When you lose someone at a young age (either your young age, or the passing of someone young) a natural response is to think of all the things you wont get to do. With my best efforts, I have tried to concentrate my grieving on just missing her. Missing her at night, in the morning, on certain holidays and occasions. I’ve been trying not to think in terms of “she will never” or ” I will never get to” because missing her is agony enough, and I just didn’t think I could handle acknowledging all the things she wont, or I wont get to do.
But in light of recent opportunities that have presented themselves to me, (don’t worry, ill tell you at the end) I sat down and began to acknowledge all the things we will never do.
Ill never take her to preschool
or get to braid her hair.
Ill never pick a kindergarten
ill never send her to grade one, crying in the car as I drive away.
ill never hear that she wants to be a doctor
or a lawyer, a marine biologist (like I did when I was 5) or a ballerina when she grows up.
Ill never see her find her first best friend
ill never send her on her first sleep over
or accompany her on her first fieldtrip.
Ill never hear about her first day of Jr. High
ill never see her have her first boyfriend
ill never host her slumber parties and “totally embarrass” her
ill never watch her play sports, or compete in dance
ill never help her with her homework
or hold her close when she gets her heart broken
Ill never see her go to High school
ill never be able to ground her for staying out too late
or condone her for not succumbing to peer pressure.
ill never throw her a sweet 16 party and take her to Italy like I had planned.
ill never be able to discus colleges with her, and help her fill out the applications
and ill never see her walk across the stage at her high school graduation
or help her get ready for her prom.
ill never see her 18th birthday
or help move her into her dorm room in college
ill never welcome her home for holidays after spending months apart
ill never see her mature into a young woman full of life and passion
ill never see her get a degree.
ill never get emails and pictures sent from her time spent abroad
Ill never get the call to tell me shes engaged
Ill never go wedding dress shopping with her and cry when I see her in “the one”
ill never see her walk down the isle to marry the man of her dreams
ill never hear her tell me im going to be a grandma
Ill never watch her become a mother and then id finally be able to say “now you know how much I love you.”
ill never be able to tell her how she changed my life, and sit at the island in the kitchen talking for hours like I do with my mom.
Ill never be able to refer to karma when her kids are driving her crazy.
And ill never be able to grow old watching her live through each phase of life and be a witness as all of her dreams come true.
Instead, my life will consist of doing things to keep her alive in as many hearts, and her name on as many tongues as I can. She was robbed of a life that she deserved, and I was robbed of watching that life unfold.
What I have is 2 years and 9 months of her life, 2/3 of it spent battling a vicious disease. I have lessons, anguish, disappointments and triumphs, and a legacy of a precious little girl that I have the obligation and honour of spreading.
Thanks to Influence Publishing, I have been given the opportunity to write and PUBLISH Lilee-Jean’s and my story. All of it. The candid, flawed, messy, beautiful life that her and I shared over the 2 and a half years she lived. I have the opportunity to eternalize her in print, and share the untold stories within me.
This is what makes me feel like I belong.
This is what I can do to honour my girl.
This is healing.
THIS is LOVE.
When I sign the contract, I’m signing into a Business agreement, keeping the rights to my book, and being given the opportunity to work with people who will hold my hand through the process. Because of this, there is an upfront payment that I will provide to the publisher of $8,000. This amount will come “out of pocket” and I will be provided all of the services of the publishing house.
I only mention this because, since I have been spreading the news, I’ve been asked a few times how someone could contribute to making this book happen. Although it makes me extremely uncomfortable (because you all have done and given so so much for me and Lil already over the last few years) I don’t have the luxury of saying no to the help. SO instead of just emailing back the individuals, I’ve been advised to post the break down of the financial obligation, and the link to donate for those who want to contribute to the creation of this book.
–Editing and Writing/Coaching Estimate (approx. 100 hours): $5000
–Print and E-Book Distribution Set-up: $500
–Print Review Copies (approx. 50-200 review copies): $500
Additional Costs(Not included in the $8,000):
-Travel and accommodation for book events/signings
-Author purchasing personal copies (approx. $10 a book)
-Marketing costs, sales and distribution costs: handled by publisher from royalty share
“Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.” -C.S. Lewis
While I’m not sure my desiny is extraordinary, and if it is I would give it up to have a life with my baby girl, I have to set my sight forward to what I can achieve because of her.
Thank you to everyone who has encouraged me, lifted me up and given me confidence that writing (a book or otherwise) is exactly what I should be doing.
I read each and every comment and am continually grateful for the support and love of so many.
With so much gratitude and love
Donate Here (via PayPal)
6 thoughts on “Eternalizing Her Legacy”
Your courage to move forward and share your gifts of Lilee-Jean and your writing are truly inspirational!! I am of an age that i could be your Mother, so proud of you 🙂 I am feel honoured to donate 🙂
Although I didn’t have an opportunity to meet LJ, I feel I know her and you thru your words. I do know Tracey Gorman Niessen who shared your story with me (and I am thankful she did). I am Lucky enough to have a little boy who is now five and you and LJ are ever present in my world…I LOVE my son but some days when he is mommy mommy mommy mommy to the point where I am pulling my hair out..I stop and think
of you and think how much you would LOVE to hear that and it makes me stop and breath and be thankful that I have him….so THANK YOU for every day reminding me how lucky I am. My heart and my prayers are always with you…I wish I could turn back time and give you one more day…LOVE 🙂 and how fitting it is raining now which will always make me think of LJ!