About the Book
On October 20, 1992, life for one East Texas family changed forever. Following the devastating sudden death of her father, Sharon Brown Keith embarked on a journey of grief and healing, of acceptance and personal growth and transformation.
In this moving memoir about love, loss, and letting go, Keith shares her recollections about growing up and coming of age under the tender and steadfast guidance of her father and hero. Weaving humor and popular culture throughout her heartfelt story, she reminds us that our pasts make us who we are in the present and that we can indeed encourage something truly positive to emerge from our darkest moments.
A Sweet and healing read.
Sharon is a friend of mine from high school. It was a
joy to read her perspective of growing up in beautiful
Nacogdoches. She captured the sweetness of family and
the humor of adolescence. We both have been so
blessed to be deeply loved and treasured by our parents.
Thank you Sharon for sharing your journey with us.
I loved it! - Amazon Customer
This was an excellent memoir.
This was an excellent memoir....not a downer even though
it was a story of great loss....how she dealt with it and the
memories that made it so real. She put into words the
feelings so many of us have felt with the loss of an
integral person in our life, but were unable to express
because we were so overwhelmed with grief...long term,
never-ending grief....but bearable with the help of a higher
power......wonderful first book...I recommend it to all
readers. You are pulled in and cannot put it down until
the end - Emma
“What’s the matter, Aunty?” I asked. “Oh, nothing, nothing,” she said. “Somebody just walked over my grave.”
—from To Kill a Mockingbird
The last time I saw my dad was on a Saturday. It was late afternoon on a beautiful October day. As we stood together on the front porch, I could smell a hint of smoke in the air from one of my neighbors burning a pile of leaves. Dad seemed a little tired, and I knew he wasn’t feeling well, although I never once heard him complain, a character trait that I unfortunately had not inherited. He had come to help me settle into my new home. I was seven months pregnant, had a busy two-and-a-half-year-old son, and had a husband who wasn’t able to help much during this time of year because of his demanding job. As a high school football coach, he spent his weekends dissecting film and drawing up plays.
Fall had always been my favorite time of year—the clear skies, the cool, crisp air, the leaves on the trees changing from green to red, gold, and orange, making summer a distant memory. Fall reminded me of new beginnings, Friday night football, the smell of fresh apples, sharpened pencils, Elmer’s glue, school lunches, and plaid.
As I hugged him good-bye, I felt a strange sensation, a shiver, as if someone had walked over my grave. Except it wasn’t my grave; it was his. A strong, unwelcome feeling of sadness and separation invaded my body and mind, like this would be the last time I would see him. I shrugged it off, discounting the premonition to an overabundance of hormones, and reassured myself that we still had twenty or thirty more years together.
In the blink of an eye, the morbid, unwelcome thought retreated, leaving me with the powerful, nagging urge to tell him I loved him. I wasn’t one to throw that phrase around, to say it at the end of every phone conversation or good-bye, like an overused, rote aphorism—all one word, “Iloveyoubye.” I saved my “I love yous” for fitting moments and decided I would save this one too. Not knowing he had been denied my “I love you,” he walked away, climbed in his truck, looked back, and waved one last time. And then my dad was gone.