• MA Senft

Behind the Shadows...Randy

Randy and MA as children

I have mentioned in a previous blog that my grandson Jay encouraged me to write this book, and in doing so, became the inspiration behind my main character. I’d like to take a moment though and write about my brother Randy, who inspired me to do more than just write this tale, but to share it with you all. Without Randy, the book never would have happened.

I am the middle sister of five siblings. Steve is 6 years my senior and Randy is one year older: we grew up very close. Considered the big kids, Eric was born nine years after me and Faith four years after him.

Three years ago, Randy and I learned that Steve had been diagnosed with a terminal disease. What we could never have known at the time was that Randy’s body was quietly fighting its own battle against the same fatal illness. Although Steve knew I was writing the book, he passed away before it was finished. When we learned of Randy’s diagnosis the book was done. I didn’t really intend to publish Shadows of December: Illusions of Time: I had written it for my oldest grandson and figured it would be a family heirloom and nothing more.

MA and Steve

I can clearly remember making a color copy of the book and sending it to Randy to help cheer him up during his treatments. While not a fast reader, he read a chapter a day and called me excited every morning with questions and comments about the different sections he had read. It greatly amused him that the majority of the stories that take place in 1947 were taken straight from our childhood years.

For example, one year while we were trick-or-treating, Randy’s candy bag broke (we used grocery bags in those days) and we scooped it all off the ground and took it back home with the intention of sharing it fairly…let’s just say there may have been a few arguments about who got the best selection of candy when it was all said and done. The other thing that really struck him was that the main character Jay is a really nasty piece of work at the start of the book. He said, “I knew that he was a lousy character, but it wasn’t until the black box appeared (no spoilers here: you’ll have to read the book to learn what’s inside of the box!) that I realized just how low on the moral scale this kid had fallen…does Jay [your actual grandson, the namesake of the character] know what a bad guy you have made him out to be??” I assured him that Jay was a completely agreeable party to the shenanigans I bestowed upon his character. Randy finished reading the book in early December 2018 and unfortunately passed away a few days later—on December 9th.

Randy and MA as teenagers

My book couldn’t save my brother, but it gave him something to look forward to everyday and he insisted continuously that I publish this tale for the world and not just keep it for the family to read. He told me the story kept playing like a movie in his mind and said it reminded him of Twilight Zone which we both loved as kids. I confessed to him that the series did influence my thinking while writing the tale.

It is an honor to his memory that this book is available for print. Thank you, Randy, from the bottom of my heart for your strong encouragement. I know you are smiling because the book is in the hands of others. Thank you for inspiring me to share this story with the world. I miss hearing your voice on the phone. In my heart Steve and you remain.

Randy, MA and Steve

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M.A. Senft 

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