Thursday, March 8, 2007

Besos y abrazos al aire (Flying Hugs and Kisses) Gets Selected

Current studies continue to indicate that Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) to be a leading cause of deaths for over 2,100 infants during the first year of life in the United States. It is neither preventable or predictable. As collaborative projects, continue throughout the United States medical research arenas searching to uncover the mystery of SIDS and affect positive outcomes for families, it becomes even more vital for professionals and families to come together, to not only support each other, but also to learn more about this silent unpredictable killer of babies.

It is my hope when SIDS silently strikes; we never forget there are siblings who enter the grief process with their parents and extended family members. Sometimes the grief and loss experience is too overwhelming and scary for parents to explain or give accurate information to their children of what happened to their baby brother or sister.

I wrote Flying Hugs and Kisses to help explain in simple terms what happens when someone dies, what children may think and feel when they experience the loss of a baby brother or sister; and most importantly, to explain that there is life after death.

My book is for children who are able to comprehend written material concepts with the goal in mind, to provide a resourceful tool that would help parents and professionals help children develop healthy attitudes about grief and loss.

Last year, 2006 it was translated into Spanish by a gifted and gracious translator, Lucero Tenorio-Gavin.

It is my pleasure to announce the National SIDS/Infant Death Resource Center has selected Flying Hugs and Kisses' Spanish Language edition, Besos y abrazos al aire, (Lifevest Publishing. 2006) as a resource for grieving parents, their families, friends, and other caregivers. The English version was selected last fall.

Besos y abrazos al aire trata de cinco niños estadounidenses que asumen creativamente papeles de apoyo mutuo, mientras expresan sus propios sentimientos por la muerte de su hermano bebé. Esta sentida historia de duelo y recuperación es un gran recurso para ser usado por padres de familia para ayudar a sus hijos a entender y afirmar su experiencia en la pérdida de un hermano o hermana.
English translation: Flying Hugs and Kisses is about five children who creatively take on roles of support toward each other while showing their individual feelings about the death of their baby brother. This sensitive story of grief recovery is a great resource for parents to use to help their children understand and affirm their experience of the loss of a brother or sister.

Until researchers find a way to predict and prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), may Flying Hugs and Kisses help children and their families heal from their grief and loss.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

The Case of the Mystery Bean

While looking at the purple striped dried beans my dad gave to me one summer, I thought, “I have no idea how to cook these beans! What should I do with these beans?”

Dad has since passed away. My dad loved entertaining his grown children with gardening puzzles. He grew the beans one summer as a joke to his adult children. Looking back, I remember my dad stating as he dropped a few beans into my hand, “I bet you do not know what these are.” Looking intently at his new find, I replied, “Nope, sure don't, what are they?” He replied with a gleam in his eye and a sheepish grin on his face,” beans! Do you want to take some home with you?" “Sure Dad”, I would answer. “So tell me what kind of bean are they?” Dad laughingly replied, “Italian beans!” “How do you cook them?” I asked.

Dad would not say much more about the new bean, until I had asked me several times to give me another clue. I would look to my sisters to give me some kind of clue, they would gesture with their arms raised up in the air, and the palms of their hands turned up with a dumb founded look on their faces. I knew then they would not be much help. It was a fun conversational game to play with Dad.

However, on this particular summer, I did not ever get an answer from either one of my parents about how to cook the beans. I now have a jar of dried Italian beans sitting on my kitchen shelf that reminds me from time to time, there is a mystery to solve, how to cook the Italian beans. Yes, the last joke is played on me! I bet my parents are looking down from heaven laughing about the fact that I still have those BEANS! I still do not know how to cook them. Perhaps I will never know because they remind me of my dad’s last joke he played on me.

So, Dad if you are looking down from heaven take notice, I admit the last joke was played on me, thanks Dad for the memories.