I have always been a voracious reader and sometime writer even while raising nine children. In fact, reading allowed me to escape for a few minutes during the day while staying connected to the needs of our family.
Our youngest is now ten and the stories that have been stewing inside my head as I washed dishes, cooked dinner and helped with homework these last 25 years are bubbling up and out of my fingertips. My favorite books to read are Pride and Prejudice, any of the Harry Potter books and of course, Good Night Moon.
When we lost our oldest child at two I was left with an awful sorrow but our faith in a loving God held us up as we grieved. It was agonizing for us to witness the grief his death caused in those around us and I began to realize that my faith was literal, I did not believe anymore but I knew that our son was fine and that he would watch over us. Although we missed him so much it physically ached, we knew that we would be together again in a better world. So many of our friends and neighbors suffered greatly under the burden of doubt and disbelief. Acceptance and understanding began building itself in my heart but our personal experience was too raw to allow me to explore it in writing. Then a child in our community died of cancer and the stories demanded to be written. Our lives do not begin with birth nor end with death. That knowledge is the only way that this life makes any sense at all, and my conviction that this is true has shaped every aspect of my life for good.
What is death? It is part of our journey in this life and will mark us forever. Watching a caterpillar and understanding that its destiny is to become a butterfly makes sense to even the youngest children, you will never look at caterpillars or butterflies with the same eyes again.