I am way behind in my writing lately and the first thing I want to talk about is a book I read several months ago that I wanted to tell you all about.
The family dynamic can be a strange thing. Different people tied together by family bonds can be both loving and explosive. I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying, “you can pick your friends, but you can’t pick your family”.
Strained relationships, jealousy, money, you name it in a family you can have it all. The older I get the more I realize that nobody comes from a “normal” family. That’s a myth that TV sitcoms portrayed in the ’70s & ’80s.
Writer Lisa Romeo looks back at the relationship she shared with her father. When you have the benefit of 20/20 hindsight things can become clearer than they may have when they were actually happening. This can be said of her relationship with her father.
After the death of her father, she experienced “visits” from him that brought some clarity to her life and caused her to examine their relationship from a different perspective. Lisa reconsiders the affluent upbringing he financed (filled with horses, lavish vacations, bulging closets), and the emotional distance that grew when he retired to Las Vegas and she remained in New Jersey where she and her husband earn moderate incomes.
This book delves into the relationship between a girl and her father. One that during his life was discordant at best. After his death, she was able to reexamine their relationship and see things that she couldn’t have been able to see during his life. She realized that even though they didn’t have the best of relationship his influence was visible from her marriage to her career choice.
It was an easy read, but it will stick with you long after the book is finished. Check out “Starting With Goodbye” and let me know what you think!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR LISA ROMEO: Romeo grew up in a loud and squabbly Italian-American family. She began to write, she thinks, because as the youngest child, she found no one listened to her voice, but they did read. As her dad Anthony’s polyester textile business thrived, there were lavish trips, and for Lisa, a half dozen horses.
She did all the standard things you’d expect for someone who began reading at four and writing at five: edited her high school newspaper, and earned a journalism degree. Lisa then spent a chunk of her 20’s working as an equestrian journalist—covering horse sports for dozens of domestic and international publications, while she herself competed on the circuit with her horse Cool Shoes (his name a portend of stuffed closets to come).
A twelve-year career in public relations followed, along with marriage, two kids, and the move back to her hometown, where she still lives—and looks out the window while she writes.
After completing an MFA degree, Lisa began teaching creative writing. All along, she’s written and published hundreds of personal essays in media venues ranging from the New York Times to The Chronicle of the Horse, to Baristanet, the quirky news site for Montclair, the much cooler suburb a half-mile east.