Local author writes book celebrating the life of her late son
(Photos courtesy of Cynthia Montanaro)
By Peggy Weber
SPRINGFIELD – November is the month when the church remembers the dead. Blandford author Cynthia Montanaro recognizes the need to reflect and recall loved ones who have died. She, however, uses 12 months to write a compelling and inspirational book about her son, Tim, who died in June 2005.
Diary of a Country Mother: A Year of Remembering Tim was released earlier this year. In it Cynthia chronicles her year of grief and remembering from December 2005 to December 2006. It is a tribute but it also is a testimony of Cynthia’s faith and how she coped with the loss of a child.
She notes in her introduction: “This diary is not the anatomy of an illness, though, or a treatise on mental disorders. It is not a blueprint to prevent tragedy. I am not the person to write that book. This account of the life of my son simply reveals that each person, no matter his mental or physical problems, has a great worth beyond measure and leaves an enormous impact on those near to them and those farther afield.”
In an interview with iobserve, Cynthia explained she began the book wanting to tell “the story of our son, Tim, and describe his unrepeatable personality, his career of mischief and his love of life.”
She began the book six months after his death. She notes, “I wanted to write before I forgot all that Tim had been and just what he had meant to our family. I also like to think that I was working under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit as I began all my writing with prayer.”
She said reaction to her book has been very positive. “They seem to immediately understand and appreciate Tim and the joy he brought to those around him. Many have read the book as a meditation as the entries in my Diary all begin and end with reflections on our Catholic faith as it is lived out in the joys and sorrows of a family's life,” she noted.
Cynthia and her husband of 37 years, Andy, adopted Tim when their other sons were 12, 11 and 9.
He was diagnosed early with Tourette Syndrome with accompanying phobias and obsessive compulsive tendencies.
When asked what she would say to other parents of children with special needs, Cynthia says, “I would entreat them to live out a life of particular confidence in God. Our children should be a source of great joy to us and this joy can only be found when we accept their strengths and limitations and bless God for their place in our families, all the while begging him for the help we need in raising them.”
The thread of her strong faith is a constant in her book. She notes, “I could not have endured or kept my sanity without my faith. A belief in God, in the love of Christ and His goodness in giving us the Church with its rich sacramental life has been my mainstay through all the difficulties of life.”
Eight years after her son’s death, Cynthia describes herself as a retired homeschooling teacher. She is the grandmother of seven. Her son, Thomas, was ordained a priest in December 2011. She said she became a Secular Carmelite after Tim's death.
She also pens a blog: http://diaryofacountrymother.wordpress.com/. For more information about her book, log onto her blog or search amazon.com.