This post is the sharing of something personal because today was a huge day in my world. For over a year now, I have been working toward completing a book that tells the story of the journey I took with my best friend, Annette Christophe, as she fought brain cancer. It has been an interesting process for me as I relived every moment, every joy and pain. There were times I thought I couldn’t stand the emotional toll any longer and feared I would have to abandon the project, but my soul wouldn’t let me quit. As a result, I got to take a new journey with her spirit that affected me in so many ways. Today that book was published and made available to the public. I thought I was prepared for the emotions of the book finally becoming reality, but I underestimated it all.The moment I found out the book was published early and was now in the public realm, I was elated! In some ways it was like a huge weight was lifted and I was overwhelmingly joyful. I wanted to shout from the mountain tops and share the moment with those closest to me! Then things started to settle a bit, and I became extremely weepy and unable to control my tears. I suddenly missed Annette terribly and at the same time felt her presence stronger than ever. I feel like she is looking down right now, so proud of the accomplishment and endurance of what it took to bring our story to life. I believe she is celebrating with me in spirit and I would swear I feel her hugging me. When I stop and get quiet, it is almost more than I am able to stand or wrap my heart around.
How We Said Goodbye is, to date, my greatest creative accomplishment…for so many reasons. But it’s more than that. It is a journey that has changed my life once again. It has opened me up completely again to Annette’s spirit and what she represents in my life. It has been almost 17 years since she passed and the telling of our story felt long overdue…until I understood that God’s timing is perfect. Even if I had tackled the writing of the book years ago, I would have been swallowed up in the intense emotions that accompanied its creation. Instead, it happened when it was supposed to happen, and I am thankful for the fact it has finally come to fruition.
So I guess I want to say thank you to those of you who have been with me on this journey. Some of you knew Annette and have known of our journey from the very beginning. Some of you feel like you know Annette through knowing me and hearing me talk about her over the years. Some of you never knew Annette and some of you have never met me….but ALL of you have been a part of this process in one way or another. Whether through your support of me by simply reading this blog or by being someone in my literal world who has held my hand or my heart throughout the process in the past year…I would not be here without you and I am overwhelmed by your support. Annette would love to see how she has brought so many people together…even those she never met.
It’s a beautiful and emotional day. And today, I celebrate Annette’s spirit and thank God for the gift of her presence in the most amazing ways. I will carry her with me always.
p.s. You can read about the book by clicking on the “Books” tab at the top of the page.