It was 7:30pm on Friday when I started my drive back to my new “home.” The sun had already started its beautiful color show as the sun set for the night, so the moon could join me for the last half of the drive. It was an amazing drive, the sky was magnificent, and the music was soft and calming. But, that was not the best part, the best part was I was leaving my brother and sister’s from seeing the final edit of the book. I saw the final layouts, the colors, the different fonts, and artwork that brought the book to life. It was perfect. Jim did such an amazing job, and saw things that kept the book true to what Sarah would have loved. It was an amazing night just sitting with Jim, talking about the book, and the different things we loved. The different things that we felt made it perfect– different things that only he and I would get– as if Sarah, Jim, and I all had different hidden meanings brought together in this book… but no one person’s labor could be seen. The book unifies us, even if Sarah is no longer with us and I now live a few hours away. We are connected now, through this book as well.
I have not looked at the book in a while, and when we sat there, it felt like it came to life. Not because this is the final edit and a step closer to the end– to fin, but because of something I cannot tell you in words, something I cannot express. I guess you will understand soon. Still, to top it off, not only did I see it, but Jim printed off the book on large sheets of paper to make a demo print of the pages and somewhat rough book. Yes, paper and ink together making what looked to be a rough copy of the book. I finally got a trailer, a teaser, of what the book felt like. A guide to how it will feel, look, and fold; it was real and felt as if I should be dreaming. Because something this sweet, beautiful, and meaningful I felt could only come in a dream nowadays, because I am still bitter by how life can take so much from us in the most uncomfortable and awful ways.
But, this is no dream. It was real. I guess in reality this just proves me wrong, proves bitterness wrong. We maybe robbed in life from some amazing things that could have been and that were, but we only become completely lost when we stop seeing the beauty that is still around us. Like the smile of a newborn, a couple walking down an aisle after saying I do, and a stranger giving you a smile because they know life is as sweet as we make it.
Seeing this book in one of its final states was that moment that, even with the bitterness, sweetness was present. We just have to look for it, create it, and be open to it. The drive west on Friday was one of great sweetness and perfection. I drove back knowing that so much of our souls have been poured in to this book, and now I just hope and pray that we can raise the money to print the book and build a well, so that this story has a sweetness to the end that will make us all smile and be at peace with this journey.