The most remarkable connection I made at the She Speaks Conference in North Carolina was with a widow who had lost her husband two years ago. Raising three young children and walking through immense grief, she also finds solace in writing. Unlike other friendships, widows tend to meet and immediately go deep. Our second sentence to one another was, "How did he die?" My response like a line from a script feels rehearsed, "line of duty death." Her memorized answer, "a plane crash." The absurdity of this closeness and vulnerability of our honesty quickly bonds us.
During the weekend she shared with me that although her children know their daddy died and is in heaven, they don't' know many specifics surrounding how he died. They were very young at the time of the accident and my new friend has been waiting for God to lead her in the right timing for this difficult conversation.
On the final evening of our conference with tears streaming her cheeks, the kind that not even a Kleenex will remedy, she reached out to hug me. Holding both of my hands in hers as if grasping unto a rope she said, "Your book parallels my life. And I now know with confidence that I can return home ready to tell my children…and when I do I'll be holding your book in my hands."
A shiver went down my back like snow that gets caught in between the collar of a jacket. Tears pierced my eyes as I listened, a sting that comes from being stunned. It was in that moment that I realized my book is no longer my personal therapy. God has made it bigger. What started as a tool for my healing, has become a gift for others to hold unto.
She continued, "I'll tell them that there are two other little kids just like them who have a daddy in heaven, too. And then they'll know they're not alone."
Her words beat inside me, steady and even like the rhythm of hearing a baby's pulse for the first time through an ultra sound. Something new is being born.