Every family has a story
The grieving process when a loved one passes away is different for everyone. While one person may appear to “pick up the pieces” rather quickly, another might make the transition at a more manageable pace. Neither is wrong, nor right-it just is.
Enter Anne Welling Knox of Muncy, who has struggled with the passing of the love of her life-Jack Knox-since his sudden departure on November 22, 2005. A Southern transplant to Muncy, Knox has penned a book which she hopes will help others adjust to the certainty of death-through humor.
Published by Amazon Direct, the book, “Ms. Knox’s Box,” contains a collage of memories and photos of Jack and Anne in their early years of courtship, marriage, and parent-and grand-parenthood.
Knox spoke unabashedly of how writing helped her cope with the intense emotions of grief during a book launch on Saturday, Aug. 10.
“At first, I didn’t want to let [the memories] out, for I feared losing the pain of my husband’s death,” Knox said before a crowded room at First United Methodist Church in Muncy.
“After attending Grief Share (a grief recovery support group that is sponsored the church), I decided to write the memories down so I wouldn’t forget. Life is just a series of short stories,” she said, explaining that she began sharing those stories on a blog where many encouraged her to put them together in a book.
At the onset, Kathy Burkhart offered prayer saying, “Anne’s faith is a model for us. Bless the new venture in her life, this book and those who read it.”
At the beginning of the launch, son Ed Knox introduced his mother and warned those in attendance against reading Chapters 13 through 15 as they were about him.
“It’s fake news,” he said with a laugh, adding that “Mom’s had [medical] challenges this past year, but everyone here is a partner in her writing efforts.”
One of those partners traveled from Tennessee–Anne’s niece, Carolyn Knox Binkley of Nashville, was the beginning editor for the story writer.
“Her writings included stories where I was able to catch up with my grandmother, Phoebe Knox. The writings are ‘very Anne,'” Carolyn said, who attended the signing to provide piano music, appropriate as she is a voice coach and Minister of Music in Nashville. Of Carolyn, Anne said, “She was the best encourager ever.”
Family members wore shirts with “TEAM KNOX” printed on the backs and provided moral support as Anne addressed the crowd, singling out those who have meant so much to her during her lifetime while employed as an Emergency Room nurse at Muncy Valley Hospital.
Referring to her career, Anne said, “I was older than most trainees and in the beginning was uncomfortable with reading a patient’s monitor. The uncomfortable feeling transferred to her demeanor when she was left alone with a patient. Seeing her expression, Dr. Rudy Patrizio asked her what was wrong and when Anne explained, he simply turned the monitor off.
“It must not have been necessary, because the patient didn’t expire,” Anne quipped.
Other tidbits she shared with the audience included remarks about Ed, her oldest son. “Precocious right out of the birth canal and he’s provided lots of material ever since,” Anne said.
Youngest child John had Winifred Smay as a first grade teacher. One day after Mrs. Smay, married to a pastor, yelled at his classmates, John reminded her that preacher’s wives were to speak softly.
Of daughter Cindy Knox Craddock, Anne recalled her unicycle act along the driveway where brother Ed was hosting one of his first entrepreneur efforts.
“He charged 10 cents per neighborhood child to watch a fish do the backstroke in a water-filled wheelbarrow. I don’t think she was aware she was part of the attraction,” Anne said.
The writer gave kudos to many including church family, “which is the place to go to find friends,” and former pastor Mike Gardy and wife Sally, and Holly Shafer of the Grief Share ministry.
Additional accolades went to the Tivoli Christian Ladies Group members, attendees of the Widow’s Mite and the Red Hat ladies’ group, and Geri Schnure of Bellavie Photography for “making me look good,” Anne said. Schnure’s photo appeared on a large keepsake button given attendees as well as the book cover.
Some of the offerings of the book chapters include talent shows, a fishy tale and the antics of the ever-ongoing lima bean swap. Chuckles and out-right laughter interrupted Anne’s remarks until finally Ed said, “Mom could talk all day.”
Copies, which sold out at the launch, were personally autographed by the writer. Additional copies have been ordered.
Anne’s sequel in life involves establishing a nonprofit organization to help college students repay their enormous education loans. Although details and criteria remain to be worked out, it’s a cause she firmly believes in helping; but that’s another story for Anne to write.