“Do not regret the past, nor wish to shut the door on it.”

My father passed away on Sunday, April 12, 2015 quietly in his home at the age of seventy-seven. He went to church, came home, hung up his suit, took a nap and went to his heaven. The pastor said his sermon that day was about Heaven and I think ole Henry was just ready to be there. Three years ago in February he had a coronary bypass graft and we were afraid we might lose him even then, but that didn’t happen and we were given a few more years of precious time with him.

For six weeks in 2012, I was able to spend time with him while he recuperated from that surgery.  We needed that time together. He was a great storyteller. Most of the way I helped was by listening to the stories he shared with me about his life and events that occurred in the 1950s and 60s, the social injustice of the era. Inspired by his stories, a cousin’s stories, and a ledger he knew I had discovered in 1992, I came home and on April 12, 2012, I began to write a book. I would love to share those stories with you.

I appreciate the life and time he gave me. May he rest in peace.

My husband is, like my father, Henry Koone, was, a not-so-anonymous recovering alcoholic. I attend open meetings with my husband and one of the things they say in the rooms of AA is,

“Do not regret the past, nor wish to shut the door on it.”

When you bury the past and fail to look back you miss the opportunity to grow and learn, to develop insight and character. While it may not be healthy to dwell or live in your past, in it there are lessons we will find nowhere else.

Experience, strength and hope!

The Promises go on to say, “We will comprehend the word serenity and know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole outlook on life will change. Fear of people and economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.”

I watched my father go through some dramatic changes over the course of the past fifty-four years and I learned the meaning of forgiveness.

He taught me about unconditional love.

I learned from the experiences, strengths and hopes we shared.

There is much social injustice in this world but change begins with each and every individual. Looking back at the past, in the manner that my historic novel does, it is my hope that the reader can recognize the harm of social injustice, oppression, poverty and ignorance, and perhaps develop some insights, in addition to being entertained. It isn’t a preachy book, but one that tells the stories of those who lived in an era we must move forward out of, never forgetting the sacrifices of those who came before us.

“A fictionalized true story of life in the Deep South during the time of Jim Crow Law, and before Roe vs. Wade. Women were supposed to keep quiet and serve, abortion was illegal, adoption difficult, and racism rampant. The discovery of an old ledger opens a window into the dynamics of the 1950s-60s.

Unspoken secrets are shared between Beatrice, The Good Doctor’s wife, and Moses Grier, their black handyman. The Grier’s daughter, Althea, suffers a tragedy that leaves her family silent and mournful. Her brother, Nathan, a medical student, looks for answers from a community that is deaf, blind, and dumb.

A summer romance between Nathan and Sybil, an independent, high-spirited, white woman, leaves more unresolved. Nathan is thrust into the center of the Civil Rights Movement. Sybil is torn between living the mundane life of her peers, or a life that involves fastening herself to a taboo relationship. Witness social progress through the eyes of those who lived it.”

Reviews are appreciated.

66 thoughts on ““Do not regret the past, nor wish to shut the door on it.”

  1. These lessons you have drawn from this period, as from your life, are a testament to your father’s teaching and a living legacy, Susan. My thoughts and prayers are also with you at this time.

    1. Thank you so very much, Sue. It was sometimes difficult to impossible to live with the man, but the positive changes that occurred in his life brought me much joy.

  2. My deepest sympathy. He must be proud of his daughter that can write such a tribute. Thank you for introducing your readers to such a fine man. I am very sorry for your loss but he lives on in you.

    1. Thank you Craig. He and my cousin were the motivators behind me writing my book. The stories they told should not be forgotten. We’ve come a long way in these past fifty years.

        1. I have many cousins like that and the good ole boys who gathered on the porch steps of an old country store my grandfather used to take us to visit and listen. Good times. 🙂

  3. So sorry to hear about your father, Susan. It’s a nice tribute to him that you listened to his stories and weaved them into your book. We all want to feel like what we have to say matters, and you honored him by showing what he had to say does.

  4. I’m glad you were granted more time with your dad and came to a happier place resolving differences. He gave you two great gifts – unconditional love and superb storytelling talents! Again, my condolences.

  5. I’m so very sorry, SK. But I am glad that you got those three extra years with him and the time you spent with him during his recovery. Here my father has entered hospice care, but is doing pretty well considering, and in the middle of all his illness, your father has been taken without too much warning. He must have wanted to get to Heaven right away. Many hugs for you xoxoooo

    1. Thanks Luanne. Glad in many ways that it was quick and so sorry to hear about your dad’s situation. I have already told my husband that I would want hospice if I was found to be terminal. They are a strong organization which offers so much support to families dealing with illness and loss.

  6. I’m so sorry to hear of your loss, but it sounds like your father made a lasting impact on your life and gave you many gifts in memory. Wishing you blessings and peace.

  7. My deepest sympathies, Susan. Although we expect our parents to leave ahead of us, it’s never easy to let go. I’d argue that Henry was too young to leave this world, but I guess he would disagree. I am glad he died peacefully, in his life. That is the perfect way to go.

    1. He was still working his self-employed business up to the Friday before his Sunday death. Never one to retire or give up, but he had serious problems with his heart for many years. Honestly, it’s amazing he lived as long as he did.

  8. I’m so sorry to read this news, Susan, and so sorry for your loss. I’m glad you were able to spend time with your father, and that he left you a legacy of wonderful stories. Wishing you all best.

  9. I’m truly grateful for the time I got to spend with him during his recovery from heart surgery. That is six weeks that changed my life. His approval to go ahead and write my book and the stories he shared with me mean the world to me.

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