So many people have also asked me “What got the book quest dream moving again after being shelved for those 15 years?”

There is an intriguing explanation that involves a series of serendipitous events…

It began when I wanted to do something special to commemorate what would have been Lauren’s 25th birthday. This life mile marker made me stop to reflect back on the past 20 years. I’m sure that we have all done this. It is almost frightening to realize how quickly time has passed. How long ago it was that Lauren was alive and that my boys were little. We constantly say that we are so busy and it is true! Life is a blur and a flurry of non-stop activities, especially if you are a working mom. I am glad that I am an avid photographer because at least I have captured so many memories of these years in my photos.
Lauren Barker
I decided to chair a Fun(d)raiser Social to benefit The ARC non-profit. The ARC was a life saver to us with Lauren. It is an organization that is dedicated to serving individuals from birth through adulthood with special needs. It is a national org but we are served by the Montgomery County Chapter in Eagleville, PA. In honor of Lauren, I wanted to give back to the people who helped us and her.

When I proposed this idea to The ARC directors, I was met with open arms and hearts. At my first planning meeting at The ARC, I re-kindled two old friendships from Lauren’s time there. Connie Viens and Kate Kurtz had sadly lost each of their children too before age 5. It was amazing to re-connect with these two wonderful women and to work together on this project. I decided that this should be a commemoration not only for Lauren, but also for Connie’s daughter Alyssa and Kate’s son Bryan. Connie and Kate cried openly when I said that I wanted this event to be for all 3 of our precious children. I knew that they, like me, craved closure for their loss. We all wanted to openly celebrate our children’s short lives but forever memories. With the help of Lauren’s dedicated godmother, Debby Irons, we four, together with Scot and Charleen of The ARC, organized a fantastic and fun shindig!

The generosity of people was astonishing to me! So many people, some who had never met Lauren, but knew of our life story, offered to donate, help and participate. The event was an astounding success in every aspect. We raised a tidy sum for The ARC and everyone had a wonderful evening of camaraderie, friendship, prizes, dancing and just feel good fun! It was such a high for me in particular. I created and pulled off a successful charitable affair. This feat was a much needed boost to my self-confidence.

The euphoria of this experience was a game changer. It put the ball into motion and began this roll of the book quest journey. Suddenly my path became clear and I knew what direction that I needed to follow it. Kismet isn’t it, that my “giving back” to host this benefit, ended up giving back to me again in return?!

Invigorated, I also decided that I needed to get back into exercising. I decided to check out the yoga studio that I passed each day going to and from work. Ryah Yoga Studio in Conshohocken is a yoga paradise. I became a devoted member. With the boys away in school, I was free to practice at Ryah every evening after work. I am convinced that my daily end of day yoga practice gave me the serenity and strength to focus and to write my book so quickly.

Soon after The ARC event, I serendipitously met Nancy Ottaviano Of Winning Edge Events at a professional women’s networking event. The event itself was a business disappointment for me. As fate would have it though, along came Nancy. Nancy is a public relations specialist and a media consultant. She took an interest in my story and my desire to publish a book. She arranged for me to meet well known professional writer, Tim Vandehey, who is now my writing editor and mentor. It was remarkable that our chance encounter, at the end of a disappointing event, literally saved the day. This too was another turning point for me.

Tim suggested that I work on a social media platform for the forthcoming book. This was intimidating to me as I knew nothing about blogging, tweeting, and was not skilled in social media. A fellow Women’s Network friend of mine referred me to a business acquaintance of ours, Shannon Myers, of Walton Search, to hire for help. Shannon has been a patient and talented social media specialist who has brought me along to this point. I am grateful for our friendship and our work together. She is the creative master behind this blog site.

And so, here I am now at this point on the book quest journey and into my blog. Please stay tuned with me and follow along as the plan further unfolds.