Monday, November 3, 2014

First Impressions - Mended by Love: A Mother's Memoir of Faith and Forgiveness

Hello all, it's the beginning of November and as I write this the snow is flying outside my house (I know - snow! Can you believe it?!) and the wind is blowing the last of the leaves off the trees and it's bloody cold as hell! But regardless of the weather, it's time for First Impressions again and today we have something different: a memoir from Pk Hrezo. Author Dianne Salerni is also critiquing this first page so don't forget to check out her thoughts here.

Here is the first page of MENDED BY LOVE: A MOTHER'S MEMOIR OF FAITH AND FORGIVENESS, the story of Queena, who was was raped, beaten, and left to die outside the library where she was returning books. Although now confined to a wheelchair and unable to speak or feed herself, she still makes strides every year in overcoming the brain injury she suffered. Pk Hrezo, is co-authoring this memoir with Queena's mother, Vanna Nguyen.

If you want to learn more about Queena and how you can help, check out her website: JoinQueena.

They say life can change in a blink. It may sound like an exaggeration, but looking back to a few years ago, change came so abruptly, that it truly was a mere blink in the timeline of life’s steady, wide-eyed gaze. In the span of only minutes, my family’s life sunk sank from wonderfully average and content, into an abyss of cruel uncertainty. Of endless nights watching my once healthy, vibrant daughter struggle for the future she’d so desperately worked for.

A future that had been set off course within a blink.( You could use the word 'instance' or 'instant' in place of blink - or moment...)

On a Thursday afternoon on April 24, 2008, I was smiling. At the time, I never had any reason to suspect it would be the last day I’d smile for weeks. I was on my way to pick up the key to the beach condo where my youngest daughter Queena and her best friends would stay the weekend. Queena had turned eighteen two days earlier, (I don't think you need that comma) and had been waiting for this beach birthday bash for weeks. Friday would come as a gifted day off for honor students, making it a nice long weekend, while graduation lurked (the word lurked here makes graduation sound ominous, imo) in the near distance at only a month away. (I would use just one of those phrases.) Queena would be off to college soon. Such little time I’d have left with her. I wanted to give her the play time she deserved. She’d worked so hard, and earned every moment of fun that surely awaited her this weekend.

On the walkway to the condo’s front office, I paused, letting the salty ocean air caress my cheeks. It was the kind of perfect Florida spring weather that made you ask how you could ever live anywhere else. Breezy and warm. I almost envied the girls their weekend getaway, but not in a spiteful manner—in a way that held so many fond memories of that vigorous (this seems like an odd word to use - carefree maybe?) time in a young person’s life. So many possibilities. So much potential. Eighteen was a time to be happy and healthy and full of hope.

My thoughts: Aside from where I marked, I don't have any other suggestions. All I'll add is that I think this would make for a compelling read and my heart goes out to Queena and her family, especially her mother.

And readers, thanks for your thoughts in my absence - my power is finally back after two exceedingly unpleasant days and nights. Hallelujah!


  1. PK has a great start. Going to be a very tough book to read, and certainly tough to write.

  2. My apologies all! The storm that came through yesterday killed my power so I will not be able to finish my thoughts until it returns. Sorry!

  3. A dark topic for sure, but this memoir may help someone who is going through similar circumstances.

  4. I thought about you when I heard there was snow in Maine, Marcy. Egad. Hope your power comes back on soon and that you're staying warm. As frightening as this story must be, it needs to be told. Best wishes to all involved.

  5. Sounds like a powerful story (and PK Hrezo's great!).

  6. Thanks for featuring Marcy! I was wondering what happened to those thoughts. lol Holy smokes a snow storm already!!! Be safe. And thanks again for your notes! :)

  7. This is going to painful and confronting to read, as it surely was to write.
    And how much worse to live it.
    I love PK Hrezo's commitment to this project and wish only the best for Queena and her family.

  8. Snow. What is this thing called snow? It's 67 degree where I am--a beautiful day. The back door is open so Franklin can run in and out as he pleases. Queena's is a sad story to tell, but we need to know the sad stories as well as the happy.


  9. I just read this first page over at Dianne Salerni's blog. What a powerful, frightening story this seems, and how much bravery it must have taken to share it.

  10. Finally my power is back after two exceedingly unpleasant days and nights. Hallelujah!

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