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Life Arts    H2'ed 2/25/14

Don Snyder on Love and Loss: "Of Time and Memory: My Parents' Love Story"

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DS: Yes, we have grown closer. And yes, we view our mother's life and death in the same way.

JB: You write that your mother came to you in visions as you were growing up but you didn't know at the time that was who it was. Can you talk about that a bit? 

DS: I almost never talk about that because it instantly takes the story into the realm of make-believe. But it is something that happened to me as a small boy. I would awake in the night and there was this vision of this beautiful face in gold light.  I suffered convulsions as a small boy. They had to lay me down in a tub of ice cold water to stop them.  I later learned that in the last hour of my mother's life, she suffered a convulsion.  So, we were joined in this way. And who can say if the dead can return and visit us?  Maybe God only allows mothers who die in childbirth to return to visit this world, to get a glimpse of the babies they left behind. That would be nice, I think.  But you should also know that when I wrote Of Time and Memory, I heard my mother's voice in almost every sentence. It was like she was telling me what to write down.

JB: Wow. So, in a way, you were writing this book together, or at the very least, it was inspired and guided by your mother. That's lovely. How do you explain that it was only you and not your brother who heard and saw your mother? 

DS: I can't explain this. My brother and I have spoken about it and we just explain it by saying  one of us was put on this earth to write about my mother's sacrifice, and that was me, and so she showed herself to me in those visions. 

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JB: As you learned about your mother, you also felt a special affinity with her because you were both moody and had moments of darkness. Was this bond a comfort to you? 

DS: When I finally learned about the darkness in my mother, then it explained a great many things to me. And I felt like her darkness and the darkness I felt was something holy that we shared.

JB: There's a very poignant anecdote in the book. One of the neighbors tells of seeing your mother up late, night after night, sewing. First, she sewed her bridesmaids' dresses, then her trousseau, then her married lady clothes and then, maternity and baby clothes. As young as she was and with all the many changes that transpired in a very short time, you were very real to her. 

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Joan Brunwasser is a co-founder of Citizens for Election Reform (CER) which since 2005 existed for the sole purpose of raising the public awareness of the critical need for election reform. Our goal: to restore fair, accurate, transparent, secure elections where votes are cast in private and counted in public. Because the problems with electronic (computerized) voting systems include a lack of (more...)

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