I Wore the Ocean in the Shape of a Girl

Kelle Groom's I Wore the Ocean in the Shape of a Girl

Kelle Groom's nonfiction memoir

By Nancy Chuda founder of LuxEcoLiving and co-founder of Healthy Child Healthy World

 

Kelle Groom’s  nonfiction memoir,  I Wore the Ocean in the Shape of a Girl (Free Press) is  a title wave of emotions wrapped in heart-shaped box, a keepsake for all time.

At the age of fifteen, Kelle Groom found that alcohol allowed her to connect with people and explore intimacy in ways she’d never been able to experience before. It was the numbing feeling that enabled her to function as a co-dependent. Alcohol was her best friend.  She began drinking before class, often blacked out at bars, and fell into destructive relationships. At nineteen, already an out-of-control alcoholic, she was pregnant. Accepting the heartbreaking fact that she was incapable of taking care of her son herself, she gave him up for adoption to her aunt and uncle. They named him Tommy and took him home with them to Massachusetts.

At this point,  her life should begin, free from  parental  responsibilities  but instead she falls into the depths of despair when she learns that her son, at nine months of age is diagnosed with leukemia. Later she discovers  that Tommy’s cancer may be linked to  toxins in the environment.

Her parents, wanting the best for her, kept her mostly in the dark about his health. Soon she learns that he has lost his battle and died. He was only fourteen months old.

It is here in the telling of her heart-wrenching story that Kelle uses her words to describe the inexplicable; a pain so deep that the well from which her tears flow is bottomless. And thus the downward spiral of self-destruction continues to haunt and claim her health and self-respect. This motherless child soon triumphs over unbearable obstacles.

Author and poet Kelle Groom

Kelle Groom's heartbreaking new nonfiction book is masterfully written.

 

A book of prose, I Wore the Ocean in the Shape of a Girl explores the most painful aspects of Kelle’s addiction and loss. Her words hit chords of emotional grief we all can all relate to and share. It is bold writing and from the heart. Truth is what saves her.  Urgent and vital, exquisite and raw, her story is as much about maternal love as it is about survival, as much about acceptance as it is about forgiveness. Kelle’s longing for her son remains twenty-five years after his death. It is an ache intensified, as she lost him twice—first to adoption and then to cancer.

Even though this is a club no mother wants to be in, Kelle welcomes you into her soul,  which is forever tormented by the life she could not save. First her own followed by the son she would never truly know.

Mother-to-mother I read this book and wept.  Largely because I can relate. We both share the same experience. The  loss of a child and how to cope.

Our journey’s are different but the quest remains the same. How  to never forget Tommy and Colette.


 

 

 

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Article by Nancy Chuda

Nancy Chuda is a seasoned broadcast journalist, television writer/producer, talk show host and author. Her career spans over three decades having appeared on both national and cable television. In 1971 she authored one of America’s first low-calorie cookbooks, How To Gorge George Without Fattening Fanny, published by Hawthorn Books. Appearing as a regular guest on Dinah’s Place, Dinah Shore’s ABC daytime talk show. And later on The Johnny Carson Show, The Today Show with Barbara Walters, Merv Griffin, Phil Donahue, and David Frost. In 1972, Nancy and ABC’s Good Morning America co-produced Michael Krause produced a cable program, The Low- Calorie Gallery, based on her best selling cook book. In 1975, hired by Warner-Amex as part of a creative team, she was responsible for hosting and producing content for Columbus Then and Now, a program, the invention of QUBE, an interactive television system which played a pivotal role in the history of American cable television. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QUBE In 1978 she developed a series for ABC’s Good Morning America based on an article which appeared in Mother Earth News magazine. The Integral Urban House, a case study project and model for a sound urban habitat sponsored by the Farallones Institute in Berkley California was the first example of green architecture ever to be televised. In 1979, Nancy co-produced and hosted Sunnyside a Los Angeles based public affairs program viewed on the CBS affiliate station KNXT, From 1980-1984, she appeared on KABC’s Eyewitness News as entertainment reporter and film critic. Her environmental advocacy began when her daughter was diagnosed with cancer. In 1990 she co-produced an Emmy nominated ABC Variety Special, An Evening With Friends For The Environment to benefit Mothers and Others for a Livable Planet one of the first national children’s environmental health advocacy groups in which she served as a volunteer. Currently, she is the co-founder and President Emeritus of Healthy Child Healthy World, a non-profit organization established to honor the Chuda’s only child, Colette, who died in 1991 at the age of 5 from Wilm’s tumor a nonhereditary childhood cancer. She is also the co-founder of The Colette Chuda Environmental Fund, a donor-advised fund which supports major epidemiological research on children’s health. Nancy has won numerous awards for her advocacy. In 1996, the California League of Conservation Voters Environmental Leadership Award, The Healthy Schools Heroes Award, presented to both her and her husband James Chuda by California Governor Gray Davis for their legislative efforts in securing The Healthy Schools Act which was signed into law in September, 2000. In 2003, Parent’s Magazine published an article Mom’s On A Mission and awarded Nancy for her environmental leadership for children’s environmental health. She serves as an associate of the Director’s Council of Public Representatives of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and was appointed by President Clinton’s Health and Human Services Secretary, Donna Shalala, to serve as a member of the National Advisory Council for the National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) a position she held for four years. In 2010, along with her husband James she founded LuxEcoLiving. Read 238 articles by

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Nancy Chuda, Co-Founder of LuxEco Living and Healthy Child Healthy World
James Chuda, Co-Founder of LuxEco Living and Healthy Child Healthy World
Bethany Colson, Consulting Editor of LuxEco Living and Beauty Expert
Christopher David Kaufman, Marketing Director of LuxEco Living
Brooke Rewa, LuxEco Editorial Assistant
Dow-Yung Kou, LuxEco Editorial Assistant
Alanna Brown, LuxEco Editorial Assistant
Jessica Borges, LuxEco Editorial Assistant
Bradlee Gold, LuxEco Marketing Assistant
Derin Richardson, LuxEco Editorial Assistant
Lauren O'Neill, LuxEco Editorial Assistant
Hannah Canvasser, LuxEco Editorial Assistant
Basil Vernon, LuxEco Editorial Assistant
Michelle Dennis, LuxEco Marketing Assistant
Bernadette Bowman, LuxEco Advocate and Comedienne who writes the Life Goes Retrograde
F.R.E.E. Will, LuxEco Editorial Assistant and author of the In The Spice Cabinet series
Mary Villano, LuxEco Editorial Assistant and author of the Resplendent Repurposing series
Will Lana, Vice President of Trillium Asset Managment and LuxEco Advocate
Molly Rovero, LuxEco Editorial Assistant
Leslie Harris, Interior Designer, Leslie Harris Interior Design and LuxEco Advocate
Kerin Van Hoosear, LuxEco Editorial Assistant and author of Kerin's Seasonal Cooking series
Kammie Daniels, LuxEco Editorial Assistant
Lisa Adams, Designer and CEO of LA Closet Design and LuxEco Advocate
Sahar Ghaffari, LuxEco Editorial Assistant
Joanna Bateman, LuxEco Editorial Assistant
Dr. Harvey Karp, Pediatrician and Child Development Specialist and Creator of "The Happiest Baby on the Block” and “The Happiest Toddler on the Block” book and DVD series World and LuxEco Advocate
Florence "Flip" Ross, LuxEco Advocate
Nina Montee Karp, Executive Producer & Director The Path of Wellness & Healing and LuxEco Advocate
Emily Lynne Ion, LuxEco Advocate
Molly Cimikoski, LuxEco Editorial Assistant
Lush Huxley, LuxEco Editorial Assistant
Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff, Executive Director/CEO of Healthy Child Healthy World and LuxEco Advocate
Zhenya Gershman, Artist and LuxEco Advocate
Anna Getty, Author and LuxEco Advocate
Christopher Gavigan, Board Member and Former Executive Director of Healthy Child Healthy World and LuxEco Advocate
Lewis Perkins, Founder of Women Are Saving The World Now and LuxEco Advocate
Francine LeFrak, Founder of Same Sky and LuxEco Advocate
Interested in contributing with our LuxEco Advocate program? We are looking for experts, researchers, academics, activists and everyday people who want to join our cause to make the world a safer, healthier place for all of and nature to flourish in, in harmony! Email the Manager Editor, Bethany Colson