There were two books before this one. Both still sit on the shelf, half-finished.
Just Below The Surface was an examination of loss and longing following the deaths of my Dad and my Grandpa, with their funerals only weeks apart. A year later, my younger brother and Grandma passed away, months apart. We were torn apart, grenaded, as we sat shell-shocked at the first Christmas dinner table, where all four were missing. We had to breathe deeply and swallow hard.
Three years later, our lives took another tragic turn. My husband taught for many years at a private school having a notable Outdoor Education Program. Many students have testified about the excellence of the program – how it had prepared them for future success. They had learned to do “hard things” and it had served them well. While he was the Department Head in his 18th year at the school, tragedy struck. In 2003, a massive avalanche killed seven of the students on a mountain ski trip. The group leader, who carried an emergency satellite phone in his backpack, was buried close to the surface and managed to call out for help. By the grace of God, seven students and three leaders survived. But the agony of loss on the parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents of those precious teenagers who didn’t survive had enormous impact. We, too, were forever changed.
Where Joy and Sorrow Meet was a continuing reflection on death and loss. Again, deeply personal. I am not sure whether I’ll complete either book. The writing was cathartic and a crucial expression of my pain in those extremely dark times. Soon after, I was shattered by the devastating loss of my own teenage son. The completed chapters in both of the previous books were prerequisites for Nightfall To Daybreak.
It has been a long journey, one that has brought with it patience, insight, and wisdom. Nightfall To Daybreak is my love song for our son, Davis. It could only have been composed because of the complex circumstances I have learned from over a long period of heartache and reflection. I have found my voice in this book. And, in humility, I share.