I stand to read. As I look out, the room is lined with various people: work colleagues, clients, choir members, my dentist, and a few strangers who perhaps responded to the Charleston City Paper advertisement or walked in off the street. I am grateful for all who gather in this circle, but I won’t lie. I feel a bit exposed reading my own words aloud. I wonder what this book will mean to those out in the world. Those I will never meet.
As I continue sharing, I take my responsibility seriously. I must care for this young book giving it every opportunity to reach those who need it most. As I hear my story, my words seem foreign. Often hard to believe they came from me. Quiet, except for my own inflections, all my guests are listening intently. Afterward, an intimate round of questioning begins. Sipping pink lemonade and grazing on chocolate cookies, my guests gather around my table to have their book personalized.
Greg tears up in a rare display of emotion as I sign books. I imagine it comes from seeing our own story expressed in a local Charleston bookstore. As I gaze at Greg, his face beams with pride and satisfaction. I nod my head.
What a full night it’s been. When I arrived a few hours ago to set up, I was greeted with copies of my book displayed across the window sill and my author poster inviting all who pass. Stacks of A House With Holes fill a table as I entered the bookshop. I was overcome with feelings about all that has transpired to see this day come to fruition. I push back my feelings to keep me from blubbering through the evening.
How quickly the evening passed. This time has been a sacrifice for both of us. As hard as this renovation has been, we are still being changed. As we pack the car, Greg shares with me how exciting to know we are so near done. Tonight, we can celebrate being on the other side.