I learned a lot about myself in the process while writing “Just Say the Word…” simply from the creative process and the overwhelming challenge writing and publishing a book is. After the first edition of Â JSTW was run, I eagerly sent copies off to all my closest friends and relatives. Â After a week or so, I began to get comment and feedback calls and emails. Â The most interesting comments were from my very own Mom. Â She liked the book (she’s a tough critic) and said she found it unusual that I had unknowingly named the father’s character the same name as my very own (departed) Dad. Â I hadn’t. Â In a split second, fear rushed through my mind and body: Mom was losing her memory. Â She is, after all, in her 80’s, I rationalized. Â I asked her if she heard Â what she had just said to me out loud, and she replied yes and repeated the very same comment, “You named the Dad in your book after Daddy.” I reminded her that my father’s name is Joe and not Sal as in the novel. Â For the third time, she repeated her sentence slowly, as if I were a child. Â I took a deep breath, but before I could speak again, Mom stated, “Honey, Â your Dad’s birth certificate shows his name as Salvatore.” Â I was astounded. Â I had never known that of my very own father! Â When I asked her why she had never shared this with me, she shrugged it, deciding that I wouldn’t think it important. Â Another Mom making a decision for her daughter. Â It seems that when my Dad was born, he was named for both his father and grandfather, both name Salvatore. Â In an effort to keep the confusion to a minimum, my paternal grandmother began to call her new infant Joe. Â Joe grew up identifying himself as such. Â When he applied for a Social Security card (in the 1920’s), he used the name Joseph. Â When he enlisted in the Army to serve in World War II, he signed as Joseph. Â And true to form, his gravestone shows the same beautiful name, the name of a[nother] revered saint! Â I wanted to be angry with my mother for not sharing that bit of family history, but in her innocence, she really didn’t think it would have been important. Â Not important, but kinda “trippy”, if you ask me.
I don’t hope to stumble across another fun tidbit in my new writing, but as I write, I can’t help but wonder if maybe I already have…….