LESLIE CRISS: Friend of the heart pens fine family story

By Leslie Criss/NEMS Daily Journal

“We cannot destroy kindred: Our chains stretch a little sometimes, but they never break.”
– Marquise de Sévigné

“If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.”
– George Bernard Shaw

“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.”
– Rumi

I find much joy in seeing friends do great things. Angela Jordan, a friend of my heart for quite a time now, has just published her first book. And she’s come down from her amazing home in the mountains of North Carolina to visit book stores in Mississippi and beyond to meet people and sign books.
I had the pleasure of being present Friday as Angie wowed readers at Off Square Books in Oxford.
My friend’s maiden name happens to be Fordice, and she’s the only daughter of the late Gov. Kirk Fordice and the late Pat Fordice.
Her book, “We End in Joy: Memoirs of a First Daughter,” is Angie’s story of her family – her parents, her three brothers, herself – and others who help form the clan Fordice.
Now, I know there’ll be many who want to read “We End in Joy” out of pure unbridled curiosity. It’s understandable. We all know the Daniel Kirk Fordice years as governor of our great state were filled with some fairly scintillating stories. Rumors or truth? Who better to tell us than someone who lived those stories?
There’ll be others who read Angie’s book because, well, quite frankly, they just love the written word and maybe they wonder if it’s a good book.
Let me tell you it is an excellent book. My friend shares stories about her family – a family that, like most, is complicated at best – that will evoke both laughter and tears from anyone who reads it. It is written with unflappable and gut-wrenching honesty and unconditional compassion.
To top it all off, Angela Fordice Jordan has a gift for writing.
My first encounter of consequence with Angie was many years ago when I was forced to find a home for Max the cat, who wanted more than anything, it seemed, to explore the outdoors.
On the busy street where I lived, outside was not an option. Max was miserable, and that broke my heart.
Angie lived in a remarkable house in the country, complete with lots of land and a barn. She graciously agreed Max could join her other barn cats. With a sad spirit, I delivered Max to Angie and tearfully told him goodbye.
Then Angie and I shared a cup of tea while I told her a bit about this fine black and white cat who fetched a ball better than many dogs.
I told her she needed to know that my Max was a Demo-cat. She said no problem – she had a horse on the property that bucked her Republican Governor father whenever he saddled up.
Ah, a refreshing sense of humor. How could I not be her friend?
Do yourself a favor: Read “We End in Joy.”
You’ll be glad you did.

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