GAIL: Welcome Cindy, and thank you for agreeing to this special interview. Your book, Mom’s on the Roof and I Can’t Get Her Down tells the true-life personal experiences of you and your family while caring for your Mother who was diagnosed with Cancer. Those who care for, or have cared for, family members living with Cancer, are often unable to cope with or recover from the responsibilities of caring for a loved one. Your favorite phrase is “I am surviving!” Cindy, what gave you the strength to cope and to recover?
CINDY: Gail, Thank you for your interest in my writing as well as me. My first book entitled Mom’s on the Roof and I Can’t Get Her Down is a very real saga, which I know keeps some people from reading past the heartache of watching a slow terminal death. However, if the reader starts with my introduction in that book, they’ll find it sums up just how I survived it all. That small section was written last and after a beta reader asked me why I wrote mom and my story. My narrative can be a ‘hard pill to swallow’ as well as an uplifting, afterlife saga.
Meanwhile, people seek the truth about life after death; they want to know if there is really a God. If yes, then, what? We all know that life ends but just how the soul ends or moves to the next world (if it does) is the mystery that many individuals search for answers to. Reading past the sorrow, my book might shed a bit of light on that subject!
When I wrote this book, it was prompted by those hearing my tales first hand as well as my Hospice counselor. Many people asked me to share and write my account. Retelling my tale facilitated my grief processing as well as helping others. My therapist did NOT ask me to keep a diary; this was NOT my journal! I wrote it 6-12 months after mom’s life ended. If there is an afterlife, she goes on somewhere, right?
Read the book, and you may find out!
Meanwhile, knowing nothing about writing due to my major in math and computer science, I wrote my story in a logical and chronological order or as subroutines. In other words, I produced short essays tied together as a cohesive story. Later, my grief counselor told me it was an ingenious style to use when covering hard topics because my pauses or section breaks allowed grief recovery to take place in small doses for my readers. In reality, I produced this book writing feverously while in the spirit; the very style of my storytelling may signal a ghostwriter (Holy Spirit) assisted me.
That Hospice employee, also, convinced me to find a publisher. Over the years, that counselor heard it all while in the grief business, so why, me? Why, my tale? Having admitted the story is hard and that my writing was guided by my spirit rather than simple logic; having mentioned my professional background, I was a highly unlikely candidate to witness and compose thoughts on the hereafter, next world, life after death, or eternal life. That’s what makes my book even more believable to many souls.
At a grief group, a lady said that we can only be 99% sure of a Heaven and Hell. We figure out the other 1% (or if our doubt was right or wrong) only when it’s our turn to die. I agree! It’s important to add here that I NEVER wrote this book to prove or disprove the afterlife. I composed my witness to keep mom’s experiences for posterity and because people kept asking me to share my tales. Thus, it’s not my intention to prove anything to skeptics or theologians; I simply wrote the chronology of what occurred as mom underwent her near death experiences. However, some things that I chronicled put me out on a limb. If mom was NOT talking to Doctor God or Her Maker, then, some of the things copyrighted in 1994 may disprove a Higher Source. What a chance I took! What a leap of faith! Or, was it?
For example, my mother discussed a future wedding even though all my siblings and I were married at the time of her death. That may not be mind boggling because the divorce rate is high in the USA. Plus, many people remarry in a lifetime. More than one of mom’s children divorced in the past 21 plus years; and one remarried. Again, that prediction could have been made by a statistician.
However, there were 3 unfinished prophecies as I wrote and copyrighted Mom’s on the Roof…! Mom foretold that a child would be born. She told my sister all about Mary or Regina, which are the same name in two different languages. I asked for clarification when my sibling told me that tale. My mother babbled on and on about Mike, my brother and husband’s name. She said the future child named Mary had a relationship with Mike. Knowing I’d get Stacey and had two children already, I really quizzed her on that prophecy. She muttered about my nephews, which indicated that the relationship of the ‘child from Heaven’ would not be mine. One of my 2 sisters was infertile at the time; she was the same one that heard all about the future family member or the female baby. After the 1994 copyright date, after of years of doctor interventions, that particular sister finally gave birth to a child but did NOT name her Mary or Regina. That’s a long story in itself! By then, my brother and I were infertile due to surgery; so what came next? When my sister gave her potentially only child the wrong name, it appeared that mom was just babbling, right? Nope! That sister got pregnant by mistake and right after her first child; that girl was born on my brother’s birthday. Mom and God’s prophecy were no longer a mystery! In short, we see them as mysteries but God knows the intricacies of his messages and carries out His Plans in this world with or without our interventions.
What’s left? Mom talked about John and my need to take care of all the children that she listed before departing. If you read my first book, you’d notice that only two children had last names in her 3rd prediction. Through her gibberish, I believe she and God tried to show me that those two children without last names listed that day would not be biological children of mine. We know Stacey went to me after my parents’ deaths; John remains the mystery. However, that prediction keeps my family going. For instance, when Julie nearly died, I kept saying variations of the next comment aloud, “She’ll make it because mom had all four children in her message about my future task of taking care of the kids! I have yet to meet John!” By the way, my biological child survived that near death event that occurred on my birthday; it’s discussed in Stacey’s Song. You can read about that and other minor miracles in her book.
I wrote more about my family’s saga and the prophecy in My ArmOr. That story is the direct sequel to mom’s book. In my personal witness, I recap the outstanding prophecy my mother said came from God. Plus, some questions asked after my first book was copyrighted are answered in that storyline. Also, I talk about how over 15 years after mom left for the afterlife my life changed due to my trip of a lifetime.
In short I tripped over my own two feet. The doctor tried to rebuild my left arm after it broke in two places. However, he had to do a partial shoulder replacement with metal. Then, a month later, it was ‘touch and go’ as I sat in the ER hearing that my left arm might have to be amputated, anyway. The healing that took place that day is remarkable in itself; you can read about it in My ArmOr. Meanwhile, months later, my physical therapy failed to redeem that limb’s ability to lift itself or other things above my shoulder; that arm could not go higher than table height. The doctor warned that without more surgery it was done recovering. Was it? In my personal saga, I talk about what it was like to take a simple stumble through faith and hope. Without the doctor and therapist, based on faith and logic, I rerouted the arm’s signals and muscles; my limb will never be 100%. You can read my reaction in the narratives in that sequel to mom’s book. By the way, when I chronicle hard topics to discuss, they are explained with my style of humor to soften the blows as well as just the right amount of silver lining or miracle anecdotes to help you through the tragedies.
Meanwhile, I’m finally keeping a journal as I wait for John’s God’s News. The working title of this work in progress means “John is God’s News” or “John belongs to God’s News” depending on your point of view about my story. Honestly, things are happening that make me question the realities of that last, outstanding prophecy. Yes, I am human! In my candid opinion, anyone that has an experience from the other side is lying if they cannot tell you that they can only be 99% sure that what they witnessed is real instead of fiction. These experiences do NOT take away our human nature to be a ‘Doubting Tom’ at times. I question myself and my words; it’s healthy to do so! However, by the end of a tale, I always seem to latch on to faith and a belief system that produces most of my non-fiction books. Due to many experiences and witnesses, I believe in God and something more than just this life. If you read my nonfictions, you may feel the same way.
Why does my belief system win most of the time or 99% of the time? If you research my life you’ll see why. I started out or was born blind to a dysfunctional father and family. I experienced my own near death experience as a teen and later in life. My mom’s passing was quickly followed by dad’s suicide! I took on and surmounted the trials of assimilating Stacey into my family. More recently, I faced the possible amputation of an arm! Actually, there is a very long list of warped events in my life surrounded by miracles and love. Even though they built my faith, that list is so extensive that you’d say, “She makes this stuff up; nobody goes through that much pain, loss, and suffering!” Many times, I wish my reality was made up! Rest assured my truth is stranger than fiction! As a result, I feel that God writes the best suspense novels and their outcomes may appear to be ‘stings’ but look deeper for the goodness shared! In fact, read between the lines for my full story! God is the best novelist ever; I just jot down the stories for Him!
A friend once asked how I cope with things outside my control. She, also, asked why I kept being bombarded with what appears to be bad luck but I continue to come back smiling. The only explanation is God and a good sense of humor - mine and His. However, I sometimes add that He has a warped sense of humor! Meanwhile, the positives in my life far outweigh the negatives; that sums up how I survive it all. That- and my ability to rationalize and analyze my way back to reality and sanity.
One time I actually added, “Maybe, I have to surmount these issues and live through problems so that I can look someone in the eye and say I know the way out. Due to my reality and honesty, people trust to follow me out of their own darkness. I bring reliability to a bad situation.” Speaking of eyes, the good news or my first miracle is that I can see! I will discussion my vision issues that started at my birth, later on.
When I taught middle and high school students religion and then when my career path landed me in the public school system, I shared many of my misadventures in the classroom. My stories included hunger as a child due to dad’s bipolar disease that kept him out of work for months on multiple occasions. I told about my vision issues and ‘School of Hard Knocks’ education. I tried to impress hope and good work ethics to those in my care. If it was a religion class, I added that faith is a good tool in survival. Always, even in my writing, my goal is to teach but not in a preachy way! I want people to relate and know they can move forward. My strength is my ability to admit that I have my frustrations too because I’m human! This trait lends credibility to my stories. I hope it helped many of my students and readers to mend and go forward in their lives.
Where to find Cindy’s works:
My author name for nonfictions and children’s literature is: Cynthia Meyers-Hanson
My pen name for fictions or novels and so you know when I’m fibbing or embellishing is: Sydney S. Song
Main author page: http://mchanson714.weebly.com/index.htmlE-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Independent Author Network: http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/cynthia-meyers-hanson.html
Book Sale Sites:AMAZON (paper backs & kindle books): http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=mchanson714
SMASHWORDS (e-books): http://www.smashwords.com/books/search?query=mchanson714Lulu (hard covers): http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/mchanson714
My YouTube Book Trailer link is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xf9czVQvkgI