I am one, much to the chagrin of my wife, who is out like a stone moments after my head hits the pillow. If the lights go out at 10:00, I am snoring by 10:04. From time to time Chris “accidentally” kicks me, as she mumbles “it’s not fair.“
It is in the wee hours that I struggle with sleep—I am always, at least, semi-conscience between the hours of 2 and 4 am. As I lay alone with my thoughts, my mind wanders to undesirable neighborhoods. Was my boss telling me I was on thin ice when he said “good job” the other day? Everybody on the call knew what he meant! Did I overpay for my house seven years ago? Is the world coming to an end? Bad neighborhoods!
Recently, I was wandering through one of those dark alleys of the mind when a message alert went off on my phone. It was 3:17 am.
OMG, who died? What catastrophe awaited my attention?
There was no crisis. It was a message from an old friend, a person I had been out of touch with for over forty years. We had recently reconnected on Facebook. He lives on the left coast, which partially explains the hour. His message went something like this.
“Eugene, I just finished the story about your family. It is a well-written account of love and loss. I feel like I knew Scott, you are a strong family. Thank You, Your Friend,…”
You know he knew me as a kid, he called me “Eugene.”
Wow! After all these years, he took the time to read our book and It had an impact. I put down the phone with a smile. The goblins of the night were at bay. Sleep came easily.
We have been amazed by the feedback since the publication of Live, Laugh, Fly. We are grateful that anyone would take a few hours to read our story. It is even a bigger deal when someone reaches out to tell how it moved them.
The facts are the facts
For those of you who know my wife, you are aware of her dedication to details. There were times in the writing process that I was hesitant to take such a deep dive into my struggles with addiction. She would remind me If we are going to tell our story, we should tell our whole story. I am glad we did. Here is part of a message I received from another friend.
“I finished your book Monday… I was deeply moved by your willingness to share your journey with addiction…That was inspiring…THANK YOU!”
Chris and I have heard from parents who also lost children, and begun a dialogue with a few of them. Some shared how they have seen signs from their departed loved ones, very much as we have. Others told us how lost they have been since their child’s passing. We related to that as well.
We received this.
“ I recently lost a family member who was like a son to me…I have been struggling. Your book is giving me a more positive direction.”
At first, the pats on the back, well wishes, and compliments were heady. A slice of the world was taking notice of our book. Chris did a radio interview and a podcast. Perhaps our egos ran with that attention just a bit. But, sales leveled off, and we have not heard from Oprah for a sit-down–yet.
We do still hear from many people who have read the book and relate to it in some way. With each message we receive, the original motivation for our project comes more clearly into focus. So many families have experienced similar challenges to ours. We wanted to tell them, they are not alone.
Our story is for single parents struggling to raise kids on their own. We understand and recognize your effort. What you are doing is hard.
It’s for anyone mired in the morass of addiction and believes there is no way out. You don’t have to live that way if you are willing to take certain steps. A better life is waiting for you.
Our story speaks to anyone who has a relationship that seems irreparably broken.
Most importantly, our book offers comfort to those who feel the weight of unthinkable grief. There is light at the end of even the longest tunnels of despair. It will look different, but it is there.
We have told our story as best we could and hope that is evident to anyone who watched us go through it. We put it out there. It is up to God where it goes. We made a decision early on that we would not benefit financially in any way from the book. It has not made a lot of money, but some. There are always children and families on the pediatric oncology unit at Montefiore who could use some help. That’s where it will go.
If this story somehow makes it to the “woman on the plane” thank you for helping to set all of this in motion. if that last line leaves you confused. Read the book!
Live, Laugh, Fly
Available on Amazon —100% of proceeds will be donated to pediatric cancer related charities.