In my memoir, ‘Celia’s Secret’, my primary search at the beginning of my story is for truth. What is truth? Why do we seek it so passionately? Does anyone have the right to hold the truth exclusively or is there a duty to pass it on to others who are affected by it?
I hope that my story has something new to say and that it has the capacity to help others overcome the sadness that comes from broken relationships. Whilst it is about the truth from my own experience, it also embraces the truth from the perspective of other characters in the story. In this way, I have tried to give a balanced understanding of that very difficult concept. It has been my plan to create a clear and progressive structure which takes the reader through the working processes of reflection, understanding and forgiveness bringing them eventually to the point of reconciliation.
The first few chapters reflect on my childhood and teenage years when my voice was relatively weak. It becomes stronger as I move through my life and confront the difficult issues which arise from the secret. When the secret is finally revealed the discovery leads to despair rather than resolution and I have to face some painful issues; mental illness, bereavement, loss of chosen career as a social worker and, above all, my changed relationship with my much-loved mother.
At this point, I search more deeply for answers to my unresolved questions. The strong literary and religious references are carefully chosen and put into place within the context of the book and I explain clearly why these connections are important to me. The musical references highlight deep emotional experiences and they will stay with me forever. Towards the end of my story, I travel to a special place to seek out unknown facts, hoping to complete the story for myself and my family. There are not always definitive answers to life’s problems but peace, I am certain, can be achieved by knowing that you have done all that is humanly possible to resolve them.