I think of life as a good book. The further you get into it,the more it begins to make sense. Harold S. KushnerWhen Alexis and Liseanne were little girls one of their favourite books was, James Heriot's Bonny's Big Day. The three of us would curl up on my bed, one of them on each side of me and we would read and read all about Bonny's big chance to make a difference at the fair. We loved Ruth Brown's beautiful illustrations, cantered with beautiful white Bonny of the streaming mane as she ran through the fields doing all kinds of wonderful.
It was a book we picked up again and again. A story that never ceased to enchant us.
Our books have changed over the years. Now, we talk of books like The Kite Runner and Medicine Wheel. No matter the story we share, our love of books continues to connect us to the wonder of stories throughout the world, to people of fiction and faith and reality who have had big days in their lives and who share their stories to create a better world., to teach, to enlighten, to enliven.
In 2006, when I wrote, The Dandelion Spirit, A True Life Fairytale of Love, Lies and Letting go, I believed that story was over. Finished. On to the next.
Today, I know, the adventure was just beginning.
On the weekend, at Choices, several people came up to tell me how my book has helped them, or helped someone they know. One woman said, "I just want you to know that in telling your story, you've given me the courage to get out of the story that was hurting me so much I wanted to die."
Last night, I got together for dinner with my two dear friends, my 'angels' Nan and Jane, without whose support and love I would not be alive today. We laughed and joked and cried and shared and at one point, Nan pulled out a red file folder and started digging through it for a piece of paper. She handed it to me and I read the word I had written long ago, in those dark days when the only light I could see was my daughters lives continuing on without me. The letter she pulled out was addressed to "Dear Angels". It was a sad, confused, frightening look into the mind of that woman who was me, who was so lost and scared and sorrowful long ago. I read the letter and thought, "Wow. I can only love and forgive her. She was abused."
Today, a film crew is coming to the house to begin filming a documentary based on the story of the dandelion spirit that lived through those times and dug her way out to find the sun shining brightly on the other side of abuse.
Today, a crew will arrive, set up their equipment and begin asking questions that take me back to those times when I fell in love with Prince Charming and awoke to my worst nightmare dancing before me as the Prince of Darkness.
Today, the story continues to unfold. The book of my life is not yet closed. It continues on in technicolor rainbows, glittering and shimmering in every light.
I am blessed.
The crew will visit with Nan and my friend Jane. They will interview a police officer who played such a vital role in saving me. They'll interview people who knew Conrad, and, they'll interview Alexis who is flying in from Vancouver for the filming.
No matter the story of the past, the truth is in today. It is in the three of us sitting together last night sharing laughter and joy and love. It is in my wish I'd lost that twenty pounds and Nan's gratitude her cleaning lady is coming today. It's in Jane's desire to 'tell the truth' about Conrad and to understand what really happened to take her friend so far from her long ago.
Now, I would be lying if I said I wasn't nervous. I am. Telling this story on film is very different than in a book. In the book, I controlled how 'bad' I looked. I controlled what parts of the story I told.
In film, I must open up, be vulnerable, allow the director to take the story to those places where I still carry wounds, still feel some pain.
It is a big day. An opportunity to heal more of what was broken in that journey.
"What if we just look at this as an opportunity to help others," I suggested last night. "And, if you really dig deep, it's also about a chance to show the world that Conrad's exist. It's up to each of us to warn others and to shine our light on their darkness and cast them into the shadows where they belong."
For me, telling this story is a way to say, yes, evil exists. There are people in this world who abuse and hurt and lie and cheat. And yes, they don't care about the damage they do.
No matter what Conrad did, or others do, however, this story is not about him or them. This story is about the power of love and forgiveness. It's about redemption and living in the grace of knowing, when I stand in my light, fearlessly walking a path of truth, honesty and integrity, I am the Light and Love I want to create in the world.
This is a story about friendship.
Who better to tell it than those who saved a woman with the grace of their love and commitment.
It's a big day today and I must get ready.