Room For Grace By Daniel & Maureen Kenner #Book Tour

ROOM FOR GRACE by Daniel & Maureen Kenner, Memoir, 179 pp., $16.00 (paperback) $2.99 (Kindle)

 

Title: Room For Grace


Author: Daniel Kenner & Maureen Kenner


Publisher: Silver Boot Imprints


Pages: 179


Genre: Memoir & Biography

Stage 4 cancer for her and a debilitating disease for her husband:
life crashed down in an instant. Maureen Kenner found resilience,
however, in the lessons she learned from her Special Ed students in
Providence, RI. Her students lived with their hearts opened despite
struggles of the highest magnitude. Through these students, Maureen
gains courage, humor, and the strength of spirit to face her devastating
realities, head on. Maureen’s oral history was captured by her son
Daniel who tenderly wrought this book out of their recorded
conversations. Through anecdotes and hard-earned lessons, Maureen
tackles challenge after challenge and reframes daily struggles with a
positive outlook allowing her to transcend and conquer mortal fears with
dignity and room for grace.PRAISE:“Maureen Kenner was one of those people who brightened every room she
entered. Thanks to Room for Grace, that light is not extinguished.
Although her story shares great sadness, Room for Grace is a book of
hope and a celebration of life that sheds Maureen’s light on us all.”

—Ann Hood, Author of The Obituary Writer and The Red Thread

“In these pages, you will find a story like no other. Maureen’s story
is one of courage and love, a story that will move you to your core.”

—David Flink, Chief Empowerment Officer, Eye to Eye

“The piercing light of Maureen’s compassion, love and intelligence,
will leave every reader wanting to reach out in the spirit of service
and live life to the fullest.”

—Annie Lanzillotto, Author of Hard Candy: Caregiving, Mourning, and Stagelight

“Buddy Kenner was a big-hearted teacher, universally beloved by all, a
warrior for the arts and their importance in the curriculum. Amazing
and unique guy. Read this book.”

—Tom Chandler, Rhode Island Poet Laureate Emeritus

Room for Grace is available at Amazon.

STAGE 4
Mary Poppins
was my nurse on Day 6. “Pretend you’re at summer camp,” she joked, encouraging
every step I made toward healing and recovery. “We’ve got a whole bunch of
activities for you to choose from.”
“But instead of
Newcomb and color wars and collecting orange salamanders or dancing to Tommy
James and the Shondells,” I said, “today’s activities at the hospital include
pain med management, ice chip crunching, and Dammit! Doll whacking…”
“Don’t forget
IV pole walking,” she teased. “I always know when you’re coming because your IV
pole is the squeakiest.” She tenderly guided me back into bed.
“But instead of
early morning skinny dipping,” I said, “someone signed me up for the johnny
gown flash mob.”
That really
made her laugh. “I wish all my patients worked like you.”
“Well, you help
make it easy,” I admitted. “I loved sleepaway camp. I’d pack my trunk with stamped stationary
and Razzles, pick-up sticks and jacks. And my Magic 8-Ball. My bunkmates and I
thought we could predict the future. Go figure. I could never have predicted
this.”
She wrapped a warm blanket around my feet. “One year,” I
continued, “I was the last camper to be picked up and, on the way home, my
sisters teased me that my parents wanted to leave me there.”
“That’s one of the reasons I love my
job here,” she smiled. “The staff is a family. We’re planning a barbecue
together this weekend.”
It was August
2013. 
Dr. David
Sanfred, our family practitioner, walked into my room at 6:45 a.m. and stood at
the end of my hospital bed. “Maureen, we’re getting ready to send you home
soon,” he said. And then, “It’s time to talk.”
It was time to
face what I’d avoided all week.
“I’m sorry to
tell you, but it’s very serious.” Though by our family’s side for many
difficult situations, I’d never heard Dr. Sanfred’s tone this methodical. “We
thought it was Stage 1 but the cancer metastasized from the colon to your
umbilicus and has advanced to Stage 4.”
The hospital
symphony went silent. I turned my head and watched the early morning sunlight
peek through the window. “Is it curable?”
He gave my hand
a soft pat. “No, it is not curable.”
I heard myself
gasp.
I was in a
panorama shot. I saw Mary Poppins outside the thin curtain share morning notes
with the nurse coming on. They whispered, glanced sympathetically in my
direction. I struggled for breath and gripped the Dammit! Doll.
“Will I be able
to go back to my classroom?” 
“No,” he
cautioned, “you will not be able to teach right now. But soon. We hope.”
The tears kept
coming. Mary Poppins came back into the room. She reached out and hugged me
gently, with so much affection I could feel her heart break.

 

 

 

Daniel Kenner rocked out to Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door”
while other infants sang “Mary Had A Little Lamb.” A proud member of
Actor’s Equity, SAG-AFTRA, and National Players Tour 60, Daniel was a
Presidential Arts Scholar at George Washington University and
Scholarship recipient at The British American Drama Academy. Directed
the Washington D.C. premier of Sarah Kane’s Crave. Author of the
manuscript, Roux. Winner of the Rhode Island Playwriting Festival for
his World War II letters home drama, Fields of Sacrifice. Adapted Les
Misérables for high school stages.Maureen Kenner’s heart was in the classroom. For thirty-five years she
was a Special Education teacher in the Providence Public Schools. Born
and raised in Dobbs Ferry, New York, Maureen graduated from Rhode Island
College with a degree in education and later earned a Master’s Degree
from Providence College. Maureen was a vital influence at the Vartan
Gregorian Elementary School at Fox Point, working tirelessly as a mentor
for the betterment of all children and their families. Honored with
many accolades throughout her career, Maureen was awarded Providence
Teacher of the Year in 2003. Living with cancer, as a model patient,
Maureen exemplified integrity, courage, grace, and hope. For thirty-one
years, through sickness and health, Maureen was the beloved soul mate to
the late Jacob “Buddy” Kenner, her intense love recognized in 2016 as a
Rhode Island Caregiver of the Year.

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