In the process of writing Angel On Ice, the thought of titles for chapters was one of the last things I thought to consider. I knew that I didn’t want the standard introduction and epilogue titles. My mom’s last journal followed her last year in life from February 2012 until February 2013, so having a dedicated chapter for each month seemed like a logical thing to do. The ‘’introduction’’ was more of an introduction and the ‘’last chapter’’ that I wrote detailing her last moments on this earth from her last journal entry until her final breath deserved more than just a month and year as a title for a chapter. The ‘’epilogue’’ was more than just an ending of the book that my sister beautifully penned.
My good friend, Steven, a poet and writer, helped and encouraged me through the whole book writing process. He pointed me to a poem by T.S. Eliot called ‘’Burnt Norton,’’ while discussing what titles to place with each of the three un-titled chapters. The concept of time and eternity are prevalent in the poem. After reading it and discussing with Steven, I knew what the titles would be.
Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future
And time future contained in time past…
…Time past and time future
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
…Be remembered; involved with past and future.
Only through time time is conquered…
…Or say that the end precedes the beginning,
And the end and the beginning were always there
Before the beginning and after the end.
And all is always now…
The idea of using ‘’The Beginning’’ for the title of the epilogue came to be, as my sister wrote, ‘’I know in my heart that March 28th, 2013, at 5:01 a.m. was not the end of your life, it was truly the beginning.’’ The last chapter, ‘’The End Precedes the Beginning,’’ detailing my mom’s last days. I can still remember that day. I wrote it in one day. It was the most difficult day of writing the book, remembering, and re-living the pain. We will all have an end, a death, which precedes our true beginning. We all have a before, our story, so the ‘’introduction’’ became ‘’Before the Beginning.’’
God is ever-present in time. He wants the best for our present, for our future. And our past, He sent His son so that our end wouldn’t be an end; it would truly be our beginning.