This time two years ago I was in neuro ICU just starting a comeback after an arteriovenous malformation (my brain blew up one night) started to leak blood into my cerebellum.
Prayers from thousands.
America. Middle East. Ireland. The Vatican.
Lights. Popping. Everywhere.
Uncle Tommy lighting up the room again.
Well ... yesterday, I was handed my finished memoir - "Burst" - as a matter of fact, I was handed 150 of them - at a book signing the nice folks at the National Shrine arranged for me. Seated next to rock star Pro-Life padre Fr. Frank Pavone, I signed 80 or so books for family, friends, strangers and new friends who were in town for today's Pro-Life March. The store manager, Lee, said "we sold way more copies of your book than we thought we would. We were surprised."
It was the first time I saw my book. It was wonderfully put together by my publisher, Servant Books.
It was rather embarrassing signing my name on my memoir, but the promotions director from Servant has encouraged me to set up as many of these book signings, readings and radio and TV interviews as I'm able. "If you believe in your message in Burst - spread it. Everywhere," he said.
And I do believe in the message: God speaks to us in our sufferings, perhaps more so than at any other time. And it is in embracing our crosses, no matter how large, that we will eventually find peace. God's postcards from heaven sometime land on us like manhole covers. Ironically, though, it's because he loves us. Ferociously. He just wants to be in better alignment with his will for us.
Six people have told me they finished the book. Each has told me they cried and laughed. Three people said they picked it up and didn't put it down until it ended. I asked why they were lying. And they said they weren't lying. Man.
Drawing emotion is a good thing. That's what I was taught early on in writing classes.
God bless. Time to say prayers with Gabby, Sean and Shannon - we'll pray for all those unborn kiddies, among other things. Amen.