Yesterday – March 13, 2017 – a bright light went out entirely too early.
Amy Krouse Rosenthal, author/writer/creater/maker/human extraordinaire – died of ovarian cancer.
I cried. Big, real tears. And at first I couldn’t figure out why. Because I’d never met Amy. Didn’t go out of my way to shower her with book-love. But damn if she didn’t have a huge impact on me as a human.
From the first book of hers that I read – Cookies: bite size life lessons – I was captivated. Here was someone who could explain abstract concepts and help humans lead a better life through clear metaphors and clever wit. I was sold.
I kept reading, and my appreciation deepened. Her books always delivered a clear message, applicable to children and adults alike. She challenged readers to be okay with who they are in The OK Book. To say YES to fun and life in Yes Day!. To consider different perspectives (that both could, in fact, be correct) in Duck! Rabbit!. To look past appearances and form lasting relationships in Friendshape. To make our unique mark, literally, in ! (Exclamation Mark). To think positive and be more in I Wish You More.
There are more books. These stand out. (Side note: Tom Lichtenheld, your illustrations are perfection. I wish you more peace.)
Then there is her essay. THE essay, published by the New York Times. To write so candidly, to be so honest and open (and witty!) in the face of cancer, was utterly heartbreaking. But it was true AmyKR- she explained life, from start to finish – as only she could.
From that, #loveforAmyKrouseRosenthal emerged. The sunny yellow umbrella was seen across the globe, a beacon of light to shine on during dark days, thanks to her publisher Chronicle.
I didn’t follow her online until recently (shame on me). And wow. Was I missing out. AmyKR’s Project 1-2-3 was pure brilliance. A list of three, posted by 1:23 each day. Looking back over her creations in the last weeks, I am drawn to this one:
It’s a daily reminder – literally, I see it every time I turn on my phone – to Be Present, Come Alive, Every Day.
There’s so much AmyKR to explore: TED Talks, adult memoirs, YouTube videos, blog posts…and then there are the books, of which there are still more (an apt AmyKR word). Make the most of your time here: read her words. Watch her videos. Then make the most of your time here. I will.