Saturday, October 1, 2016

"Ordinary World" is Free on Kindle Today

For today only, Ordinary World is free on Kindle.

When I considered revising and publishing a second edition of the book, I made a promise to myself that I would always give it away for free on October 1st, which is the anniversary of my cousin Cheri's death. She was the girl who inspired the story.

So today I remember the real girl behind the tale, whose life was tragically cut short at the age of 14, and I offer you the fictional story that I wrote in an attempt to keep her memory alive.

But the Sherrie in Ordinary World is not the same Cheri I knew in real life. I think Sherrie is more like me. I hadn't spent time with Cheri in a while before she died; she was 5 years older than me and our parents didn't like each other, so our childhood friendship ended long before her life sadly did.

My family ran into her at our grandparents' house about a month before she died. I remember she looked older. I thought she was so pretty. I wanted to be like her when I grew up.
She said "hi" and smiled at us, but we had to leave before anything else could be said.
That was the last time I ever saw her. Even now, 23 years later, remembering it makes me sad.

October 1st is always a sad day for me. Other family members have passed away since then, and their anniversaries come and go, and I may or may not remember them. But this day has always stuck out, perhaps because Cheri was the first young person I knew who died. She was not much older than me. When I was little, she was my friend.

I didn't get to go to her funeral, a fact that I still regret to this day. I never really got to say goodbye. I suppose, in a way, writing Ordinary World was my way of finding closure.
But now I know that even when our loved ones leave us, we don't really say goodbye. Our love for them, our memories of them still live on.

So here's to Cheri, and to Sherrie, and to finding peace.


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