"If you can dream it, you can do it. Always remember that this whole thing was started with a dream and a mouse." - Walt Disney
Inside our letterbox on Saturday, wrapped in a plain white envelope, was one of my dreams come true…..I ripped open the cardboard…..and out fell a book!
The book is from The Open to Hope Foundation. A foundation established by Dr. Gloria Horsley, PhD, MFC, RN, and Dr. Heidi Horsley, PsyD, LMSW. Both are bereavement specialists who started the popular website http://www.opentohope.com/ which has scores of articles, a radio show and many priceless articles from different authors....all who’ve experienced grief and loss and hope. It’s a ‘go to for grieving people” and a site I regularly submit articles to.
When they contacted me about submitting one of my stories I couldn’t really believe I would be privileged to be in the pages of this wonderful resource for others who are desperately searching for hope after losing someone beloved.
I remember when we were told Savannah was going to die…I was panicked, lost, confused and helpless at how uncertain and out of control our life had become. My total belief system in life had been rattled….I wanted to read how a mother survives the loss of a child…how you keep going? How you learn to find meaning in the senselessness of it all? How, after my daughter was no longer here how my world would have any value ever again? I wished for a book just like this one.
Wrapped inside each story is the same theme….HOPE….like a promising hug! From others who have been to that place where I once was….trying to find strength and determination and the courage to go on after being clobbered by grief. To find answers to questions from those that have lived through the heartache and understand..and have survived!
I never imagined in my wildest dreams that I would one day be writing to help others survive one of the most profound experience in a person’s life. Or that I’d have my name in a book alongside the likes of Katie Byron, or Mitch Album, or acclaimed Doctor’s…..or simply others dealing with hope. I know I’ll never be the next J. K. Rowling, but this is a start…an encouraging one. :)
This book would be a wonderful gift to someone who has lost a loved one…when flowers don’t seem appropriate, or you don’t know what to say. This book will help them. And for that I am grateful, honored and thrilled to be part of such a fantastic project.
I can’t even begin to describe my excitement as I flipped through the pages and found the article I had contributed. WOW WOW WOW! And people say dreams don’t come true! :)
I wish my mum was alive so I could phone her and scream down the phone line about how excited I am…
However, Saturday afternoon Dempsey again reminded me how truly fortunate I am. Watching me flick through the pages she asked, “Can I read your story Mummy?” I did contemplate for a second if it was appropriate reading for an eight year old….but Dempsey has been on this journey too…..and I don’t sugar coat it. I watched her sit with my book, on our stairs and read my words. I took a mental photo of it to put away in my proud moment memory bank!
And after she’d finished, she looked up at me, smiled and threw her arms around my neck. “That’s a good story Mummy…..can I read some of the other peoples stories later?” “If you want to Precious!” I replied with a smile, feeling sappy and teary eyed.
And with that, Demps handed me back the book and rushed outside to join our visitor’s boys in the Jacuzzi. I joined them too…with my feet up on a chair, reading some inspirational stories that filled my blue cup with sunshine….
I watched Dempsey giggling and splashing in the water and amongst the commotion and ruckus of the kids innocently enjoying ‘life’…..it hit me that Dempsey is a survivor too! And I pondered over what her dreams will be in the future? However, I know amongst the chaos of living and the unpredictable moments we are dealt with…that dreams can and do come true.
I hope one day to have my book published about my journey..about the loss of my sister, mother and Savannah...and I know through this experience, anything is possible! If you can dream it, you can do it…….
Open to Hope: Inspirational Stories of Healing After Loss
P.S; I don't get any financial gain from any sales of this book, however I would like to give a copy away to one of my readers who leaves a comment...I'll get Dempsey to draw the name out of a hat! :)
The book is available on http://www.amazon.com/ at bookstores nationally or through the website www.opentohope.com/book