Date of Award

Spring 2019

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Call Number

PS3602.R653 L43 2018

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)



First Advisor

Debra Marquart

Second Advisor

Susan Conley

Third Advisor

Justin Tussing


The author was a disoriented voiceless adolescent during the year and a half that her mother was dying. She needed to do something hard to pull herself out of depression and to winch herself back up to life, so she decided to ride her bicycle to Canada. She left her family behind at the worst possible time, but knew she had to do it, no matter what others outside her family thought of her. After the worst and best summer of her life, she found that she really did have the strength inside of herself to live the rest of her life without her mother. Years later, when faced with the same deadly illness her mother had had, she knew where her power was. She had the voice to speak up to the medical professionals who insisted there was nothing wrong with her, but she trusted herself now to know otherwise.