For my sister, my mother, my readers
Often I am asked, of all the books I’ve written, which one is my favorite?
I Will Dance is not exactly my favorite but the one that makes me cry the most, happy tears mixed with memories and wonderings.
Just before Valentine’s Day, my sister, Peggy, was crossing the road in front of our house and was hit by a car. She died in my mother’s arms on the way to the hospital.
She was five and I was seven. My sister loved to dance. She never walked across a room. She leaped and pirouetted, swirled and twirled.
When my little sister died, one question stayed stuck in my head, a question I ached to ask my mother but I was afraid to ask. I didn’t want to make her cry. Finally, one afternoon when Mom was driving me to tap-dance class, my heart was hurting. My sister was not sitting next to me in the back seat. She always sat there. Every Wednesday on our way to and from dancing class. Of course, we both had our silent ways of torturing each other in the back seat.
Mom stopped the car in front of the dance studio. I blurted out, “Can Peggy dance in heaven?”
My mother and I cried. Together. The first time.
Many years later at a dance studio in Minneapolis, I watched a young girl in her powered wheelchair dance across a stage. Her smile, her face, was radiant. She was dancing! I thought, Peggy, this book is for you.
Walking Grandma Home, my most recent picture book, was written for my Mom and all children experiencing loss. I wrote Walking Grandma Home soon after Mom died when I experienced that everyone in a family has an important part of helping walk their own loved one home.
And to each and every reader. Thank you for taking time to stop by my posts. I enjoy our connection and sharing thoughts with you. I write from my heart and your presence and interest always, in turn, touch my heart.
May we continue to share a new year of good work, good books, and many moments of hope, laughter, and friendship.
Nancy Bo Flood