FIN.

Dear friends

This is the end. I know, not an ending we were all hoping for and its for sure not one that you will find on any sliver screen were everything works out perfectly right before the credits roll. Still, this is real life were things don’t work out perfectly or the way that we had planned or wanted. If they did I would not be writing this, finished this book by myself, and had to learn how to live with out her. If things worked out how we would want them then I would be happily married to a beautiful artist, watched her finished this book on her own, and be living life full of adventures together. But that is not the case and I am writing to you to finish this. To finally use the word “Fin” and to start looking at what could be next in life.

I hate to do that, to finish this. Because in some way it feels as if I have given up on trying to make this into something more then a book. Something that will help makes a difference. But maybe it already has. I know for me that this book gave me something to hold on to during the hardest time in my life and maybe in some way someone has read this and heard the stories of Sarah and it has helped them in some way. Still, maybe this is over for now and down the road someone will find this book and hear these stories and breath life back into this. But I’m not holding my breath for it. I guess at the end of this all I am thankful that we made it this far. That I was able to caring on for so long and so blessed by all the love and support of the friends and family around me. Still it pains me to see that we did not build a well and this book did not do as well as it could have, but there is some part of me that knows that its ok it did not. I have a feeling that Sarah would tell me that I did a good job, but its time to move on, to live life, and see what else God has for you in this life. Which is true, it is time to close this chapter of life. I don’t know really want to say, after a little over two years of Sarah’s absents and working on this book you think I would know what to say, but I guess there are still no real words that can describe this moment, these past years, and how this all turned out.

So in that I want to say thank you. Thank you to the Alleman family, who allows me to call them my family, who still loves me, and has been so supportive of me. I love you Alleman Family; you are my family always. Thank you to my family. Who watched me fight to finish this book, who supported me, and loved me through every step of this. Thank you to DJ Hurula, who has been a huge encourager, supporter, friend, and mentor. Who came out to Grand Rapids to help tell my story and give guidance on this project and in life. Thank you Ryan O’Neal, who’s music was introduced to me by Sarah and was our sound track during out time together. Which now brings up sweet memories and has be a beautiful sound track in the background as I worked and finished this project. Finally, thank you to you. For reading, supporting, and being a part of this project. It amazing when this book launched to raise money to build a well, so many people stepped up to help. Many I know, and then so many more that I have never met. So I am truly thankful for you, for all of you.

What now? Well we have decided to offer the book in a soft cover that will be less expensive for people that wanted to buy a copy of the book. The cost of it will just cover the printing and shipping. I will post a link later when it is ready for people that want to get a copy. We will also have the hardcover copy available as well.

As for me, I am looking forward to what life has next for me. To enjoy the moments I have with friends and family, to keep going on adventure that open me up to the world around me, and to also be a cool uncle that lives in a city to my brother and Sisters beautiful daughter. I also have stated that maybe I will put the camera away for a while. Now that this project is over I have started to think of what’s next for me. In honesty I don’t know what that is. I know that I will continue to film and do photography work. But I also have though of what it would look like to continue to write. I don’t know what I would write about, maybe a book about this whole thing or just something simple. All I know is that Sarah left me to finish her work and it has not only help save me from dark days, but it also opened my eyes to my creative artist side of me. I will never forget when I went to her work one day where she had a few photos there on display and one of her friends asked if I was an artist as well. I simply said, “No, Sarah is the artist.” Then later Sarah looked at me that night and told me that I was an artist, a creative. I never though of myself as one and still kind of don’t, but after her passing and working on this project I saw that she was right and I am. She always did see things differently then most and I am thankful she saw an artist in me, which seems silly to stop here. So as this project comes to a close, maybe a new one will open. But know this, no other project will hold the weight and importance as this one has and I hope that you will order one and see for yourself that there is something so special and beautiful about this book.

Still, thank you for reading this. I know it is a bit long, but there is so much to say and sadly I fear that I may have forgotten something or some quote that would be perfect to insert somewhere. But I feel as if everything has been said these past years and not much more can be. So, thank you for reading, for supporting and for helping. It has truly has been something that none of us though would be, and we did our best during it and will continue to.

I love you Sarah J. Alleman.

Thank you for reading,

Don

FIN.

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The Post before The Final

After many emails to publishing house, phone calls with printers, and tacking down leads I have come to one final lead that maybe something. Not something life changing, or exciting, but something that may allow for this book to be out there in a more cost effective way. Still, as I finish looking in to that, which I hope to be able to tell you more by this weekend and finally write a post call “fin” which has been a long time coming, but before then I did want to share something with you. I wanted to share the epilogue that is in the back of the book with you. I had been looking through the book the other day and was reading it as I think about fin and how this is pretty much over. I think it sums the book up well and will give you in sight in to what is going to come in the final post. I guess you can say its a teaser to the end of this journey. So enjoy and if somehow you spent the money on the really expensive verse of the book that is out there. Then you know what is coming…More news soon. Enjoy.

               Finally! The adventure, my dear, is over. It has been over two years since you have been gone and I have picked up where you left off. It has been an adventure, filled with amazing stories and people that I have met on the way that have and still love you so much. This book holds so many stories and moments that will forever be a part of my life. My darling, this book is your creation and it was my pleasure and honor to finish it. Still, this book does not just hold beautiful moments. It holds the backstory of learning how to hold on to hope after you were taken from us; when there seemed to be nothing worth holding onto. This book holds the secret to how I have survived these first few years without you. I am thankful that you created it and left it for me to finish so I could feel connected to you in some of the darkest moments of my life. I would have given anything to watch you finish this book. To drive around the state with you, to meet your wonderful friends that fill these pages under better circumstances. To see you use your talent and passion as you created this book for one of our best friends. But the reality is, that wish did not come true, and those things were left for me to do. I did them because I love you. I don’t want anyone to miss out on your talent and your passion, and most important, your love and dedication to create something for our dear friend. The adventures of this book are over, my beautiful darling. I am thankful to have finished them for you. I truly miss you and love you, Sarah J. Alleman. You will forever be with me.

 

            To my dear friends that are holding this book right now: Thank you! You are a part of this adventure even if you are not in this book, because you are holding something that is making a difference in the world. You are holding something that made a difference in my life. There is so much more to this that could be shared, but these pages will speak for themselves. Know this: In the darkest of places, in the most painful of times, when you feel nothing matters; if you don’t lose hope, if you don’t lose faith in something greater, something beautiful can come from tragedy. Something good can come from brokenness. We may never know the why’s in life, but we should look at the positive outcome, the silver lining, the beauty within the mess. Thank you for being a part of this. I hope you have enjoyed A Year Of Adventures, My Dear.

 

Love always,

 

            Don K. Ball

Any Lead, is a good lead

I was always told that any lead is a good lead. Why? Because it is better then nothing. Sadly my latest lead was some what helpful, but not exactly what I was looking for. I guess at the end of it all, maybe what I am looking for won’t happen. The idea that someone would publish this book and people can see Sarah’s beautiful and final work. That after all this hard work someone would help print and sell this book to do something greater in this world. But I’m not really seeing that happen.

So, what now? A question that I have been asking for a few weeks now. Is it time to write fin or to hold out for that final lead to bring something new to the table? While I was home seeing friends and family; my friend and I played a few games of chess. Now in all honesty I am not good at chess. I just enjoy the time playing with my friend, the intense focus on what every square of the board holds, and the idea of trying to figure out whats going to happen next. While playing with my friend he started to coach me on how to look at the board, how to see everything to my advantage and disadvantage. Still even with the coaching I still lose every game. But like chess, I need to look at the whole board and what I could do. Right now its looking like all the pieces of the board are bearing down on my King and its time to call it a defeat. But I will look at the board one more time and when I say one more time, I am only giving myself a few days. Till I write Fin and end this long journey that has brought us here.

A few more days and then…we will see what happen.

heres to hoping for the best.

thanks for reading.

Fin?

It’s been sometime since I have really sat down and wrote about whats going. Mainly because I am not really sure  and because I am still trying to figure out if its over and this is fin. Or if there is one last thing to explore. As many of you may have already figured out and know we did not reach our goal on indiegogo. Which is sad and a bummer, and with that we have posted a link to where you can order a printing of the book if you really want one. The down side is how much it cost just for one copy. Still, if I am going to be completely honest here I don’t feel like that is good enough. That this can’t be the end of the story. That we have gone so far for it just to fizzle out and lost in the day to day life we live. I guess I was hoping for something greater something more. But oddly I don’t know what that is. It’s that moment when expectations does not meet reality and you are lost in what has and is happen. Still, I am thankful that we have gone this far and that the book is available to people. Some days I still can’t believe that we have made it this far and in that I should be thankful.

Still I have decided that I am not ready just yet to write “fin” and end this story of A Year Of Adventure, My Dear. I have been given some leads to different publishers and I am contacting them just to see if this could be the final step for this journey and if not then fin will be next. I just want to see if there is a larger audience for Sarah’s work. If this story can reach more people and do some good in some kind of way. I know some may think that I am not ready to write fin because I am not ready to let go. But that is not the case, I am ready to let go and end this journey when it feels right, when everything option for this book as been taken in to account. And as of right now it just does not feel right to end this way. There is a band that sings the lyrics, “I won’t quit until I know that I truly tried,” and that is how I feel right now. I won’t quite till I know I have truly tried everything for this book, and for Sarah.

So right now we wait to hear back about what it will look like to publish her book and then after that FIN. Because fin can not be avoided or stopped. It is going to happen and I am ready for it after this one last try. There are only two things that can happen, someone publishes her book and write the final post called fin, or it goes unpublished and I write the final post called fin. Whatever happens the main thing is, the book is done and it is beautiful and I know may will enjoy it and remember Sarah.

Thank you for reading.

The End of An Old Year, A Start Of A New One

As you are reading this there is only seven more hours till we ring in the New Year. And there is only thirty-four hours left of our Indiegogo campaign to raise money to print the book and build a well with Charity Water ends. It interesting how these two things have lined up; One being we start a new year filled with fresh starts and more changes in our everyday life, and second our project will come to a close with Indiegogo. It is interesting how time plays out. How so many things revolve around time; how our lives have a rhythm with it, and how time can give so much meaning to things and how we wear a watch to tell us what time it is so that we know where we should be and when things are scheduled to happen. Oddly, I wear a watch but not to tell me what time it is, but to remind me that time has not stopped for anyone and won’t move backwards for nobody, only forwards with it perfect rhythm.

But with New Years and time comes questions of what does the future hold for us, for me, and for this book. What will happen when time runs out on the clock and we will be so far from our goal? What will tomorrow look like when we start a new year? And what will happen to everything we have been fighting for when this year ends? A lot of these questions we will keep asking every year and some we will find answers to someday. But what I can tell you about the book is that we will let the time run out on our campaign. Who knows what can still happen. So many amazing things happen in the last few seconds of something big, so it may just happen for us. But if not we will figure it out, like we always do.

During my time home we talked about what will happen to A Year Of Adventure, My Dear. What we could do, what we are willing to do, and what could be best. We talk about what it would look like to just put it up online and if someone really wants one they can buy one and there would be no profit to be made or well to be built. Still while I was home, I had the chance to hang out with someone I truly look up to and hold in high regard. He is a smart man that has never steered me wrong, and while we were sitting at one of my favorite restaurants, he said that he thinks that this is not over yet, that there is still much more left to this story and Sarah’s work is to good to just stop here. And truthfully I think he is right. I think we have come to far to not try something else and see if we can get published, or a large platform to help get Sarah’s last work out there.

So before we make any final decisions on what we will do, and before Fin is written I think 2015 will be the year were we find the perfect ending to this long story. Thanks you for reading, for hoping, and supporting.

Happy New Year My Dear Friends

It All Comes Down To 30 Days

It been a while since I have written. Mostly because of the the business that the Christmas season brings and mainly because I don’t know what to say. I have had so many thoughts on what has been going on with the project. With where we are, where I want to be, and what the reality could be in only 12 days left. I started feeling the air being let out of my sails, things to slow down, and a drift lately. I normally don’t go back and read what I write on this site. Once I hit publish I let it go and don’t come back to it. Still I found myself looking through what I had written. It’s a good reminder of how far this all has come, still I have learned that I hate re-reading my writing, but that a different talk on its own.

The reality now is that we have 12 days left and only $6,845 of the $30,000 we need. I want to stay positive. I want to put my hope in that some how we will get there. That by some miracle, we will reach a number that at this moment seems so far away.  It’s like that movie seen when the Door is closing and the hero is running towards it to get away from whoever is chasing him and it looks as if he is not going to make it, but by some amazing feat he barely makes it and the door closes and he takes a deep breath aver getting through. Thats what I am hoping for. I am hoping that we are running to our goal and right as it comes to a close we will reach that goal and we will take a deep breath and know that we made it,

we made it.

Still it kills me that these past two years comes down to these 30 days and now I only have 12 of them left. 30 days, thats what it comes down to. If you really think of it; all of the work that has been done, all the long days and nights, traveling, and the emotional ups and downs for two years come down to these 30 days. These numbers of money and books that need to be sold. Still, if I have learned anything, one of the lessons I have learned in life is that you have to hold on to hope as long as you can. So it looks as if that is what I will have to do. Hold on to the hope that we can do this! Still thank you for your support, love, and being such a large part of this story.

 

 

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/a-year-of-adventures-my-dear

 

 

Two Ways This Can Go.

          Ok, so here is the reality. I found myself getting all teared up while looking at all the names of people that have donated to this book and well. Names I don’t even know, people I have never met and it make me so thankful. It makes me see that we can make a difference in the wold, we can make something so tragic and horrible into something that can make some senses and good in this world. It just makes me just think how lucky I am that we have made it this far. But I hope that we can go much further so that we can reach this goal of $30,000. Which seems like a lot, but really we only need to sell 1,000 book. ONLY 1,000 books. Which does not seem that bad. But we are not there yet, which seems like we will never make it there. Like a long road trip and all you can do is ask the question, “are we there yet.”
         I am even going to be even more honest with you. This campaign keeps me up at night with thoughts of what else can we do for support, who have I not connected with that could and will help, what will happen if we don’t reach the $30,000, and what will I say to everyone one if we don’t get there. Its these things scare me. These things that keep me up, because I so badly want to reach this goal and for Sarah’s last work to be seen, to build a well that gives life just as Sarah did to her friends and family. I want this so badly. But on the other hand I have been thinking when we do get to this goal, what will life be like when its all said and done. What will fin look like, and what will I say for one final post. There is only two ways these will end and its time to think about how it will go.
       So if I can ask again, please help us. I hope that it will end with a post called fin, a book in your hand, and a well that gives clean water to people in need. So please help spread the word, help by getting a book or donating something to this cause and lets make something beautiful when so many of us have see some really ugly sides of life because of this tragedy. Lets make this story have a beautiful ending.