Writer tells tale of sur­vival and de­ter­mi­na­tion

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Helping Others - By Ai­dan Bar­low

A re­tired wid­ower has penned a heart­felt new book to tell the in­spir­ing story of his wife’s bat­tle with breast can­cer.

Ce­cil Horn, from Net­tle­field in Ken­ning­ton, pub­lished his se­cond novel Rosieta Ros­alini at the end of last year, mix­ing real life ex­pe­ri­ences and fic­tion to cre­ate an up­lift­ing story.

Ce­cil, 88, and his late wife Mar­jorie had been mar­ried for 46 years when she was di­ag­nosed with breast can­cer in the late 1990s.

But far from the doom and the gloom, they spent an­other 11 years to­gether, liv­ing life to the full de­spite the long bat­tle ahead.

Ce­cil, also known to Mar­jorie as Dick, said: “When the con­sul­tant first con­firmed Marje’s breast can­cer I was close to sur­ren­der, I was dev­as­tated. I thought it was like an im­me­di­ate death sen­tence.

“We had our tears, but then she said ‘Dick, give me all the sup­port you can, and I will do the fight­ing, there will be no sur­ren­der’. She set her­self tar­gets like wed­dings, birth­days, Christ­mas and Easter.

“When she reached them, she aimed for new ones. She had a de­ter­mined at­ti­tude and that’s what helped her along. I think it was her op­ti­mistic out­look that gave her those 11 years.”

To­gether they en­joyed life with their two chil­dren Pam and Ray, and their grand­chil­dren who would come to visit.

They also went away on their trav­els, vis­it­ing Canada, vis­it­ing the Rocky Moun­tains and fly­ing over in a he­li­copter, and see­ing Ni­a­gara Falls.

Along with the care pro­vided at the Pil­grims Hospice, Ce­cil has gone on to com­plete his se­cond book, draw­ing upon his ex­pe­ri­ence of op­ti­mism and adding a touch of his own sto­ry­telling li­cence for his read­ers.

He said: “For a long time af­ter her death I didn’t know what to do with my­self. I was a fish out of wa­ter. I de­cided I had to do some­thing and de­cided to write my se­cond book.

“I’m not hop­ing to in­crease the sales of it. If it sold a mil­lion, it could never re­place the mem­ory of my Marje.

“I have not writ­ten ei­ther of the books to make money. I wrote Rosieta Ros­alini to fill that pe­riod of de­pres­sion that I had when the wife I had loved for 57 years was no longer in our home.

“It has to be ex­pe­ri­enced to know what a be­reave­ment can do.”

He has given away free copies of his book to friends and to the Pil­grims Hospice to help oth­ers who are fac­ing the same bat­tle. It is avail­able on­line with Ama­zon.

To find out more call 01233 660148.

Ce­cil Horn with his book Rosieta Ros­alini

Ce­cil Horn’s wife Mar­jorie

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