Editor’s Note: It was my privilege to get to know Robert Schaeberle through his poetry and through his mom’s cathartic memoir. Each writer’s work represents a heroic quest for peace and sanctuary, made by individuals who will remind you of someone you know. “Mom” is every mom who is or has been the foundation from which family thrives. Jeanne’s ruminations on a religious upbringing, and the challenges she faced as a teenager and later a parent, juxtaposed against Robert’s poems, bring his poetry into focus. The poems reveal a boy’s life initially filled with wonder and gentleness, which was invaded by the awful mental dragons of terror and desperation. These poems are Robert’s sword of battle, forged in the fire of hope. His hope was born from the strong bonds of love between mother, son, and family, along with a deep faith in the power of God and His angels. It is ironic that Robert’s heart failed him at 25, because his heart also drove him to be the best he knew how to be, in spite of his mental turmoil. “Mom...Let’s Talk” is for young people who are slaying their own dragons and wondering if they can triumph. This book is also for parents, guardians, teachers, and others who care about or work with artistic kids, especially poets and writers who struggle with remaining whole in a fractured world. Linda Joy Burke Poet and Writer
Mom...Let's Talk What does a first-born son do when he hears voices? One child may disconnect from family, drift into antisocial behavior and eventually violence. Another may take to the pen, paint, play music, or find an art form where they can expel the noise. This book is about the life and eventual death of one such son. The story is told through his outlet, poetry and his mom's soul searching and eventually cathartic memoir. Fred Eustis writes in his introduction, "Poetry was a sword he used to defend himself against the voices..." Jeanne's memoir puts these poems which at times are quite unsettling, in a family context. She is every mom, who is doing the best they can for their offspring, and on a very profound level, this is every family's story. "The book is also about sharing; learning how to know each other and how to find our own selves in that knowing. It is like a quest in which Jeanne and Robert explore who they are, what they came here for, and what really matters." Fred Eustis.