Let’s go back to when Joan and I were 12 and 9, halfway to ten. A boy from school — kind of a thug who was bigger than the rest of the boys in Joan’s class because he’d been held back — had a crush on her and followed her home from school. Although Joan could hold her own around girls, exhibiting a devil-may-care attitude that made them envious, boys — especially big boys with loud voices like this one — made Joan watchful and quiet.
I watched from the living room window as Joan avoided the boy around the spherical juniper bush until he grabbed her sleeve and pulled her close to kiss her. When she screamed, I dashed out the front door and rammed head first into the boy’s side.
He turned, enraged. “Who do you think you are, you little twit?” he asked derisively. Joan wiped away a tear.
“Leave my sister alone!” I screamed, face flushed, taking s step back as I raised my fists. Joan laughed.
“You’re both crazy like your mom,” he sneered before spitting into the juniper and sauntering away.
Although Joan put her hand over her mouth as we walked toward the front porch, I could see the smile beneath it.
Now let’s move forward.
Posted in Approaching Neverland, bipolar disease, family bonds, mental health and families, Mental Health Stigma, sister's murder
Tagged Approaching Neverland, bipolar mother, families and mental illness, Peggy Kennedy, sister love, who killed my sister
Over the 5 years that it took me to complete Approaching Neverland, I looked forward to many things: to finally feeling like I’d captured the essence of my family and gotten our story right; to the great feeling of finally being published; to focusing on all of the things that I had neglected while engrossed in writing. But what has truly blown me away is how incredible it feels to have someone really GET what you’ve written exactly how you hoped they would. My meeting this past Saturday with the Bay Area Discussion Group Book Club was full of so many moments of understanding and fabulous humor (not to mention delicious pot roast and potatoes!) that it hit me that sometimes the walls between family and friends dissolve and we’re all left sitting in the living room wondering why the walls were there in the first place and whose turn it is to fix dinner. Can you say grace?
Would love to have you join me on the set of View from the Bay for my appearance on May 7th! It’s free and should be a blast — you’ll have the chance to meet co-hosts Spencer Christian and Janelle Wang and see all that great behind the scenes stuff!
Here’s how to do it:
Tickets for the show are FREE but must be reserved in advance. Audience doors open at 2:15pm with a cut-off time of 2:30pm, the show is live from 3-4pm.
To reserve your seats please call the ticket request line at (415)-954-7733 or visit http://www.viewfromthebay.com and click on “be in our audience” and fill out a ticket request form. Or click on the link below to go to the online ticket request form. Simply fill out your information and press submit.
Under “comments” please be sure to note “Peggy Kennedy.”
In honor of Mother’s Day and my wonderful mother Barbara who had acute bipolar disorder, if you buy a copy of Approaching Neverland now thru May 31, 20% will go to NAMI Walk SF Bay Area to help other families dealing with mental illness!
Posted in bipolar disease, families and mental illness, mental health and families, Mental Health Stigma
Tagged Approaching Neverland, bipolar disease, bipolar disorder, bipolar mother, families with mental illness, mental illness, NAMI, NAMI Walks, NAMIWalks, parent with bipolar, parent with bipolar disease, Peggy Kennedy
I was honored to be a guest at a San Ramon group’s first book club meeting this morning. Meeting with this lively, lovely group of women reminded me of how lucky we women are that we feel so comfortable diving deep into our emotions to find the answers to what makes us tick and what makes us who we are as individuals. Within the course of 90 minutes, we shared our stories of mental illness and relationships and loss, and I think we all left feeling a little closer and a little less alone.
Thanks so much to all of you at today’s book club for coming and opening up your hearts 🙂
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged Approaching Neverland, Approaching Neverland book events, Approaching Neverland NAMI, bipolar mother, book clubs, families and mental illness, loss, mental illness, mental illness and families, parent with bipolar disease, relationships, stigma of mental illness; family