By Rebecca Yee
One year ago today, I had to say goodbye to my baby girl, my Pookie. As I sit here writing this through tears, I can only think that I am blessed to have had her in my life. She taught me so much about love and life.
If you ever had a chance to meet Pookie in person, you will know how much she loved people. She taught me the true meaning of unconditional love. In my opinion, love is the foundation of life. Love keeps you going when everything else seems to knock you down. Love can turn a bad day into a great day. She was that for me. Some people know, that 17 years ago, I was married to an emotionally abusive, sometimes physically abusive husband. Six months into that marriage, we rescued Pookie. She became my escape. She loved me. She didn't hurt me. She was always happy to see me. That marriage ended in divorce 5 years later, but Pookie stayed by my side and helped me heal.
We were together through 7 moves across several states BEFORE we started traveling full time. When Eric and I started dating, she took him in without fail. She loved him. We were a pack. Then we rescued Thor. It was so good for her. She loved him too. She finally had a little brother she could pick on and play with. (Thor doesn't look too happy in this picture having to share the toys, LOL)
Pookie had an amazing spirit. She was so carefree. Something I often envy. So when I decided at 30 years old to start writing children's books, who else would I use as inspiration. She would go into schools and libraries with me to read to kids.
With the stories I would tell, the kids always asked me if it was real. What do you say to that? I always told them they were real stories with a twist of imagination. I always imagined what Pookie would say in different situations. My favorite part about sharing my author journey with Pookie, was seeing all the smiles she brought to the faces of kids. No matter what, she gave all of the kids love.
The thing about building a company based around my girl is knowing the eventuality of the hardest part of our friendship. Giving her the ok to run across the rainbow bridge one day. That day came way too soon. She was 16.5 years old when I had to say goodbye. I knew the time was coming, so I started to write the hardest book of my life.
The thing about writing a book about something that breaks your heart is all the tears you cry. I have always illustrated my books as well, but this one had to be more special. I found an amazing illustrator who was able to bring my words to life. He made every page look like a Disney movie. I knew this book would help so many kids who were struggling with this type of loss. It is usually the first loss a child remembers in their life. So being able to bring this book to life to help kids everywhere, was all the motivation I needed.
I am happy to say, that as of today, we have sold over 1,200 copies of Over the Rainbow.
That is 1,200 kids (and adults) that Pookie has helped since May. The book has now been translated into Spanish as well, so she will help even more people.
Here are some of the pages from the book for you to see. I will end this with these and some images of Pookie through the years.
My heart is still broken. And I don't think there will ever be a time that it isn't. But I know she is helping people more now than ever.