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Cover for Searching For Spenser

Searching For Spenser

A Mother's Journey Through Grief

Margaret Rayburn Kramar, Nina Niebuhr (Photographer)


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Winner of the National Indie Excellence Award 2019

"Margaret Kramar's memoir is a testament to the pain and beauty of parenthood--and the vulnerability it requires." --Laura Moriarty, best selling author of The Chaperone, and American Heart.

Parenting can be a struggle; especially parenting a disabled child. In this flawlessly written memoir, Kramar describes championing her son, diagnosed with sotos syndrome, through his short life. She examines the experience of loving and losing a child and reminds us that there is a way forward through the grief. Kramar's memoir offers guidance, wisdom and inspiration. An amazing story of redemption and hope.

"This book is a reminder that living with a most difficult and painful thing gives us choices. Making the right one makes all the difference. Margaret kramar has written this story for all the right reasons. And no matter who you are, you will find yourself in these pages." --Maryemma graham, university of kansas distinguished professor & founder/director, project on the history of black writing

As his most ardent cheerleader, Margaret encourages Spenser to transcend the arbitrary limits of his disability. Spenser flourishes, emerging as a happy child who loves to act, dance, and draw. One spring day, while the other children are playing, Spenser clings to his mother at the school carnival because he is tired. Margaret takes him to the hospital on a Sunday night, and in a startling turn of events, he dies the following Monday afternoon.

After his death, Margaret questions whether she ever really knew her child. She searches for him in the memories of former teachers, relatives and friends, embarking on a journey that takes her beyond the grave, even to a psychic in Lily Dale, while she finds support and solace in the monthly meetings of The Compassionate Friends.

Written in starkly honest prose, Searching for Spenser chronicles the costs and joys of loving a child with Sotos syndrome.

Margaret Kramar taught English at The University of Kansas and Washburn University after receiving her Ph.D. in 2012. "Star Wars," a chapter from the memoir, appeared in Echoes from the Prairie in 2013, "The Soap Opera," a chapter from Searching for Spenser, captured the first place award in the 2009 Kansas Authors Club District Contest and another chapter, "The Birthday Party," appeared in Exceptional Parent magazine in 2008. A short story about Spenser was anthologized in Reading Lips: And Other Ways to Overcome a Disability, published by Apprentice House in 2008. Her work has also appeared in Contemporary American Women: Our Defining Passages, The Grinnell Magazine, newspapers, and other print and digital magazines.

Anamcara Press LLC, 9781941237182, 264pp.

Publication Date: November 10, 2018