Sneak peek at my new book – “The story she had to tell” – A novel



Her eyes opened slowly.  She was lying in her bed, under the warmest of covers, with lots of soft pillows around her and under her head.  The room was peacefully decorated, pale green walls, like the color of pistachio ice cream.  There were light flowing curtains, the colors of which complemented the room.  A window above her head looked out into the back yard.  A large oak took up most of the view.

She had been blissfully sleeping until the sunlight poured into her room, flooding the bed and her face with a warm glow.  Being awake or being asleep was practically the same for her.  She rarely left her bed anymore.  She was dying, at least it felt to her that way.  This was not something to feel badly about, you see Madeleine had turned 85 on her last birthday.  Hardly an age where anyone would say “Such a shame!  She was gone before her time!”

Madeleine had lived a long and very colorful life with many adventures.  Her life had brought her both tragedy and triumph, and all sorts of things in between.  You know, your typical human story, or not.  Madeleine’s life was definitely of the “or not” kind.

As she lay there, a smile crept over her face.  “I have had a good, long life,” she thought to herself.  “It is time to move on to the next adventure.”  And then she began looking back over her life as it unfolded before her.  She had so many stories to tell.  Maybe she should tell them to someone who could put them down on paper?  It was a unique life, one that people would surely be interested in.  But who could she get to tell the story?

She began thinking about who would be up for the task.  After all, she had lived almost a century.  How much of this life was worth writing about?  She had a friend, a much younger friend, who was a writer.  If she had the time, maybe her friend could do this.  Of course she would have to be paid for her time.  That would not be a problem.  Madeleine had not spent much of her money over the last several years.  She had enough saved up to pay for several ghost writers, let alone just one.  The decision had been made.  She would call her friend Heidi and ask her if she had the time and the interest to tell the story of Madeleine’s life.  And that is exactly what she did on this very day when the sun had awakened her from her blissful sleep.

“Heidi, this is Madeleine.  I have a favor to ask of you.”  “Of course,”, her friend answered.  “What do you want?  Do you need me to come see you?”  Heidi did not live in the same town, or even the same state, but she was not so far away that she couldn’t come see her friend on short notice.  “Well,” said Madeleine, “Here’s the thing.  You know I have no idea how much longer I will be around.  I think back on my life and I have had some very interesting adventures.  It might be a good idea to write a book about them.  I would like to tell my story.  Would you be interested in taking it down for me?  Even with glasses my eyes don’t work the way they used to.  Maybe you could record it and then turn it into a book?  You could stay here at the house with me, or go back and forth every week or so.  I would take care of all of your expenses, plus pay you for your time.  What do you think?  Do you have time to do this for me? Does it sound like something you might want to do?”   Heidi took a moment to think about it.  What did she have going on in her life right now?  She had lived on her own since her husband passed away a few years before.  She had struggled since then with what to do with her life.  Her children were grown with busy lives of their own.  She saw them regularly but it was not enough to fill a life.  She volunteered at the local animal shelter, but that was only twice a week.  She had not written anything since her husband died.  She had lost all motivation.  This opportunity ignited something inside of her that felt right.  It would be fun to spend time with an old friend, have a change of scenery and write again,  write again.  Maybe this was just what she needed to feel invigorated, to feel needed.  Why not?  “I’ll do it!” she said.  “When do we start?”

Madeleine was thrilled.  “That’s wonderful!” she said.  “This will be great fun.  I am so happy that you said ‘yes’.  It means a lot to me, Heidi.  When can you come down?”  “How about Friday afternoon?  I will take a cab from the airport, so don’t worry about that.  I could be at your house by early evening.  We can order in and start making a plan.”  “Terrific”, replied Madeleine.   As each of them hung up the phone they both felt a warmth in their hearts that had until recently been absent.  Madeleine’s eyes filled with tears.  “This was a good idea, she thought.  Now I can tell the story of my life so that even people who do not know me will know about me and the wonderful life I have lived.  “A life lived well, I would say.”

And that is how it all began.  It started with the idea of a dying woman with a desire to tell her story.



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