie Force said...

Thanks, Anne! Brandy is already rolling around on the new comforter asserting her claim, but she is NOT happy to have lost her "office" under the bed.