Starting with Goodbye (Paperback)
A Daughter's Memoir of Love after Loss
University of Nevada Press, 9781943859689, 240pp.
Publication Date: May 1, 2018
Lisa reconsiders the affluent upbringing he financed (filled with horses, lavish vacations, bulging closets), and the emotional distance that grew when he retired to Las Vegas and she remained in New Jersey where she and her husband earn moderate incomes. She also confronts death rituals, navigates new family dynamics, while living both in memory and the unfolding moment.
In this brutally honest yet compelling portrayal and tribute, Lisa searches for meaning, reconciling the Italian-American father—self-made textile manufacturer who liked newspapers, smoking, Las Vegas craps tables, and solitude—with the complex man she discovers influenced everything, from career choice to spouse.
By forging a new father-daughter “relationship,” grief is transformed to hopeful life-affirming redemption. In poignant, often lyrical prose, this powerful, honest book proves that when we dare to love the parent who challenged us most, it’s never too late.
About the Author
Praise For Starting with Goodbye: A Daughter's Memoir of Love after Loss…
— Publisher's Weekly
This memoir spans but a few years in Ms. Romeo's late forties, though of course looks back. Her elderly father, living comfortably in Las Vegas with her mother, falls ill. He develops disabling arthritis, Alzheimer's, and then has a stroke. Getting old, as has been said, is not for the faint of heart… Grief, as the author tells us, is not about forgetting. It is about remembering. The treatment for grief, particularly persistent or unresolved grief, is conjuring up memories, unearthing the past, with its kaleidoscope of emotions. Only then can the heartache be mitigated, a lost and pained relationship be mended, a life propelled forward.
That is where this memoir ends. Not quite "all's well that ends well." The author knows life too well for that. But her grief and her father's visits (which fade and then maybe vanish for her) are mutative. She has changed in ways that heighten her attachments and her kindness to others and herself. As her father used to say, "you did good, kid."
— New York Journal of Books
— Hippocampus Magazine
— Literary Mama
— Halfway Down the Stairs
— Ovunque Siamo