Today my eBook Proud Pants: An Unconventional Memoir hit the digital shelves and I feel an excitement that is difficult to describe. Amazon.com I've been in the arts for most of my life, but performing in or producing and directing stage shows is different as you prepare for that big opening night. You witness it all come together and you get to see an audience react. As a writer, those reactions are in the privacy of a reader's own home, or on a bus/train/vacation as they read your work. I suppose that's why they say we write a story and only hope it may touch someone in a way that they truly get something from it.
I was never certain I would ever release this story. Reliving the past is not an easy thing to do and I knew there would be those that could possibly find fault in my recollection of events. Though never my intention - these are my memories of what happened or stories shared with me by my brother or somewhere tucked deep in the crevices of my mind.
When I was nine years old I picked up a lead pipe prepared to hit my fourteen-year-old half brother to protect the woman that raised us both. That brother died two hours after my twenty-ninth birthday at the young age of thirty-four from a brain tumor. I grew up in my life (sad to say) not liking that brother as my memories of him were full of pain and heartache he had caused our family. When I began to really work on my craft of writing, my mind would continue to think of him and how in some strange way he had a hand in shaping who I eventually became as a person. The over-achieving compulsive nut trying to make something of my life unlike what I had thought he had done in his rough life full of abandonment, addiction, and anger.
In an attempt to make peace with the man I could never fully comprehend and maybe release some of my own anger, I decided to get inside of my brother’s skin to write the memoir of his life and in doing so...realized more of the legacy of his life as a brother, son, husband, father that I never had given much thought. Addiction can destroy so many people’s lives - not only for those that live in the middle of it, but for those left behind for generations to come. So like the pants that made my older brother so proud as a kid, I offer this story and even through sharing family secrets – I have discovered a different meaning to the word 'pride' as well.