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Real Life Diaries
When I was a kid, I wanted to be a doctor. A brain surgeon to be exact. But life has a way of throwing us curve balls that force us down a different path. Sometimes those paths are most welcome, like mothering four wonderful children. My least favorite path? Losing a child. That path is a long and torturous one, and took me straight through the belly of hell.
My story began one night in 2007, when I had a vivid dream. I was the front passenger in a car and my daughter Aly was sitting behind the driver. Suddenly the car missed a curve in the road and sailed into a lake. The driver and I escaped the sinking car, but Aly did not. My beloved daughter was gone. The only evidence left behind was a book floating in the water where she disappeared.
Two years later, on August 5, 2009, that horrible nightmare became reality when Aly died as a back seat passenger in a car accident. Returning home from a swim meet, the car carrying Aly was T-boned by a father coming home from work. My beautiful fifteen-year-old daughter took the brunt of the impact and died instantly. She was the only fatality.
Where am I today?
Once a bereaved mother, always a bereaved mother. My heart is a bit like a broken teacup that has been glued back together. All the pieces are there, but they might not fit as seamlessly as they once did. Some days the glue is strong and unyielding. Other days that glue is wet, and threatens to spring a leak. Nonetheless, that teacup still holds water. Well, mostly coffee. Strong coffee.
Life can sometimes throw a really mean curveball that blindsides even the strongest. It’s important to hold out hope that the sun can be found at the end of the path. But until you find it, it’s comforting to know you aren’t alone. And that is what my mission all about.
For the record, I have found the sun. Some days I marvel at its beauty. Other days it hides behind clouds. But I now know those days don’t last forever. And my umbrella is much stronger than it used to be.
Helen Keller once said, “Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.” If you too are looking for the sun, visit our village for a hug and stay for the friendship. That’s why we're here—to offer you a seat in our life raft until the storm passes, and the sun begins to shine once again.
I'll even let you borrow my umbrella.
Considered a pioneer in the field of inspirational hope, Lynda Cheldelin Fell is the creator of the award-winning book series Grief Diaries and Real Life Diaries. Harnessing the power of storytelling as a useful healing modality, Lynda curates stories through interviews on radio, film, and in her award-winning book series. Inspired by people's journeys, her repertoire of interviews includes Dr. Martin Luther King’s daughter, Trayvon Martin’s mother, sisters of the late Nicole Brown Simpson, Pastor Todd Burpo of Heaven Is For Real and other societal newsmakers on finding healing and hope in the aftermath of life’s harshest challenges.
Lynda Cheldelin Fell
MY STORY AND HOW I FOUND A STRONGER UMBRELLA
Lynda created Grief Diaries book series in 2015, and over 100 people contributed to the first 8 titles in December 2015. Within 12 months the series included 23 titles and earned four national literary awards. The growing popularity gave birth to Real Life Diaries, a series dedicated to raising awareness about life challenges. To date over 600 writers in 11 countries have contributed to the award-winning book series Grief Diaries and Real Life Diaries.