When my book was first released, I was terrified.
I didn’t stop to celebrate; instead, I panicked... every word of that book came from my greatest tragedy.
Even though it was my 4th book, writing it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. This was my own true story, and its release made me feel naked, having bared the emotions and the trauma of the most difficult time in my life.
Years before, my oldest son, Garrett, woke up with a fever. The doctor said it was the flu, but he was wrong. Drinking fluids and taking Ibuprofen didn’t help what was really going on. The next morning, I found him in his bed, lifeless.
My beautiful 16-year-old son slipped into a coma and died sometime in the middle of the night from a deadly form of bacterial meningitis… and I didn’t know because I was sleeping peacefully.
Let me tell you, it annihilates any confidence you have in being a mother. How could I NOT have known? Why did I trust the doctor? How could my child go from life to death in less than 24 hours?
Because meningitis is just that deadly and is often misdiagnosed.
That very day my son died, a friend came to our house. This was a man who was as successful as they get in the television world; creating dozens of TV shows. My husband was one of his producers, and yet, at this point, the only thing that mattered was his own personal tragedy several years before.
Stephen and his wife had lost their 15-year old son in a beach accident.
We knew about it; everyone who worked with him did, but no one talked about it, or ever asked them how they survived. Now, it was the only thing I wanted to know.
Stephen handed me a book written by another mother who’d been through it (The Bereaved Parent). He said, “This book really helped us. I hope it does you, too.”
For the next several weeks, I kept that book with me tucked in my purse, and I read it every time I doubted my ability to survive. It was my lifeline of hope.
I vowed, if I could survive this, I would write my own book… years later I found the courage.
And now back to the day of release. I couldn’t have imagined how far-reaching this book would become. For the past 6 years, it continues to make its way to suffering parents and was picked up by a publisher in China!
I just knew that my son’s life meant more than 16 years, 3 months, and 10 days… his legacy lives on in a way I never could have imagined.
The important thing is that I did what I said I would do — write my story because I know what stories of survival mean to parents like me.
It remains today as the commitment I’m most proud to have fulfilled….
I now know how important our stories are.
Your story matters… it can change one life or many. If you’ve ever said, “I should write a book someday”…. Do it… It’s your legacy fulfilled.
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