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Hello! I'm a writer from central New York who has bipolar disorder. Among other topics, I write about mental illness and writing. I have short stories published in Lynx Eye, Lost Coast Review, The Outrider Review, Sliver of Stone Magazine, The Mondegreen, The Linnet's Wings, Cobalt Review, Breath & Shadow, The Round Up, Postscripts to Darkness, Masque & Spectacle, and several other journals. I have a poem in The Poeming Pigeon, essays about mental illness in The Ram Boutique and Amygdala Literary Magazine, and an essay in Parts Unbound: Narratives of Mental Illness & Health, a book that was published by Lime Hawk Literary Arts Collective. My story "Santa Lucia" was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. I've written three novels entitled Purple Loosestrife, Hoping It Might Be So, and Dark and Bright, all of which are as yet unpublished. I'm working on a memoir about my experiences with bipolar disorder. I have a B.A. in English from SUNY Buffalo and an M.A. in English from SUNY College at Brockport. I hope you enjoy your visit to my blog!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Uncle Emil

Stories about my Great-Great-Uncle Emil are family lore on my mother's side of my family. He was a character, and my mom tells stories about how he lived in a cottage year-round on Honeoye Lake (one of New York's gorgeous Finger Lakes) and how much the family adored him. He died when my mother was still a child, but her memories of him are clear and strong and she gets a good feeling whenever she's at Honeoye Lake because it brings Uncle Emil back to her. His cottage was called the Iris and he had hundreds of irises planted all around on his property. Now my uncle, my mother's brother, has a cottage on Honeoye Lake that he named the Iris II.

Until very recently, Uncle Emil was buried in Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester, New York, in an unmarked grave. My mother, her three sisters, her brother, and her cousin got together and bought a gravestone for him. I have a picture of it here. Note that it has irises on it.

Of course, I didn't know Uncle Emil--only through stories is he someone to me. But I'm glad he's no longer in an unmarked grave. But while he has this memorial now in Mount Hope Cemetery, he really lives on at Honeoye Lake. This post is just a little piece about one of my ancestors. I feel it's important to connect with one's ancestors. I'd like to think that, someday, my descendants will connect with me.

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