Hello my lovely loves,
Another post! And so soon! I don't know, it feels like so much is happening at the moment that I need to keep you updated regularly or risk writing a post the length of the Odyssey if I try to save it up!
This is another one of my completed secret project announcements though, so it's been on the back burner for a long time.
You may remember that last year, at the beginning of my "You Don't Look Sick" post, I talked about a friend of mine called Nicky Boardman, who blogged about his battle with cancer in the amazing blog Too Upbeat For Cancer.
You may also remember that he sadly lost that battle. All my friends that knew him were pretty cut up about it, and it was particularly heartbreaking knowing that his wife, Kerry, and his young son, Ethan, were left without him.
I kept thinking about all the great memories we had of Nicky that Ethan wouldn't know about and I had a thought. We should find a way to give Ethan these memories.
I spoke about it with my good friend Dale, and he took my little idea and made it into a rather big idea. He said we should make Ethan a book; a book full of Nicky, so that whenever he missed him he could take out the book and look and remember.
So that's what we did.
It's taken over a year to complete it. We created an email address to gather the stories and pictures, and then I (very) slowly created illustrations for the stories, with more as backgrounds and embellishments. It's all themed around the Avengers, as Nicky was a massive fan of all things Marvel (plus, he was a bit of a superhero himself).
Dale did the lion's share of the formatting and looked into printers and papers and bindings and prices. Once we'd found a place to make it we collected money from all the contributors and a few more who'd heard about what we were doing.
We had enough for a book each for Kerry and Ethan and even enough left over for a donation to one of the many charities Kerry fundraises for in Nicky's name.
We got Nicky's brother involved so he and his family could give our gift to Ethan and Kerry and support them if they needed it.
And last week... Kerry and Ethan finally got their books. And we couldn't be prouder.
Thank you, so much, to everyone who contributed, particularly Dale for all his hard work.
I know you were all happy to do it, even if it was hard to put your own grief aside to do so, and we couldn't have done it without you.
You've done something amazing. And you know what? So have we.
If you want to see more of the illustrations head on over to my illustration blog, here. To support Kerry's sunshine walk, head here.