KING — “Always and Forever,” the title of a new book of poetry published by local author Kathy Flanary Nelson, has a special significance.
Nelson wrote this book for her band new granddaughter, Evelyn, after writing her first book of poetry soon after her daughter, Summer, was born back in 2003. “I’m in love with them both,” she says.
She’s lived with her breast cancer for five years, but Nelson’s is metastasized to other parts of her body. “I have tumors down my spine, can’t hold my head up, and walk with a cane,” she said. “But my doctors are astounded; I wasn’t supposed to be here this long.
“With the condition I have I don’t know when I’ll be gone – no one really does – but with these books they will have me when I’m gone. I think there’s something in it for everyone. I’ve shared poems among friends, and one came to me and said she wanted to publish them.”
Leanore Elliott of KJ Dahlen Books published the poetry book and did the design work.
Her first book of poems was called “This is Life.” She’s calling “Always and Forever” her de ella “second generation” of poems de ella.
“When I wrote my first (poetry) book my daughter was just a couple of months old. I had one line going through my head and thought ‘I have to write this down.’ I had the entire poem written in a half-hour. I’d never written poetry before. I showed it to a friend and she said ‘you missed your calling.’ So I’ve been writing ever since.”
In between the two poetry books, Nelson has kept at it with other genres of writing, especially children’s stories. “I’ve tackled books before – I can’t do a novel. I just don’t have the patience. I love writing children’s books. I’m good at that.”
Nelson up in Walnut Cove, graduated from South Stokes in 1979, and now lives in King.
She had breast cancer was in 2012 and had a lumpectomy. But the cancer came back in two years, and she has metastasized. Nelson said she had radiation but chose not to have chemotherapy.
“My sister passed away with cervical cancer at age 39 and she took all the chemo she could get. It just killed her. I started with a chemo pill, a cancer fighter, and just could not stand it. I became really depressed and could not eat. My oncologist got really mad at me when I stopped taking it, and said I’d be dead soon.”
With her weakened condition, just getting around has become an issue. Last spring she collapsed while getting out of the car. “My leg gave out because a tumor was touching the nerve, and I was in the hospital for a month and a half. So I’m living with my mother now.”
“Always and Forever,” along with other books by Nelson, are available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. She also has profile pages on Facebook and Goodreads.