My parents started to look for glass rocks while they were dating and after my sister and I joined the family, the tradition continued. "When the Waves Subside" represents the similarities between broken glass and the parent grieving the loss of their child.
My sister, Heidi Allen, kidnapped on Easter Sunday, April 3, 1994, left a forever hole in my parents' hearts. As they looked in the mirror after more than a decade they only say how much they aged. Regardless of how much I tried to encourage them, they only saw the sped-up aging process. What I saw was strength, determination, and beauty.
We aren't a mushy family so instead of shedding tears and still not coming up with the write words to express encouraging words, I went to my pen and paper. I wrote a poem . As I set the poem aside for the night, "to sleep on it", I awoke in the wee hours of the morning with an idea. I developed the poem into this book. An artist I am not, but I do enjoy taking pictures and do a decent job with it.
My idea was to take pictures, use my photo program, and turn them into pencil drawings or a watercolor. The pencil drawings came out the best. A tidbit many don't know is that the pictures in the book are of my daughter and our foreign exchange, French, daughter. I messaged her parents to explain what I'd like to do and sent them the poem. I asked their permission to use the photos. You can't tell who the kids are but I still wanted them to know. They were honored and looked forward to seeing the book.(I sent them one of the first proof books, then a few copies of the book after its release)
My parents were gifted this book for Christmas in 2012. It was still in the publication phase so it was the initial proof, held together in a binder because the publisher's proof hadn't arrived yet. I still remember my parents opening the box and they were silent. They read it together, more silence. neither of them spoke. I'll be honest, I was nervous. I wasn't sure if the lack of words was good or bad. When I couldn't take it any more I asked, "Well?"
My Mom looked up with tears in her eyes. Dad stood up and said, "I need more coffee" but I noticed dampness in his eyes. It was a proud moment to know they finally understood the strength and beauty I saw in them. No more words were needed.
This book was published but not with an intent to be available to the public. Once the proofing process was complete and the book arrived, my parents started to share the book with their friends. I remember coming home from school and Mom asking me if I would be interested in selling the book. I shrugged my shoulders, "I don't care. It's yours and Dad's book. It's up to you."
I made the available for purchase on Amazon and order 20 copies to have on hand. Within a month, almost 100 copies sold. I was amazed, humbled, and blessed. My gift of encouragement to my parents in the form of a book is now a blessing for other parents who have lost a child. This is something I didn't expect and thank God for. I pray this book of hope encourages grieving parents for generations to come. A special thanks to my parents for sharing the book in those initial days, because of them, you know about the book today.