Sadly Beautiful

I am pleased to announce that today, Sadly Beautiful is available from Leaf Garden Press. Sadly Beautiful is a collection of poems and essays inspired by my sister, Abby Cashman. For years she suffered from Ulcerative Colitis and passed away due to complications from that disease at the young age of 36, way too early. 

One night last year, I was sitting at my computer rereading and sorting through all of the pieces that I had written about Abby and her battle with Ulcerative Colitis. I started putting those writings into chronological order. I also included some of her poems, so you get to hear her voice, too. Anyway, once everything was lined up, I strung all of the pieces together with notes explaining what had been happening at the time the poem or essay was written, kind of like liner notes between the lyrics on an album, and the result is this little collection titled, Sadly Beautiful.
Below is a letter that precedes the collection in the book. It may explain it all a little better: 

Dear Abby,

            It took me over three years to get to the point where I could read anything I wrote about you, but I did it. I recently sorted through those writings (some of them are nearly seven years old). I hope you know that outside of my wife and my children, I would be hard pressed to find another being on this planet who has touched and shaped my life as much as you did in your too short thirty-six years on this Earth. And even after you’ve passed, dealing with your death has greatly impacted who I am and who I want to become.

As I sorted through my files, I was amazed at how much I had actually documented in one way or another. I was amazed at how much I either wrote directly about you in poems and essays, or how your battle with Ulcerative Colitis and the loss surrounding that battle affected my fiction.

I was also saddened by how much I missed in my writings. You were such a beautiful soul. In no way do these jottings cover everything you went through, and no way do they even begin to encompass who you were. I’m so sorry for that. I also apologize for not attempting to give you the collection you deserve; I don’t have the emotional energy to attempt that task. It’s daunting.

This is simply a collection of poems, fiction, and essays that I wrote to cope with what was happening to you at that time, at that moment. It was my attempt to wrap my head around what was transpiring.

Maybe by putting this together it will give those who knew you a taste of what you had to go through during the last few, rough years of your life. You would be surprised at how many people have contacted me through facebook saying something like, I just heard, or I just found out... Some of these messages are from people who I never knew, and the gist of our conversations/messages were always about how you helped them, or they looked up to you, or what a beautiful spirit you had. I know you know; I believe you see it all from beyond.

Anyway, I hope these writings paint, at the very least with broad strokes, a picture of what you went through, and through this collection maybe others can see who you were, too.


Please check the book out: Leaf Garden Press or Amazon