This evening I am proud to host a message written for you by my beautiful friend, Brenda. I met Brenda online several years ago, and then in person at Camp Widow shortly after. We instantly bonded over shared loss, shared interests, and similar personalities. Brenda is an amazing soul, one of those people who you know has entered your life for a reason and will never leave. Brenda is also a writer, and she has recently completed a memoir detailing her story with her love, Kevin. But she needs our help to publish it. In her words:
I wanted a good story. I always have enjoyed writing, but I could never seem to develop the characters the way I wanted. They lacked depth, and eventually the boredom of them would cause me to stop writing 20 pages in. Nothing could keep my attention. But just weeks after my husband died, I had a story, and it flowed out my fingertips at the same rate the tears flowed down my cheeks.
Looking back on the beginning of our family blog, I regretted spending so much damn time on that computer while Kevin lay feet away from me in those sterile hospital rooms. Sometimes he wanted my attention, and I was busy sharing what was left of our lives with strangers somewhere outside of the hospital walls. I was desperate to connect with them, to feel connected somewhere. I was climbing those walls in my brain, wondering how long those rooms would feel like a shelter, and when they would begin to feel like a prison of disease. But he understood, and one day, he told me to share our story with the world. On a day he was very, very ill, and I could tell. On a day that I wondered why he told me to write this. I only realized after he died, a few months later, that it was the same reason why he insisted I learn how to tie a proper fishing knot and bait my own hook. I was insistent that he do it, but he refused. He knew. I refused to believe. And then…
It’s 4.75 years later and here I am. First draft written. Several chapters edited. Kickstarter launched. And I wonder what the hold up will be this time. Suddenly this file I have created of over 100,000 words is waiting on something else besides the author. It’s waiting on the money so it can finally go through a proper edit, to be formatted and set into a published book. To be downloaded, and to be bound, to be held and read by people who may be bored, who may laugh, who may not understand, and who will ultimately have to face the bitterness of a book that doesn’t end on an upbeat note. I’m really selling this thing, aren’t I?
Erin knows, and I know, that life isn’t this package we dreamt up. If it was, Kevin wouldn’t have died, and even if still had in this “package”, the book would have been written and picked up on a book deal years ago. Packages don’t exist, but life is very much palpable. My story is a love and loss memoir, written by someone under 30. I let my age discount a lot of what I know about life, and I swear, I’m trying to stop doing that. I want to stop denying the fact that yes, I faced a really horrid experience nearly 5 years ago, and yes, it vastly changed me. With this book being released into the world, I have no choice but to say, yes, a woman wrote this and lived this and wasn’t even 30. In fact, when this journey began I was 24. Twenty fuckin’ four (sometimes you just need that expletive to feel better).
I’m a little angry, and a little proud, that I wrote it. I can’t say it will go anywhere – I may raise all the funds necessary to bring this book to print, and no one may buy it, read it, review it or care. But I’ll have finally had a chance to have a story, to share it as I promised to Kevin, and to maybe have the guts to work on the second book (yep, already thinking of that one…).
Some truly amazing things have happened in my life because Kevin left it. There’s no package here, there’s just life, and when you allow life to happen, you find exceptional gifts that you didn’t even know were available. When I met Kevin, I felt the same way. In my mind, I had a package of the perfect guy for me, and he came into my life, and he brought so much more into it that I hadn’t even desired. And just like life, I can dream up so many wonderful things, but when I think about everything I’ve had in my life, it’s been an even more beautiful creation. I won’t discount it with his loss.
I’m going to feel the pulse of life, and I hope that I can give some of that pulse to my readers in this memoir. I would love your support – sharing with friends and family, or even a $1 pledge. There’s some great rewards, but mostly, I think this story has the potential to give others some heart – and we could all use some of that.
I’d love it if you could take a moment to cheer Brenda on as she shares her incredible story of life and love. Stop by her blog, send her a tweet, leave her a comment below, share her story with others — and if at at all possible, please consider donating to her Kickstarter campaign. Every little bit helps Brenda reach her goal so that she can publish her story. Because a great love story deserves to be told.