To My Grandma, With Love

The dedication page of A Light in the Dark is as special to me as any of the other three hundred and thirty plus pages. In a few words, it explains the reason- why I was inspired to start writing this story and the reason why I finished. The process took three years from creation to publication but I wish I would have done it sooner.

One of the people the book is dedicated to is my grandmother, Wilma McKissack Ferguson. A real trail blazer and a passionate writer herself. Born in 1917, she’s knocking on the door of 100 years of life. Imagine the things she has seen. Her life should be my next book.

A child of divorce in the 1920’s, she felt like an outsider growing up. That would ignite a lifelong desire to champion those less fortunate and discriminated against.

A child bride who became a mother of three before she was roughly 24 also became a widow in her early forties. From there, the focus was on first earning a high school diploma, then a college degree and then canvassing the countryside in her little red truck.

Not only do I not have the typical grandma, I also don’t have the typical human being for a grandma. I think most people who know her would agree her name should really be “Ahead-of-her-time Willie.”

That is why it’s all about time for me. I finally wrote my book and it finally got published but maybe just a little late. My grandmother won’t be able to read it, her eyesight being what it is, and she can’t enjoy having it read to her with her hearing as it is. But she knows it exists and there is one thing she has chosen to do – share it. So now it is sitting on a shelf in the library of my grandmother’s nursing facility.

There’s my reason.