While We Slept – Our Memoir

While We Slept: Finding Hope and Healing After Homicide - A Memoir -

In 2005, my husband and I woke up to the murder of his mother, Mary Ann Larsen-Pusey, by his father, Clinton Pusey, while we slept down the hall. 

It was a long hall. Long enough that Mary Ann sometimes called us from her mother-in-law suite rather than walk down it. We shared this home for a few months while we were all in transition: Us, into newly married life and them into newly retired life. They were packing their belongings and moving to Clinton’s native Colombia. 

That morning was a shock to us all, Clinton included. He has no memory of that morning, except for a few random, seemingly unimportant tasks he accomplished. 

As a writer at heart, I process my world through writing about it. Years of private entries fill my journals. My husband sent emails and letters to inquiring friends and family. And after some time, with some feedback from new friends, “old” friends, and a couple of family members, we realized we had a story that wasn’t meant to be selfishly hidden away. 

You see, we desperately love Clinton. And we have had to work through the grief, anger, loss, confusion, disappointment, fear, shock, resentment, and pain of losing two parents at once: one to death and the other to the criminal system. A journalist once asked us how we were doing so well. He had seen many tragedies and families break up, fall into addiction, and even commit suicide in hard such as ours. This made us realize that perhaps our grief journey was different. Perhaps, even amidst great suffering, there was hope. 

And what if we could share this hope with others? And what if people could also find forgiveness, reconciliation, reunification, and joy after such heartache as we three have? Dare we hoard this gift to ourselves? 

Well, I tried. It’s a hard story to tell. It’s a scary story to tell. Not because of the details but because of the love we have for Clinton. A deep desire to see him free from harm. But as we researched, we found that a simple Google Search for either of their names led people to graphic news articles telling a superficial, surface-level version of our life story. A wife-killer ruled insane. 

But Jeremy’s dad is far, far more than this. 

What if we could add our voice to the digital conversation about who he is? It would mean detailing the truth of that morning, yes, but it would also mean detailing life leading up to that point and the marvel of life beyond. It would mean restoring dignity to a man worthy of the love and affection of his family simply because he is

Thus, we release our story of redemption into the world. Not that we can redeem, but that by God’s grace, He has wrapped all this pain into a story of glory, mercy, and compassion. Redemption. Beauty from ashes. Pain that has sharpened us into deeper, more connected people. 

So we invite you into our story. The painful, the hard, the grief… and the joy, the restoration, the recovery, and the sweet mercies that only God can unveil. ,

5/5
"Ok. So I finished the book. All I can say is WOW. Wow, not just because I had no idea any of this stuff happened in your life, but also wow because your writing is wonderful. You really made me love Jeremy's mother. All the scenes you show of her, her interaction with others, the bottle collecting, and all the quotes people provided. They all work together perfectly. Then the details about Jeremy's father. Well, since my husband's father suffered from dementia and I know how confused they can get, I could already relate to his issues. And by the end of the book, I forgave him too. I also like that I learned so much about you and Jeremy along the way. The more I get to know, the more I adore you. Kind hearts and lots of strength. Unfortunately the Kindle version doesn't show the newspaper articles so I missed out on those pages [they are in the print version]. But it didn't matter. This book is very well written and although I had to cry during Chapter 19, "My House, My Crime Scene," I didn't feel that the book was overly depressing. You accomplished what I think you set out to do: To document a very sad story but to also offer uplifting moments and hope. So, although it sounds weird to say this, since the story comes from your tragic experience, congrats on this book. For those who love true crime books, it will remind them behind a sensationalized story, there are real people who are hurting and trying to find their way through grief. For those who like inspirational or spiritual writing, it certainly covers that as well. And, maybe most of all, for all those who watched the news, those in your former neighborhood, anyone who knew your family, it sets the record straight and tells the truth. It was very brave of you to write this book and I admire your ability to open yourself up to the world (even if opening old wounds) in order to help others who might go through a similar experience."
"A Little Redemption in the Here and Now: We don't often hear about homicides, unless they're exceptional by virtue of the number of victims or perhaps the brutality of the crime. Even less frequently do we hear of how the survivors continue with their lives and search for some sort of resolution. Marcy Pusey gives us a glimpse into the life after homicide, with all the attendant pain, memory attacks, and doubts. It's hard to read about a man unraveling just enough to commit an atrocity and its effects on his immediate family, but to see how by staying open to God's healing and redemption rather than chasing the mirage of security, the tantalizing but unattainable certitude of "never again," Marcy and her family were able to find closure not in punishment and revenge, but love and redemption. It is inspirational to see a family transformed and a man regained, if not to complete health and restoration, at least to dignity and love. If you've experienced a homicide in your family, some of the descriptions of what happened, while not gratuitously graphic, might still make you uncomfortable. Even for those like me who have never had to deal with such an event, imagining the event is unsettling. But there's power and hope in that: if Marcy and her family could rise from the ashes, with God's help, the so can others. And perhaps, so can we, as a society: learning to forgive and re-embrace even the worst of sinners and thus re-framing the debate about homicides that seems to have run aground on the shoals of quick fixes. Despite the heavy topic, "While We Slept" is indeed a book of hope and redemption worth reading for anyone who has ever stopped and wondered why anyone would kill and what could be done about it."
"Wow! A Story of Forgiveness: While We Slept is proof that God is good and forgiveness is real. Marcy writes her family’s story in such a way that draws you in, with delicate strength and dignity. I had a hard time putting it down. Even though the topic is difficult to digest, it is one of the best books I have ever had the opportunity to read. She introduces her family, including her father-in-law, and his relationship with his son, Jeremy, and, all of his extended family with so much love, kindness and unity, even with the tragic events that led up to writing this book. There is so much family division in this world, and the sweet way that Marcy shares the Pusey’s story is evident that forgiveness and restoration is possible, even in the worst situation. I would recommend While We Slept because, while it is a documentary on the events in the Pusey family’s life, it is also written in the way of great storytellers and keep the reader involved and wanting more."
"This Should Be A Movie! I was skeptical when someone told me about this book. I love true crime and memoirs...but I was doubtful the forgiveness part of this story would seem believable. I was wrong! Great story and once you read it, you will totally see how real and honest they are about how they could forgive. It all makes sense. I think a studio should make the whole thing into a movie!"

New Picture Book Self Publishing Opportunity!

You’re standing at a fork in the road of life… and one direction holds a beaten down, familiar path. The other direction is full of wild jungle, unknown and terrifying.

That’s where I stood just a month ago, at a fork between comfortable and crazy, known and nature’s black hole of nothingness. The options were

  1. Carry on with life as usual: writing, publishing, consulting, coaching, and speaking for free (except for book sales and paying to publish), pouring time and energy and value into building many, many bridges half way. Pulled into every opportunity as it came because “I should.”

or

2. Own that while I’m really good at all of those things, I can’t excel at any of them all at once and to value my expertise in writing and publishing, to narrow down who I can help and to do it masterfully. To face the monsters of fear and mediocrity and shoot down their lies that I’m inadequate, limited, too mediocre, or too scared to ever accomplish anything for any good.

Why is grabbing hold of confidence and knowing our value so terrifyingly hard?

Ironically, at the same time, opportunities crossed my path that pointed toward the “crazy” lane.

Like picture book authors who asked me to charge them for my critiques, my advice, and consultation. Even when I said it was free. I realized that what I offer is so valuable that people don’t feel right just taking it. This was eye-opening about the value of what I was sheepishly giving away.

The Book Building Business Intensive with Self Publishing School CEO and Staff

Or being accepted as one of ten people invited to the Book Building Business Intensive in San Diego with the CEO (Chandler Bolt) of Self Publishing School and his very talented staff for their first ever live event.

Or the sweet 6 year-old girl who said to me recently, “Your picture books are perfect.

These small examples all grabbed their neon signs and pointed down the path of terror. Shouting that I have something of value to offer the world. Of believing that I am incredible at what I do. And of receiving the affirmations that keep pouring in.

As for your own gifts, strengths and talents – I will say this: you are fearless! And generous! And you clearly care about, not only the message, but how the message is received and that it is done so in an uplifting way. People will follow such a leader!

-Business Mentor

and

I feel very strongly that you are meant to do great things for yourself, your family and many others that you have not even met yet.

-Business Mentor

and

Thank you for loving me from the very beginning and teaching me what it looks like to be a faithful friend. You are an extraordinarily gifted writer, communicator, connector, adventurer, listener, empathizer and the ultimate FUN creator! Thanks for inviting me into your world.

-A friend

So, after prayerful consideration, coaching and mentoring from thoughtful business leaders in self publishing, and feedback from my family and friends, and spiritual mentors, I’ve decided “Path Crazy.”

I’ve launched my very own Picture Book Self Publishing Coaching program!

I’m SO excited to finally have one bridge to focus on building and to do it superbly. My goal is to help people publish their picture books as quality as possible in 90 days or less.

I’m building the program together with my clients and my decade of experience in traditional publishing and last few years in self publishing as an Amazon best-selling author. You can learn more about it HERE.

If you know ANYONE who has dreamed of publishing their picture book, send them my way! If they sign up, I’ll send you $50! (Make sure they write your name in the “referral” section of the form.

I’m accepting applications for the limited spots I’m offering until Sunday, November 12th!  There is NO commitment when filling in the application other than to a free clarity call with ME to find the best path to fulfilling your picture book publishing dreams!

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I’m excited to start this new adventure! I know lives will change (my own included!) Join me!

Introducing my newest “baby” – According to Corban!

That’s right!

My newest “baby” has entered the world!

I actually wrote this sweet story about six or seven years ago when I was a new mama. I spent hours learning to both live as a human and nurture, feed, love, and entertain toddlers. This meant trying to get laundry done, dishes cleaned, showers taken, food eaten… all the while having someone calling, pulling, yanking… or, if things were suddenly quiet, drawing, cutting, smearing…

And if you’re a parent or teacher or childcare worker, you know what all of those … mean.

Trouble.

Well, for the caregiver. The kid is usually having a great time! Thus, According to Corban was dreamed up. While scrubbing the floors, my son Corban was sure I was begging to be a horse on his adventure. Pillows were bridges needed to cross carpets of lava. A bath was an ocean full of his favorite wildlife. Our backyard was his personal jungle, complete with wild animals, the perfect hiding places, and lots of dirt. And worms.

AND, a little sister tagging along in his shadow.

It charmed my heart (when I could get over my desire to actually keep something clean and could just play with my kids). One night, around 1am, this story hit me and I couldn’t sleep until I got it all down. Twenty-some-odd revisions later, my firstborn (though not first-published) picture book has entered the world. I hope it’s as much fun for parents as for children. The current 5-star review on Amazon seems to say my goal is a good one!

Pay special attention to the mama in the background and the way Corban’s imagination grows and shifts to interact with her (without ever leaving his imagination!)

You can watch the book trailer here:

According to Corban is available on Kindle, paperback, and hardback!

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