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Tracy Monaghan

New Beginnings

My first passion was reading.  Discovering books was like opening the best birthday present ever.  Growing up, I shared a bedroom with my younger brother.  Because I was older, I claimed the top bunk.  I would literally spend hours tucked in my bunk bed, surrounded by my stuffed animal friends, reading.

I have always loved to write, and once I learned how, I scribbled stories on any grubby piece of paper I could find.  I wrote a soap opera in school.  I was bored in class, so I started writing a story.  I composed a page and passed it to my friend. She read it and passed it on.  I expanded on the adventures of the heroine every day in that class.  Eventually, the whole class was reading the daily excerpts.  Then my mother died.

New Beginnings is a true story.  My mom was the center of my life.  Her devotion to family was beyond measure.  There wasn’t a playbook for navigating through the emotional aftermath of her death, but my dad and I slogged together through our changed landscape.  Life was topsy-turvy for awhile, and we both made mistakes.  Thankfully, love and patience triumphed over tragedy.  We were able to forge our own connection; different from the bond I had with my mother, but precious.  My father filled in the obvious gaps with what he knew – he taught me how to fish and play catch in the Ohio summer evenings.  Together, we figured out the more complicated tasks – like baking and managing life without my mom.

New Beginnings is the story of a girl and her father trying to understand the trauma of losing a loved one.  Certainly nothing can erase that pain, but by memorializing my mom and in celebrating my father’s attempts at reconstructing a recognizable life, I found acceptance and a clear path forward.  My hope is that by reading this book, others can experience healing, knowing that hope can sneak up and be found in unexpected places – maybe even in the pages of a book.

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