Gayle Forman's new book, I Was Here, came out earlier this week.
As I am on a Reading/Digital Fast for 7 days and Tuesday was only the third day, I had planned on reading it this weekend when my fast is over.
Me waiting any longer to read an anxiously awaited book any longer than I have already waited?! Seriously?! I did well going one full day before I couldn't stand it anymore!
So regardless of my Reading fast, yes, I started--and finished--I WAS HERE--yesterday (one day after its official release date).
And just as I suspected, the book is amazing. Read it. Seriously.
What brings me to this blog today is the overall powerful effect Meg's and Cody's stories have in the fact that each is searching for truth in, Does Anyone Know I am Here?! Meg comes to a place where she is no longer able to face life, so she takes her own. Cody realizes that even though life is hard, life is worth living--it's worth FEELING.
One of my favorite movies is Equilibrium. It's about a futuristic Utopian society where everyone takes a drug several times a day in order to prevent them from feeling. Anyone caught feeling, is killed--no trial, no guesswork. They call it a "sense offense." Of course there is a faction of those who refuse to take the drug because they determine that FEELING is worth dying for. And it's in feeling that we know that we are truly ALIVE--that we are HERE.
As Cody searches for meaning in Meg's suicide in I Was Here, she finds that she has lived for so long in the shadow of her best friend, she has no idea what or how to feel without her best friend beside her. So her journey is one of discovering her own self--her own feelings--that she IS H.E.R.E. Meg no longer is, but she, Cody, IS. And THAT is what matters.
It is a powerful epiphany for Cody in the novel, as it is for anyone who has ever traveled that road. I know that for myself, a large part of why I feel such a desperate need to share my story is to know that I AM H.E.R.E. And that I matter. As well as the fact that each child I have lost--James Isaac, Panya Ruth, and Anna Rose--were each HERE. They lived. They may never have lived outside my womb, but for me, each one LIVED.
I felt the movements of my precious son as he grew within me. I watched as his little foot came out of my stomach or his little tushy rolled from one side of my belly to the other. I felt the pressure of his little body on my own bodily organs, especially my bladder.
With each pregnancy, I felt the changes in my body: the sore breasts, the weight gain, the nausea and morning sickness--every single day, a heightened sense of smell and touch, and the list goes on. For me, whether it was James Isaac's stillbirth or the miscarriages of Panya Ruth and Anna Rose, they LIVED. They WERE HERE. They were and ARE as much a part of my as my one living son, Samuel.
My greatest desire is not just to know that I, personally, was here and that I made a difference in someone's life, but even more that others know and remember that each of my children were here and that they made a difference in my life--and hopefully in the lives of others.
I don't feel as if I'm doing a very good job of explaining what I'm trying to say. I think that those of you who have lost loved ones will understand--at least I hope you do.