Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Gift of Hope

No one ever says I want to grow up to write a book about grief.  But life has a way of throwing us a curve ball, and then handing us a mitt.  A few months ago I was invited to co-author a book featuring women from around the world who have all faced and endured a traumatic challenge.  Our task was to write about our difficulty and then offer a lesson to help others who are facing the same challenge.  It is touching for me to share with you that our book, The Missing Piece:  A Transformational Journey, was released in print today on Amazon.

It truly is an honor to be part of such a collection of tender stories.  One chapter is written by a woman who found herself completely bald by age nine, resulting in relentless bullying.  Others wrote about enduring physical abuse, verbal abuse, addiction, and loss.  But what makes this book so unique is that the authors share not only their personal struggles, but also how that struggle resulted in an unexpected blessing.

Jazzy is home from the NICU!
While being a published author is one of my own silver linings, this book means much more to me than seeing my name in print.  You see, one of the chapters in the book is authored by my little sister, Stacy Roorda.  Seven years ago, she was a happy, healthy wife and mother of two adorable little girls when, at age 37, she visited her doctor for aching in her arm.  The resulting diagnosis was shocking:  stage four breast cancer with metastases to the bone.  

An aggressive treatment plan was immediately established but quickly halted when lab
Jazzy, a happy healthy infant.
work yielded another surprise:  she was pregnant with her third child.  The panel of doctors stood firm, and the ultimatum was cruel.  My sister was unanimously advised to abort the baby immediately to save her own life.  Despite pressure from family, friends, and the best oncologists in the state, my sister couldn’t bring herself to do it.  

Her chapter, called “Pregnant with Cancer,” is a naked and honest portrayal of finding courage and holding steadfast in one’s faith while challenging medical advice meant to save her life. 

Despite all the pretty lights and glittery packages, the holidays can be a time of struggle
for so many.  But my sister’s story, along with all the others in The Missing Piece, encourage us to never give up despite the harshest of circumstances.  And no matter how you package it, the gift of hope is the most precious of them all. 

The Missing Piece:  A Transformational Journey, compiled by Kate Gardner and co-authored by 27 remarkable women from around the world.  Now available at  Happy holidays to us all.

Lynda Cheldelin Fell