Arnie Berger from Widow's Walk by Ken Weene (Giveaway)
We have a very special guest dropping by today, Arnie Berger from Ken Weene's novel, Widow's Walk.
I’m Arnie Berger. I live inside Ken Weene’s new book, Widow’s Walk. Ken asked me to write an essay about being happy. Much as I wanted to, I couldn’t turn him down. I’m not a happy guy. I was once. When Mary was alive, when we were dating, when I thought we’d get married: boy was I happy. It wasn’t just that I was looking down the road and seeing a good life. I was truly happy. It wasn’t just the physical side of our relationship – good as that was; it was the meshing of kindred spirits, of two souls asking the same questions.
I have this card. It was from Mary’s first adult ed class. The teacher had asked for the students to spell out their questions. Mary wrote, “How do you balance the commitments to God, to others, and to yourself?” As if that wasn’t grand enough, then she asked, “How important is love?”
How could I not love a woman who asked questions like that?
Once I had told her I’m better at questions than I am at answers. Well, she was quite the questioner. I’ll keep that card forever just like I’ll keep those memories. To be honest, it’s those memories more than anything else that keep me alive. To be in love, to truly feel that you and another are as one: that is the highest moment, what I call a peak experience.
There are other great moments. I still have a few. Sean and I have stayed close. He and Karen have been great parents. I see so much of Mary in them and in their kids. Robert is a special joy. He’s in college now. We get together and talk about life. He considers me a grandfather, and that’s pretty wonderful. It isn’t like life has lost all meaning. But, I don’t think I’ll ever have another love – not one like I had with Mary.
Then I was alive – alive in the anticipation of the moment and open – so open – to the possibilities. In some ways I was a boat at harbor, snug and safe against my mooring yet yearning to be at sea. Knowing the joy of the moment while eager for the future. Great metaphor! The only glitch is that I get seasick.
I guess there’s a point here. If you’re happy, truly happy, then live in that moment. Enjoy it to the fullest because you can never know how choppy the sea might get. At least then you’ll have the memory of that safe harbor and the joy of that wonderful moment to think back on and to cherish.
Life goes on. I tell my students that. As a college professor I feel I have an obligation to let them know. Life goes on. Be careful to load up on the memories that will be there for the long and often painful run.
I guess that’s why Ken wanted me to write this little note – to remind me to hold fast to those memories, to the moments of our love, to the joy that was Mary. Tonight I’ll cry over those memories, but I will smile through the tears.
For more of Mary and my story read Widow’s Walk, by Kenneth Weene and enjoy the love within.
Author Kenneth's Weene's Widow’s Walk is a story of good people's struggle – sometimes successfully and often not – to deal with the challenges in their lives. The novel reflects how family, friendship, love, faith, and character affect that struggle.
Join author, Kenneth Weene, on his blog book tour September 1-30. Take the time to leave comments along the way and you'll be entered in a drawing with a chance to win two different prizes.
The first giveaway is Kenneth Weene's poetry book which will go to a few different commenters.
The second giveaway is a copy of his book Widow's Walk to one lucky commenter
A New Englander by upbringing and inclination, Ken Weene’s career – primarily in New York – included teaching, pastoral care, and psychology. Throughout his career Ken has also been devoted to writing. His poetry has appeared in a number of publications – both print and web. He authored a number of professional publications. His short stories and essays have also been published. One of his short plays was recently workshopped. An anthology of Ken’s work, Songs For My Father, was published 2002. His novel, Widow’s Walk, has been published in 2009. Ken and his wife, Roz, now live in greater Phoenix where he spends much of his time writing.
He started writing, primarily poetry, in the 1980s. Regarding Widow's Walk, Weene says, "Stepping away from full-time work was the best decision I ever made. Writing this story has given me tremendous personal satisfaction, and it has shown me an avenue for expression I will always treasure."