G-Sync Reflects: He Plays a Harp

Local writer Roberta King releases her first book, He Plays a Harp, and Lifestyle Editor Tommy Allen pauses to reflect on its meaning in a special installment of G-Sync.
Everyone experiences loss in their lives but the trick is, if there truly is a gimmick to getting through difficult times, how we process these dark moments.
Local author and good friend Roberta King has released her first book, He Plays a Harp, and community members who have received advance copies have been truly moved by her personal memoir. Many who know King will no doubt recognize several of the key moments covered in her story, which chronicles her journey in learning to process the meaning surrounding the death of her son Noah.

What you may not expect from such material is King's ability to take what could've been a very stereotypical piece about a parent coping with the death of a child and turn it into a fully realized book of essays, full of the ups and downs of a life. In this page-turner of a book, King displays a wonderfully alive use of prose devoted to the exploration of delicate but complex humanity. Her honesty is refreshing as she weaves a story not only about life and death but also about disability, grief and even humor. 
It is this unfiltered access to the mind of King, revealed within He Plays a Harp, that will connect with readers. She has a naturally honest writing style that truly shines through this release, which began not as a memoir but as a series of essays.
As a friend, who by chance bumped into King on the morning of Noah's death at the downtown YMCA, I am so moved by her rawness and her ability to reveal so much of herself and the struggles of Noah's life. Her journey is in many ways our journey and this is the true power of He Plays a Harp.

On Sunday, May 4 at 2 p.m the Richard App Gallery in East Hills will host a reception for King, who will read from the book as well as sign copies of the release immediately after the reading. Harp's art is the work of Noah's dad (and King's husband), Mike Miesch. It's a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the creative work of a leader in our community as she shares her story with the world. The public is welcome.
An excerpt from He Plays a Harp: Chapter 1 - Homestretch (This piece takes place at the Helen DeVos Children's Hospital):

While Noah napped, Mike and I would walk to the end of the hall and back, trying not to look into other kid’s rooms. When we did look, we’d see parents sitting in their uncomfortable chairs. They looked tired, anxious and sad as they kept watch over their sick babies, post-surgical toddlers and car-wrecked teens. No parents ever expect to find their child a critical care patient and to be making life and death decisions for them. There are no guidebooks or close advisors; we all wing it, trusting physicians, nurses and our own gut instincts.
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