What causes two sisters who share a whimsical yet calamitous upbringing to become estranged adults? In her debut autobiography, A Family Divided: A Memoir, Jackson leaps brilliantly into the literary scene and candidly guides readers through a witty read as she searches for an answer to this very personal question. Clues are unearthed in a series of life events that combine sibling alcoholism, a secret life as a lesbian, a career in deaf education, and ever-faithful canine companions. She begins with a loving chronicle of her parents' unlikely meeting and takes readers along as the family embarks on a transient military lifestyle. But when Jackson's mother is diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the fabric of the family begins to fray, and the sisters experience their mother's declining health in vastly different ways. Told with a compelling and open heart, A Family Divided: A Memoir, highlights parenting with the best of intentions and the disastrous interpersonal relationship with which the sisters are destined to contend. Delightfully surprising is how life events come together in a quick and quirky read.
Patricia was literally born into military dependency. At the age of six months, her travels began and did not conclude until she attended university; by this time, she had lived in more than eighteen houses and nowhere, for more than five years. She was the youngest of two very dissimilar sisters. Her mother was a dynamic woman who contributed greatly to the success of her husband and assumed the role of a single parent during his frequent absences. Her father was a career officer in the United States Air Force and a navigator and crew member flying B-47’s during the Cold War and C-141’s at the height of the Vietnam War. Having lived predominantly on military installations and affiliating primarily with children and adolescents of the same genre, rarely did she question her nomadic lifestyle.
Her private life was peppered with adversity. She and her mother had a covetable bond which would shatter when she was but a young woman. Sibling rivalry was imperceptible until adolescence; gradually transforming to resentment and hostility in adulthood.
As an adult, her life was often inwardly and outwardly in turmoil. Terminal illness and the death of her parents, suggestions of an affair, unstable relationships, and a few alcohol-poisoned nights led her down some confusing paths.
She earned a BA degree in Deaf Education, an MA in Remedial Reading, and an MA in Administration and Supervision — Area of the Deaf. Her career path was that of a deaf educator/ administrator. She was devoted to educational excellence and had an unwavering commitment to deaf individuals of all ages, ethnicity, and socio-economic backgrounds. Now retired, she lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado.