A Graphic Novel on Turning Sweet 16 on 9/11

On this blog, I've written about how my birthday is on September 11th. There is a Facebook group for those of us who have the same birthday. Since 2001, our birthdays have taken on a whole new meaning and it has shaped our lives. It definitely gets better with each passing year, but it's still always there.

Recently I was at the doctor's office and someone brought up how it must be so difficult to have that as a birthday and it was such a sad day. Sometimes I brace myself for the inevitable mention. This time I was caught off guard and it was a bit of a jolt.

I visited the Facebook group again for some solace. While I was reading, I saw a post by a woman named Amanda Cameron. She shared with the group a graphic novel that she wrote about her sixteenth birthday. It is so touching and poignant. She described the feelings that many of us with this birthday wrestle with. Sixteen is an especially important birthday, so I can imagine that it might have been even a bit harder for her than for many of us.

When I asked Amanda if I could share her work, she graciously accepted and has given me permission to republish it here. Since the 11th is next week, I'm sharing her novel now. 

Amanda is a teacher from North Vancouver, BC. She published the novel on her website, where she chronicles her year-long journey in UBC's Bachelor of Education program. A quote on her website by Emma Donoghue from her novel, Room really struck me. "Stories are a different kind of true."

Through story, we can learn compassion and get a better understanding of other people's lives. Sometimes we even get a glimpse into our own.

Below is the novel and an excerpt from a statement written by Amanda, which she submitted along with the novel as part of her course of study.
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"The resulting graphic novel is not meant to suggest that I am always sad or always thinking about 9/11. It is simply a part of who I am in a way that most others have not experienced. Sometimes it makes me sad, sometimes I feel like I cannot celebrate my birthday, but other times it is a strength – something I have endured that has made me stronger. Most times it simply is, like any of the other formative moments of my life. It is one of the things that makes me who I am, and I am happy with and proud of that person."

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Margie said…
So glad you shared this Lisa.
Hope you have a wonderful Sept 11 th birthday .
Lisa Johnson said…
Margie - Thank you! Glad you liked it.

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