Wish You Were Here.

Dear Christian,

I finished the rough draft of your story late last night. I didn’t quite make the deadline of 30 days, due to some technical difficulties (aka cats and your dog). But publishing is still scheduled for the middle of September.

I thought as anxious as I’ve been to keep my promise to you, that I would be happy to get the writing done. And I am…somewhat.

But the truth is, it feels bittersweet.

My first thought last night, as I placed the period after the last word, was remembering how excited and happy you were for me when I published my first book.

You took me out to dinner to celebrate. You were only 10 years old, but you had been saving money just for that special occasion. I remember how proud you looked when you told the waitress that you were buying me dinner to celebrate, and how insulted you looked when she handed me the bill afterwards.

I wish I could take you out to dinner to celebrate your story.

I remember when I first read the essay you wrote. The concept and the ideas were very strong, and I knew it would make a good book, maybe even a series.

While I was writing the words, it was your voice that I heard saying them in my head. I miss the sound of your sweet voice so much!

I changed the names you had for some of the characters, replacing them with names of your friends. I didn’t think you would mind. Your friends miss you too, so I think they will like being included with you in the story.

It was really hard getting started at first. So, I put this sticky-note on the wall above my desk. It kept me going through all the long hours, skipped meals, and throbbing eyeballs. And it fueled my heart, knowing that even if it was the last thing that I would ever accomplish on this earth, no matter what it takes, I am keeping the promise I made to you.

I hope, and I pray with all my heart, that the words I have written are what you would have wanted, that this book would make you proud.

But more than anything else, right now, I just wish you were here.

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