How do you know when a book is finished?
Honestly, I don’t know. Somehow it feels done. I know that from just having reached that awareness. Here’s a metaphor:
Starting in 1992, Diane began writing with a word processor, and gradually changed to a computer for her work over the next ten years. She continued her hand journals until she stopped writing altogether. Her most important autobiographical writing was on her computer. I saved all of it when her decline became clear.
The journals represent Diane’s body of work in a concrete image. They represent my pledge to fulfill her dream of publishing her story. She always believed she would do that herself. Eventually that dream vanished along with her memory, her personality, and her life itself.
Diane is gone, preceded by Jennifer, just a toddler when I met them, both brought down by disease, “and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.”
No deus ex machina can bring them back. No one will carry on with the dream unless I do. Transforming that shelf of handwritten journals to published work is my duty and my honor.