Tragedy gripped my joyful family and did not let go. My mother Maureen, after 35 years as a Special Education elementary teacher in Providence, Rhode Island, once winning Providence Teacher of the Year, was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. After 63 rounds of chemo, and seven months in hospice, passed away last March. A month prior, my father, Buddy, a theater teacher, passed away after being diagnosed with frontotemporal lobe dementia on Valentine's Day 2013. Diagnosed four months apart, they died within four weeks of one another. It was a long but loving four years. I turned to creativity to help cathartically navigate this turbulence.
Stage 4 cancer for her and a debilitating disease for her husband: life crashed down in an instant. Maureen Kenner found resilience, however, in the lessons she learned from her Special Ed students in Providence, RI. Her students lived with their hearts opened despite struggles of the highest magnitude. Through these students, Maureen gains courage, humor, and the strength of spirit to face her devastating realities, head on. Maureen’s oral history was captured by her son Daniel who tenderly wrought this book out of their recorded conversations. Through anecdotes and hard-earned lessons, Maureen tackles challenge after challenge and reframes daily struggles with a positive outlook allowing her to transcend and conquer mortal fears with dignity and room for grace.
Tenth Draft Completed June 2018
First Draft Completed Christmas 2016
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Third Draft In Progress
Second Draft Completed September 2014
First Draft Completed July 2014
Thurston Hall, a Theater major, is struggling to find his voice. In the fall of Senior Year, Thurston is caught between the home he left and the boy he still is; and the potential he holds and the man he knows he can become. Through memory, music and poetry, divergent conversations with strangers and mentors, he is desperate for a witness to his crude and fundamental transformation. Aimlessly, he maneuvers through The District, the city that makes him doubt his unique purpose.