What could be more fitting to round out the year than introducing to you yet another new I C Publishing author, Mary Louise Jarvis, and her book about real life, hardships, losses, love, and faith . . .?
Just a few short years ago, I started I C Publishing with the release of my first book called, Hearts Linked by Courage, a meaningful collection of poignant, often difficult, yet life and hope-affirming stories . . . Why? Because we all have a story, and I believe that when we share our journeys with each other, we heal, and we help others heal too. Twenty plus titles later, not only will we bring to you the second book in the Hearts Linked by Courage series early in 2016 with our friends from Canadian Mental Health Association – York Region and South Simcoe, we are privileged to unveil today the exceptional message imparted in Mary Louise Jarvis’ A Mother’s Memoir – Living While Dying.
A lifetime of experiences battling cystic fibrosis has inspired the incredible wisdom Mary Lou shares. Her deep commitment to family, along with her strength and compassion, flow purposefully and meaningfully in the face of seemingly insurmountable grief.
Mary Louise Jarvis’ book is compelling and her outlook is persuasive as she passionately and honestly shares her inconceivable journey, and ultimately that of her children. During a time when little was known about this dreaded disease, Mary Lou struggled in a deep pool of adversity against all odds in an effort to give her children the best life possible. Along the way, she advocated for those who suffered from symptoms that early on were misdiagnosed.
My heartfelt interview with Mary Lou:
What inspired you to write this book?
Honestly, my sole inspiration came from having five children, four of whom had an incurable disease called Cystic Fibrosis. Initially, people were curious about why I kept having children when my first born was diagnosed with this disease. It was important for me to address this, as well as the many other questions that were posed during the early years of this disease.
What do you want others to gain from your book?
I want to give people insight into life with CF, while at the same time providing hope and faith to anyone in a similar situation. There is light at the end of every tunnel. My wish is also that by reading about my philosophy of raising my children, celebrating life in light of chronic illness, they might be inspired to treat each precious day as if it may be the last. By doing so, they have the ability to create more fulfilling lives for everyone, and especially their children.
What was your creative process for this project?
In 1984, when my daughter Cheryl died, I sat down and started writing. The words flowed effortlessly. My creative process was really born out of necessity; I needed to share the immense joys that mingled with the tragic sorrow. I felt people needed to know the amazing quality of life we enjoyed, even though it was packed into a much smaller quantity of time.
Why did you choose the story-telling format you used?
On the advice of my writing coach, Patti Hall, I began to lay out, chronologically, all the critical pieces. This story-telling format just seemed to be the best avenue to take my readers along.
What’s next for you as an author?
A lot of sweat and tears went into the creation of A Mother’s Memoir – Living While Dying; I must admit though that the process of bringing my story to life gave me a feeling of accomplishment. I may have even been bitten by the “writing bug,” as I’m already looking forward to working on my next book. Until then, I’m anticipating spending even more quality time with my family and friends who have been so supportive through this journey.
In closing, you will be hard pressed to set her book aside until you’ve discovered how Mary Lou’s faith and hope led her through what most of us would agree to be the darkest days of any mother’s world . . . the loss of her children. How she tunneled through depression, survived, and rose to start anew is both heart-warming and encouraging.
As her publisher and editor, we are sincerely grateful to Mary Lou for sharing her poignant story, giving us the opportunity to shed light on her brave fight. As Mary Lou relates, she was on foreign soil, and constantly wrestled with trying to find a balance between the all-consuming, relentless treatments and a tinge of normalcy for her family. In the end, what she accomplished was nothing short of miraculous.
Like me, I know you will follow Mary Lou’s lead, hug your loved ones a little tighter today, and be grateful for the good that still is.
For more information or to order this beautiful book we invite you to visit our online store here at ICBookstore.ca.
Heartfelt gratitude for your time, support, and sharing of our authors’ meaningful work with others.
Wishing you and yours a wonderful and memorable holiday season and many blessings in the coming year!
Sheri and the I C Publishing Team