by Michael D. Lynes
Five-year-old Christopher Aaron has always been a whirlwind of heroic action, leading his brothers into all sorts of youthful mischief. A mysterious illness suddenly plunges him and his family into a frightening nightmare of hospitals and doctors and extreme therapies far from his small-town home. Can his doctors diagnose his strange disease? How will he and his family adapt to a bizarre new world they have been thrust into?
“This book gave me chills and made me weep. Having a chance at closure, forgiveness, and unconditional love through the life and story of another is something that supports the strength in us all.”
“The author managed to eloquently mix the lows and highs.”
“He created a masterpiece out of circumstances that had to be difficult to put on paper. He shared the journey with honesty, but he handled it in such a way that what could have been too painful to read was a thing of beauty.”
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CIR: What inspired this book?
LYNES: The life and the death of my son Christopher Aaron…but to say it like that is to encapsulate a twenty year effort in a scant decade of words. Almost three years ago I first sat down in front of my computer in my office, driven to somehow find a way to honor the memory and life of my son Christopher Aaron. I thought I would write a few words, something to try and capture some of the memories, some of his spirit, before they became too far removed from memory and distorted by time. As I sat there, blank page before me, paralyzed by my own doubt, my own fear….it was Chris, clear and sharp and powerful, who appeared in my mind’s eye. I realized that he wanted his story told, that it needed to be out there. I nodded my head, silently signing my unspoken contract… There were many false starts, and many, many days when I laid aside my task, exhausted by the anguish and emptied of tears. Despite all, the promise I made to Chris and to myself that day drove me onward.
CIR: What was the hardest part of writing this story?
LYNES: As this was Christopher’s memoir, it was very emotional to write and very draining. I also had trouble making edits and doing the many re-writes and proof-reads that any good work requires. Some days I would be up nearly all night – re-reading and revising a specific chapter or set of paragraphs. Getting the timeline right and the consistency of the narrative flow was also a challenge.
CIR: What do you hope your readers will get out of this book?
LYNES: There is a message of hope, healing and forgiveness in Christopher’s story. It is the story of a boy coming to young manhood in the most difficult of circumstances. He has to face what we all fear, death, and he has to face it before in some ways he has even begun to live… I wrote this story in many ways for myself, for selfish reasons, but as I wrote it, it became far more than a simple story of a boy fighting a deadly disease. Chris’s story becomes that of an Everyman, an unlikely hero, thrust into extraordinary circumstances thru no choice of his own, forced to grow and find new strengths and powers within himself even as his challenges grow ever more difficult.