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Fulfilling a Childhood Promise: Mountaineer's Memoir Details Quest to the Himalaya

From Ed Abell, ‘My Father’s Keep’ is a heartrending ode to the mountains we must climb – whether physical or emotional. Navigating through the territory of his childhood living with the ravages of alcoholism, Abell recounts his journey toward forgiveness of his father and ultimately, himself.


Cedar Grove, WI -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/27/2014 -- Ed Abell has hiked some of the most awe-inspiring and terrifyingly beautiful peaks on the planet, from Mt. Fuji and Mt. Kilimanjaro, to Mt. Rainier and Mt. Everest Base Camp.

However, it was the voyage that Abell made into his own past that turned out to the most rewarding of all.

In his new memoir, ‘My Father’s Keep’, Abell paints an unflinchingly honest portrait of life with a father who was afflicted with alcoholism, and the sacred spaces within himself that he created in order to escape the turmoil. Finding solace in his father’s library, Abell would carry his father away from the darkness, traveling to the images he found within the pages of books.

“I saw these photos of the Himalaya and I couldn’t imagine any place that could be farther away than that,” says Abell. “So I took my father there, again and again. I believed it was my duty to save him. It’s what all children go through when they grow up with that kind of anguish. You want to be the hero of the story. I promised myself that I would see the Himalaya with my father.”

Twelve years after his father’s death, Abell fulfilled his vow.

At once searing, emotional and relentlessly authentic, ‘My Father’s Keep’ is a memoir of hope, loss and the enduring power of love.

An Inspiring Journey of Forgiveness and Promise-Keeping

"There had never been any real chance for a physical solution to Dad's alcoholism. The problem couldn't be solved, and certainly not by me, and there was no way for me to get him out . . . This was where as a child, deep within my soul, I would take my father in the darkest moments. For the little boy, there was no place farther away than the images from the books in my father's library of Namche Bazaar and the Himalaya. So this was where I promised myself I would take my father, the only place I knew he would be happy . . . the very keep of my imaginary castle."

At once a trek to the highest peak on Earth and the deepest place of the heart, My Father's Keep captures the experience that all adult children share: the pain and suffering of growing up in the chaos of alcoholism and the dogged belief that they can-and must-somehow save their afflicted parents from their torment. As that child, Ed Abell vows that one day he and his father will see the Himalaya together-a vow he kept twelve years after his father's death.

My Father's Keep is a story of hope for healing of our most complicated family relationships through understanding, compassion, and forgiveness, peace for ourselves despite our inability to save our loved ones from the ravages of addiction, and strength for the arduous yet enriching journey.

Through his own compassion for his parents, Abell hopes that others who have been the children of alcoholics will be able to find peace.

“It’s not a simple thing – forgiving your parent for what they put you through,” says the author. “I carried a lot of anger and guilt for a long time, and it drove me to strive to greater and greater heights – quite literally! But as I hiked those mountains, and came closer to the sky with every step, I had so much time to examine my own feelings and my own memories.”

Continuing: “It’s my wish that when readers put down my book, they’ll feel filled with grace. Forgiveness is much more powerful than hate.”

‘My Father’s Keep’ is available now from Amazon: http://amzn.to/1egXUj6 and from CreateSpace: http://bit.ly/1at3svL

About Ed Abell
Ed Abell lives in rural Wisconsin. He has climbed and trekked to: Mt. Fuji, Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mt. Adams, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Everest Base Camp, Rim to rim across the Grand Canyon and Mt. Sneffels. After a thirty-year design career, he gave up the brush and pen for a word processor. He has been writing since the mid-nineties.