Just a thought… If you really think small, your world will be small. If you really think big, your world will be big. [Paula Coelho]
Remember that old folk saying that if March comes in like a lamb, it’ll go out like a lion (or vice versa)? I can’t speak for the weather, but for us, this month is going out like a Tasmanian Devil. NOT that there’s anything wrong with that!
I asked your kind forgiveness for going on about this whole book release and tour. It’s been a huge part of our lives for about two years and this week has been the culmination of so very much: some wonderful kind of alchemy that has turned a nightmare into something of a dream that we didn’t even dare envisioning. It’s wonderful, it’s awful, it’s bizarre and, through it all, we are grateful.
Yesterday I did something I’ve never done before and just ahead of a story of a very interesting sign from Lauren (yes, everybody seems busy trying to get through to us these days), I wanted to tell you about this experience.
After landing at around 8 am in bright but brisk Ottawa, we picked up our rental SUV (paying an extra $17 per day for snow tires, if you can believe it) and headed downtown. After we stopped off for copious amounts of coffee (five hours’ sleep will do that) and a breakfast sandwich, Rob dropped me at CBC Radio Canada on Queen Street in Ottawa.
I pre-taped an interview with Ottawa Morning host Robyn Bresnahan to air today and then was escorted to a very small windowless studio that resembled the Whisper Room that my dad bought and set up in his seniors’ condo so he could practise his sax and clarinet without disturbing anyone.
I killed about an hour’s time before my first interview with a host in Quebec. Then about half an hour after that ten-minute chat, I spoke with a woman in Halifax, then one in Saskatchewan, another in Manitoba, and later a gentleman in Calgary. All in all, with scheduling as it was, I was there for five hours.
I sat in that room, careful to have my iPhone ringer off, and chatted with these hosts located in so many far-flung places. (Why BC wasn’t on the list, I’m not sure, but I hope to be able to visit CBC in Victoria one day soon!) Each interview was different, each host had his or her own style. And all of those chats will run at various times this weekend.
With the message of hope and joy (and love after loss) contained in Mourning Has Broken spreading across Canada, I’m hoping that the Ontario-heavy sales numbers will start to change. I’m not so concerned about the sales – which are beyond my wildest dreams at this point – but about the message getting through. And that’s why this week, including last night’s final book signing for this trip, the radio interview today and the CTV noon chat in Lauren’s old office building in the Byward Market mean so much.
The question, “Was writing this cathartic?” seems to be a common one, although nothing could be further from the truth. Rob and I had to go back to the worst days of any parent’s life. We had to talk about details we’d already blurred because we didn’t want to remember them. But as the book evolved, it became our way of healing. Of acceptance.
This week I’ve looked into the eyes of completely broken people. But I’ve also heard from those people who have found ways to move forward and through loss and find their own paths of joy. It’s been an incredibly touching and humbling experience and one that I will not forget.
I ran into an old boyfriend (story to follow one day MAYBE), received many gifts big and small, and heard stories of signs from our departed. But this one came from my own goddaughter and niece, Lauren’s Maid of Honour and dearest cousin. Meaghan received her copy of Mourning Has Broken via the mail the other day. (I haven’t been giving them away, as I just don’t have any copies yet!) She texted me to tell me and then asked, “Is it written on scented paper?”
My eyes grew wide as I wrote back, “No – why?”
She answered, “Wow! That’s wild that it isn’t supposed to be scented! The cover of the book right away reminded me of our apple trees that went into full blossom the day of Lauren’s passing. The perfume of flowers was obvious the moment it was unwrapped from the padded Amazon envelope.”
Okay – what?
First of all, if Meaghan had told me that her trees bloomed exactly on May 11th, I don’t remember. Secondly, there’s a story in the book about the day we smelled baking (we were in bed crying at the cottage and there were no windows open, no people around, no way at all that we could both, Rob and I, smell fresh baking).
Do we believe that Lauren gave Meaghan a hug through the opening of that envelope? Absolutely. In fact, you’ll read about Meaghan introducing us to www.fedisbest.org, too. A sweet gift from one lovely daughter to another.
And on that sweet-scented note, I will leave you for today to ponder this first day of “Meteorological Spring” whilst we await the real thing. Our day is about to get exponentially warmer with a visit to our favourite little family just a couple dozen kilometres from the hotel we stayed in last night. There will be more rainbows to come, to be sure, but today the pot of gold at the end of this one has curly brown hair and calls us “the bananas.” (Wonder why?)
Have a lovely weekend.