I think of great authors like Hemingway or Austen, and I can imagine them toiling away, putting thought, word and deed to paper. I envision more modern and beloved authors of mine like Douglas Preston or Erin Morgenstern drafting copies of literary magic, sitting in airy sunlight rooms where the gentle crash of waves drifts in from the ocean below. It seems a dark contrast to my experience, huddled at my kitchen table in an uncomfortable hardback chair, trying desperately to concentrate as the sound of ‘Bob’s Burgers’ plays relentlessly in the background.
Hardly surprising that my road to becoming an author feels like a thousand miles away from what I imagined it would be. It is, after all, a story that I never wished to write and a story that should never have been read. It is a journey of unravelling pieces of who I was and becoming who I find myself now. Time will tell the value of this transformation, I suppose.
What an incredible paradox I find myself in. To take pride in the accomplishment of writing what has quickly become a bestselling book seems garish and unsettling. My tongue trips over thanking people for reading Ryan’s story with a clumsy “Enjoy.” But I am reminded that this book contains my son’s life, memories and love. Every word is meant to carry a legacy of a young man not here to create his own. It is an honour and a privilege to be the bearer of his story. I hope it, in some small way, resonates with the reader.
Perhaps the one consistency in all authors is the support and direction that lives behind the scenes. The machinations and inner workings that make every book possible. In that, I am no different. My husband gently encouraged me to sit and write. I will tell you a secret; he has yet to read what he helped to accomplish. It is a remembering that he finds difficult to relive. In time, I hope, he will. I also had the fortune of being surrounded by unicorns: bearers of light and hope. These women made the unlikely seem possible, and the promise of a manuscript blossom into a full-fledged published book. There are no words to express my gratitude.
No, this is not the path I imagined or a title that I wear comfortably, but it is a journey filled with love. And for me, that is enough.
Thank you for supporting Missing from Me.