Ever since I began working on my memoir, and will soon be going through all the suggested edits, I’ve been on a search for books to be able to say my memoir is like… but it is different because… I’ve read tons of recommended books but no luck, until last week. Mary Tyler Moore‘s memoir Growing Up Again: Life, Loves and Oh Yeah, Diabetes caught my attention while I was wandering around the library with the hope for an example how to present my story.
I have always admired MTM, she’s funny and a dancer. Plus the title made me laugh because that is exactly what happens when I work on the memoir, like I’m growing up a-gain. (Yes, I’ve gained so much by working on the memoir.) So I read MTM’s memoir with a critical eye for pacing and timing because I’m not sure mine should be in chronological order as recommended, and MTM’s memoir is not, so that’s good.
What’s powerful about MTM’s memoir is how she presents her journey with Type 1 diabetes and the extensive self maintenance required. Wow. I assume other people like me, who don’t have an intimate connection with diabetics, really are as clueless as I was before reading this book. MTM takes the advice to be responsible to your own health and happiness to a whole new level.
Growing Up Again is a good example to use to explain my memoir of my parents and childhood because there is a present and extreme physical condition but both stories are about living life with purpose, joy, and being a benefit to others. But I also felt there was another layer of comparison and I didn’t figure it out until I read Michael Hyatt’s post about protecting your marriage. While I read that post I felt he, and even those who commented, missed the point of “why” to protect your marriage.
For MTM, she trusts her husband to not only help her navigate stairs and parties but to also to save her life if necessary. She then can continue to care for her dogs and be an advocate for all the diabetics in the world who benefit from her work with the JDRF. The loving and supportive romance with her husband is woven through her story and is a big part of her success as a bionic woman.
So that’s how my memoir is the same but different, because I put the journey of my parents romance in the spotlight, as what saved their lives more than once. This is the why of keeping a marriage healthy, to know someone cares enough to save our life so we can live with purpose and joy.
However, I’m currently reading The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan and while my memoir is nothing like it, I really hope I absorb some of her writing style. It’s lovely, and she doesn’t follow a chronological path either. So I am feeling this graduation energy my sister suggested.
Next month my novel will be done and critiqued, my marketing partnership with Morgan will be live, and my daughter’s wedding celebrated. Then I’ll be ready once more to tuck into my memoir armed with so much more that I have gained.