We go back maybe thirty years. Back to when we were just kids fresh out of school, she working for one of my dad's clients and me working for my dad's construction business. Pam Howard and I would talk on a daily basis depending on the construction project or projects we had going. Since these were the days before the internet or even faxes (I kid you not), I would often find myself driving correspondence, shop drawings, and blueprints to her Albany office in my beat-up Jeep. I loved this part of the job because it got me out of the office, and God knows, I hate offices (thus the full-time writing thing).
Pam was always a professional but also a really nice kid. Bubbly even. When I left the construction business to pursue the super lucrative writing business (that's a joke Ha-Ha), Pam and I kept in vague touch. My second wife, Laura, even worked for her for a short time when Pam was running the PR at the Albany Institute of History and Art. It wasn't all that much later when I started to learn of the profound hardships she was made to endure. She would not only lose her first husband to an early grave, she would lose her second husband, plus her mom, all within six short months. How does one deal with that kind of tragedy and still get out of bed in the morning? I'll leave that for Pam to tell you in her own words.
Maybe I'm prejudice, but there's no better way to exorcise a demon from your battered soul than writing about it. Thus is born Pam's memoir, Out of the Blue. It's a remarkably well written piece of literary liberation, and cannot possibly be read without shedding a tear or two. But just like the author, there are moments of laughter also. In fact, Pam is so good-natured about her life's losses she often jokes about her third husband's chances of survival. Dark humor, but what the hell, if you can't laugh, than you obviously can't live either.
As usual, I've gone on for far too long. Without further ado, please meet Pamela Howard, a stunningly talented debut author.
What do you do when you lose virtually everything in life, personally and professionally? How do you move forward? I experienced a series of losses (including my 51 year old husband) in 2012 and 2013, and have written a book that describes the depths of pain and loss, followed by the joys of finding my way to a new and fulfilling life. This book is full of real-life experiences, thoughts and observations on death, and how I used my circle of family, friends and professionals to chart a new course to happiness. I hope this book can help you to move past whatever may be holding you back in your life as well.
Excerpt from the book: "I can tell you that grief cannot be managed like a project. Grief doesn’t give a shit about your spreadsheets and TO DO lists. Grief is a dark shadow that follows you around and stalks you. Grief waits for you to be vulnerable, just for a second. It lurks around the corners just out of view. Grief is always just under the surface waiting to breach into your consciousness, just when you least expect it. It’s a song on the radio, a TV commercial, a taste, a smell, or when you drive past your old favorite restaurant that grief can paralyze you. But what I learned about grief is that as time goes on, the grief bubbles up less and less. The pain is still there, but becomes a little less acute all the time."
I hope you pick up Out of the Blue. It's a tremendously easy read, but hard at the same time, if you get my meaning. For certain, you won't forget it.