After hearing from so many of you while you’ve been reading Stretch Marks or have just finished, I am heartened by the praise and enjoying the questions and curiosity!
It’s great that so many of you are intrigued with the scenes that didn’t make the final cut. There are so many scenes that every writer struggles with letting go of for the sake of the story. Stretch Marks was 300 plus pages when I first transcribed my journals and annotated it along the way.
My man reminded me of one of our favorite stories that didn’t make the cut.
In an earlier draft of Stretch Marks, I recounted when we removed the bandage from our daughter Sofia’s belly button and gasped at the beef jerky like stub hanging loose from our precious child. I could only shake my head when Marty looked at me for the answer.
“What did we do wrong?” he asked.
I made the mistake of thinking out loud. We had completely screwed up and deformed our little girl’s perfect body. My man raked his hair. I called my mother with a sinking feeling, wincing from head to toe. Would she laugh or admonish us?
“That’s wonderful!” I could hear her settling into her spot at the dining room table.
“My mother says it’s wonderful, and you should carefully remove it,” I walked back towards Marty, repeating every word my mother was saying to me.
“Of course,” Marty’s look of relief turned triumphant when he held up the shriveled and stinky stub while Sofia gurgled and kicked her tiny feet.
My mother’s reassuring voice steadied me.
I, in return, listed every minuscule detail to her as we inspected Sofia’s delicate rosy pink indentation.
“We should send it to her right away. She’s going to bless it and bury it along with all the other grandkids belly buttons.”
I found an empty earring box in my dresser where we reverently placed the stub on a cotton lining and covered it with another billowy layer. Later we triple-bubbled wrapped the box before mailing it.