This is fan letter friday. All the time I see nice, special, kind and good authors on twitter, facebook, their own blog, etc. that I make friends with or follow on accident and I adore them. I like them as more than authors. I like them as people. So, I decided, since I don't have time to review every single book these people have written, I'm going to write to them. I am going to flaunt my love for them all over the internet and hopefully brighten their day. I am going to sound, insane, rambly and possibly like a stalker, but that's just part of the fun right?
|image taken from google.com|
Dear Lurlene McDaniel, (Author of A Rose for Melinda, Goodbye Doesn't Mean Forever, The Girl Death Left Behind and many, many more.)
A Rose for Melinda is one of my favorite books of all time. (It was the favorite for a number of years.) I'm a person who typically reads a book and moves on. I very rarely, if ever, reread a book I've already done. I've read A Rose for Melinda at the very least, five times. I'm sure it's probably more than that, but it's five that I remember. Jesse and Melinda were just... they were a part of me. I grew up with them and loved them like friends. I still reread the scene where Jesse gives Melinda a promise ring whenever I feel down.
I also used to read The Girl Death Left Behind (one of my favorites of your books), How Do I love Thee?, Goodbye Doesn't Mean Forever, Angels Watching Over Me and Reach for Tomorrow. I swear, from the time I was like 8 to 12 your books were all I would look for in the library. I admit most of them were so sad I had to cry and stop reading them, but I would always go back and finish. I guess because even though the novels were extremely depressing and mainly about cancer, they helped me. It made me... familiar with death, made me appreciate life and the kindness in people so much more than I did.
In 2005, exactly six years ago, my grandfather died. It was and so far has been the most difficult thing I've ever had to go through. I reread Melinda at that time because...it helped. It was a little less horrible and a little less sad if I got to read about Jesse and Melinda and how much they loved each other. (My grandfather had had cancer, but I don't think that's what killed him.)
I lost my copy of A Rose for Melinda about 2 years ago. I had the biggest tantrum/meltdown of my entire life looking for it. I turned my house inside out and tore everything apart looking for it. When I still didn't find it, I sat down cried, sobbing, because it felt like I'd lost my best friend. The second I got money, I went to the bookstore and bought a new copy of Melinda. It still doesn't feel the same as my original copy, but I love it all the same.
I know it's been many, many years since you wrote the books I read, however I still felt the need to tell you how it affected me. Franz Kafka once said, "We need the books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us." A Rose for Melinda was always that book for me, and as scary or weird as that description makes it sounds, it was exactly what I needed at the time.
So, thank you for writing your books, especially A Rose for Melinda. It really helped me.