I’m excited about telling the story of The Rose and sharing the tales of the many people and events that made up her history. I only hope and pray I’ve done her justice.
Some people call this a labor of love and it was and it wasn’t. Two years of daily writing, reworking timelines and building the stories meant a lot of early mornings and a lot of rewrites. Monthly visits with Max, my creative editor, moved me forward, sometimes so slowly that I was frustrated beyond belief and ready to call it quits. Yet, one page at a time, the journey continued. At one point the book was over 190,000 words long, consuming some 450 pages. Editing it down to its current size of 108,000 words involved leaving behind many of the stories I cherished with the hope that there will be another book or another time to tell them.
Hoping that I’ve been both fair and respectful while allowing the public an intimate look at the making and growing of a nonprofit was at times a daunting responsibility. I loved writing this book. I loved thinking about the people and trying to capture even the smallest essence of each of them on paper. I loved walking the halls of the past and embracing the dreams we all shared. Mixed between the many trips down memory lane were moments of laughter at our incredible naivety, stunned new appreciation at our fearless courage and heavy dark moments of sorrow over the loss of people and time.
Since the Saturday morning when I hit that ‘Publish Now’ button on my keyboard, I’ve fought off the daily demons of worry, wondering if my writing skills were up to the task of telling the story of The Rose
Every living person and thing has a story; few ever have the opportunity to tell theirs. The idea that somehow in this strange cycle of life, I was trusted with telling this story is pretty incredible to me. And, skilled or not, I’m the last person still living to tell the entire story. I wrote this book, knowing my abilities are far from adequate to fully tell her story. I wrote it anyway because I wanted so much to be sure The Rose’s history was recorded, and the people and places were not lost to obscurity.
I wrote this book hoping that with each word, her story will be remembered and retold with great love.