At the end of the day, what do we have that is as unassailable as our experiences?
As I am no longer young, I am able to view my experiences from a better vantage point than someone who is just starting out. There are more of them, shall we say, lined up. I can, therefore, see patterns. For instance – and I have said this before – it has been my experience, time and time again, that when I am most in need of help, it is there. It comes.
But I am ahead of myself. There was the signature experience that set the stage for everything that came after. It was the premise from which I was to work. It was the earthquake experience – the death of my son, Eddie.
The death of a child is not only tragic. It is unnatural, a failure of the greatest magnitude. It is wrong, and out of order. It leads to despair beyond description, a loss of faith in the Universe. Disorientation. Loss of purpose. For me, all was lost with that one loss. What was needed to transform my view had to be an experience that was equal in significance and power. And so it was.
The experience was important enough to put in a book. It is an improbable experience, an unusual experience, one that demanded of me the will to take my heart and mind beyond their normal borders. If I have to ask my readers to suspend disbelief, it is no more than I had to ask of myself. And yet, it happened. Because it happened, I did not die from grief. I am living proof that hope can spring from hopelessness.
What happened to me is not a prescription for anyone. It is not a request for faith in what I came to believe. What I believe is the result of my experiences. I do not refute other beliefs. How could I, not having had other experiences? What I believe, with all my heart, is that there is a way for everyone, and that everyone can find his or her own path out of despair into hope.
Hope came to me by way of a Messenger who told me a story. In my book, I tell that story alongside my own. As Kevin Costner said in the movie, Field of Dreams, “It’s a long story, but it’s a good one.”
Perhaps with this post, you can feel that the book is closer to its release date. It is. The artist/designer of the book’s cover (who is my brother) has finished the painting. It was slower than usual, and painful, because of the surgery on his hand. But it is no less beautiful. I was tempted to show it to you here, but that wouldn’t be fair. You should see it the way it was intended to be seen – on the cover. See you next Sunday.