Mother finds solace through writing
TIVOLI – It’s not unusual that life’s experiences can birth writers. Such events, in this instance heart-wrenching, have been overcome by Rebecca (Beccie) Klar Lusk who recently wrote and published two children’s books.
A former teacher in the Williamsport Area School District, the writer was on a 10-day swing through Pennsylvania from her home in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee.
The visit included a presentation and book signing for the Christian Women’s Group who met April 20 at the Tivoli United Methodist Church.
In 2000, Beccie and her husband, Williamsport native Louis ‘Bink’ Lusk, lost the eldest of their two sons to cancer. “Those who prayed for Christopher were certain he would be restored, but it was not to be,” the mother said.
Grieving the loss put a strain on her health and relationships as she plummeted to a low place. “In the middle of the night, I’d phone my brother in North Carolina. I’d be wrapped in a blanket, crouched in a corner of the kitchen.” Her brother advised her to “Write! Don’t do what the world tells you, do what God tells you.”
The Klar family, Beccie and her brother Robert Klar, have from childhood, had a deep rooted faith. Their home church is in an area near Dubois where Beccie recently attended on Sunday April 17. At Tivoli, she produced and read from a certificate she’d received at her home church 56 years earlier. Coincidentally, the month and the day were the same. “I was supposed to be in Pennsylvania this season,” she said.
Instilling in her family the teachings of her youth, the grieving mother is certain that she sent her son off to Jesus. “His plan is not our plan, finding joy is work. Yes, it was a struggle, filled with pain and hurt,” the mother said.
More ‘so called’ coincidences were to come about in the writer’s life. Their Williamsport home was not for sale, yet someone approached them and their property sold in a week.
To be near their youngest son Andrew and his wife, the couple moved to Tennessee. “In 2009, they gave us a grandson; it was a renewal from God. Our lives were filled with a different kind of aura. “Later a sister, Everly, joined big brother Eli,” she said. Now with two grandchildren, Beccie Lusk pulled out the manuscripts and notes she’d jotted down during her grieving process. She began writing children’s books.
With her brother as illustrator, she sought a printer deciding on Westbow Press and publisher Thomas Nelson, which originated in Scotland. In 1999, Beccie’s first mission trip had been to Scotland.
The books are titled “It’s All About Being Tall,” featuring a giraffe, and its counterpart, “It’s All About Being Small,” starring a mouse. After listing the advantages of tall and small, the writer conveys that “God loves us just the way we are.”
Beccie’s several days in the area found her reconnecting with friends who had supported her through her time of sorrow. Some included ballroom dance instructor Nancy Machinski and retired school teacher Louise Courtney, both of Montoursville. Others were Anne Knox, the hat lady from Muncy, Nancy Jacobs of Williamsport, a volunteer in the Yokefellow Prison Ministry, and Leona Duty, a retired teacher from Loyalsock.
The gathering in Tivoli was a reunion of sorts, as in 2009, Lusk was among 14 attendees at the group’s initial gathering. Aware of the tragedies in her life, Lusk’s friends recently trekked to Tivoli to celebrate her overcomings.
“All struggles we go through are so we can proclaim the Good News. We cannot truly sympathize with others unless we’ve had the same experiences,” the mother said.
Recently, son Andrew and his young family purchased a property close to Beccie and husband, Bink. The mother believes the out-of-state move brought about what she emphasized as the plan for all humanity, ‘We were made to Thrive.”