“Just look at us, all of us, quietly doing our thing and trying to matter. The earnestness is inspiring and heartbreaking at the same time.”
― Amy Krouse Rosenthal,
Upon waking up I do what I usually do first thing in the mornings, which is check my Instagram feed. I was surprised to come across a friend’s post wishing my favorite children’s author, Amy Krouse Rosenthal, family her condolences. I immediately googled her name and read in The New York Times that this beautiful spirit passed away at the young age of 51 yesterday in her home of ovarian cancer. So many thoughts rushed through my head. How can this be? And why would this magical creature be taken away so young?
You’ve probably read some or all of Amy’s children’s books, such as “Duck! Rabbit!,” “Little Pea,” “Little Oink” and “Dear Girl”. She was the reason I decided to start writing children’s books. Though I am nowhere near as talented of a writer as Amy, through her works, I was inspired to create and go after my own dreams of writing children’s books. I came across one of her books at our local independent bookstore when Kate was little and we would spend hours browsing through the books together. Anything that had yellow on the cover was a winner in Kate’s eyes! But as she got older I started checking out Amy’s books and absolutely fell in love with her words but also the way she lived her life. You see, Amy embraced life. This is apparent from how vicariously she lived it. She was so very talented and has written more than 30 children’s books, is a filmmaker, and had done several TED Talks and NPR commentaries. I would watch her YouTube videos and short films and usually start crying because I felt her words and observations about life and people so raw and on point. She cut to the heart of what was important in life and reflected it back to us through her work. She truly is one of my favorite authors and human beings.
About a year and a half ago, I got in touch with her agent, Amy Rennert, and asked if there was a slight chance that Amy could do a school reading at my daughter’s elementary school that year. She happened to have been contacted by another local school so we started the discussion about her visiting both schools on a West Coast visit. Our correspondence started sometime in August 2015 and I was beyond excited to have this talented woman come do a reading! We were trying to organize a date later that spring when her agent suddenly emailed to let me know Amy was ill and wouldn’t be making any trips this year. Little did I know that it was the start of her battle with ovarian cancer.
I am so saddened that this beautiful soul has left us. If you haven’t seen her short films please check them out. It will give you the reminder and nudge to embrace the here and now and live life to it’s fullest. Something that Amy did up until her passing. Her Modern Love column in the New York Times was heartbreaking but shows her gift with words and love of life. In her last column “You May Want to Marry My Husband,” she hopes that her husband of 26 years finds love again and is a letter to an unknown, future love. What a life this woman lived. She leaves behind a loving husband and three children, her sisters, brother and parents.
You inspired my heart, soul and mind. Rest in Peace Amy – you will be missed.
Enjoy yourselves and the journey lovely dandelion moms.
TEDxWaterloo – Amy Krouse Rosenthal – 7 Notes on Life