My friend Annie asked me to post this on her behalf. This is such a wonderful creative way to help her cousins. Please read her post below:
Nothing can prepare you for those moments when your whole world changes. It happens so suddenly. The seconds crawl while that one moment is seared into your heart and your mind. You lose all track of time while your reality shifts from just-fine to not-anywhere-close-to-fine.
It was sunny. Cold, but that’s normal for early February. I’d had a weird feeling that I should stick around home that day instead of going out with some friends. For once, I didn’t ignore the weird feeling and stayed home, working on various projects.
It was 3:41 p.m. when the phone rang. My mom never calls at that time of day, and I wondered if one of my siblings needed a ride or something. Matt was working from home so I had a car. Good thing, I thought. I hate saying no.
I answered the phone and could hear something was off in Mom’s voice. I wandered into the dining room as she told me that my uncle, Sam LaCara, had been shot at the school where he worked as principle.
My breath caught in my throat. I wonder how long his recovery will take.
“Shortly afterwards, he passed away.”
I looked down at my phone. 3:41 pm. In California that would be…11:41. I have to tell Matt…how is this even possible?
I have to get home.
My family—my huge, loud, hilarious, beautiful family—lives in California. After Matt and I married, we moved 3,000 miles away to Maryland. As much as we love it here, we really miss our friends and family back home.
Never more so than after we lost Sam.
Being so far away has made it difficult to offer consistent support. I stewed for months over what I could do for my aunt and her three young daughters. I wanted to help make things even a little bit better, knowing full well that the holidays would bring a special kind of pain.
The result of all that stewing is a multi-authored storybook called Christmas Wishes: A Collection of Holiday Tales and Truths. Originally I only meant to print a few copies for my aunt Lisa and her daughters, but then the vision expanded a bit. We decided to sell the book and give all proceeds to the girls’ college funds. Education was a huge priority to Sam, a priority that took a back seat to only one thing: his family.
The following video was created to explain a little bit more about Christmas Wishes. Please take a moment to check it out, and please consider purchasing a copy of Christmas Wishes. You can order through Amazon, or go to any bookstore and order it using the following information: