Monday, 20 March 2017

Ruby Flew Too! • Readers' Emails



I mentioned in an earlier post that I’ve received more emails and letters about Ruby Flew Too! (titled Ruby in Her Own Time in the US) than any other book that I've written.

It's clear from these messages that Ruby's story has had a profound effect on the lives of many families and been a comfort and inspiration to readers of all ages during challenging times. It seems to have struck a particularly strong chord with families of premature babies.

Here are a few excerpts from some of the emails that families have sent me since the book, which is beautifully illustrated by Rebecca Harry,  was first published in 2004. All excerpts are shown with the writer's permission



"I first discovered your book when another parent mailed it to me while my daughter was fighting for her life in a NICU in Portland, Oregon. Her daughter was also born in the same hospital and was a survivor of the same birth defect, CDH that was the reason why we were there.
There is something you come to learn with a child in the NICU. It is always on THEIR time schedule. In their own time. You can never push them. They will do things when THEY are ready. All those things are the same things that your book speaks to. I read this book to her while she was attached to ventilators and while she was being weaned down from the nasal canula, and as she was learning to eat.
49 days after her birth, my daughter came home. In her own time.
I just wanted you to know how the story has touched me, and many other parents."
Liz, Oregon, US

"Our daughter, Brooke, was born pre-maturely and spent six months in the NICU with pretty serious health concerns. She couldn't breathe or eat on her own and we were told that she wouldn't live to see her first birthday. Brooke needed a trach tube and ventilator to help her breathe and was vent dependent for almost two years. We slowly weaned Brooke off the vent and she started to do things the doctors said she wouldn't. Brooke did see her first birthday and is now a happy four year old girl. While we were in the hospital, we read Ruby In Her Own Time to Brooke almost every day. We always told Brooke that she would do things in her own time, just like Ruby. It is such a beautiful story and she still enjoys reading it today."
Heather Illinois, US

"I reread your book whenever I am anxious about our little Ruby. As with most preemies she is behind in all her milestones and there have been many a time when I have battled with my own frustrations at how far ahead her peers always seem to be. When I find myself asking "will she ever crawl?" "will she ever walk?" or "will she ever talk?" I always revert to mother duck's words of profound wisdom - "She will. In her own time." Thank God for mother duck!
I wonder if you ever thought, when you were writing your book, what a profound effect it would have on a family somewhere on the other side of the world. You must have been guided by an angel. Thank you."
Tess, Cape Town, South Africa

"I'm not sure who gave us Ruby In Her Own Time, but I must say this is my favorite children's book. The book was given to us when my oldest daughter, who turns 13 this Tuesday, was a baby. The funny thing is I think we referenced it more as she got older than when we read it to her as a child. Although she was an excellent student since the time she started school, in most other aspects of life she was Ruby. Whether it was playing sports, going on rides, trying new things, Casey was always cautious and not always willing. The only difference to the book was as the father I was the one saying, "in her own time". As she becomes a teenager this week, I've look back at how she blossomed over the years. The girl who did not walk until 16 months can run like the wind. The timid kid who stayed away from the ball in sports became an excellent athlete. The painfully shy girl, has opened herself up to new adventures and a curiosity about the world. When my wife would get slightly frustrated with her holding back on things I would always say, "she will, in her own time". To which my wife would reply something like she really is Ruby. … Thank you for this wonderful piece of work which I hope my children will pass down to their own someday."
Kevin, New York, US

"You see, children's books are every bit as important and moving as the greatest novel ever written. For your beautifully illustrated book (and do thank Ms. Rebecca Harry for her gentle artwork) showed us in that moment that one day, our daughter would be okay. In the darkest hours when we worried if she'd ever eat food or gain weight, if she'd ever look like normal children or if she'd always have to rely on a feeding tube, we'd repeat "in her own time". Our daughter loved to see that she was special in her own way, and that it was okay to be herself. Well I'm happy to tell you that today, two and a half years after having her feeding tube put in, with a lot of therapy, medicine, and love, Ruby had her feeding tube taken out for good at the hospital. Just like the duckling in your book, she's brave and blossoming and true to herself. We read Ruby in Her Own Time tonight, turning page after well worn page, some of them with edges she chewed on when she ate nothing else, some splattered with her tube formula, some barely clinging to the staples. You told us she could soar, that she would one day fly higher than we ever dreamed. And that day has come. It's honestly a wonderful gift you gave us, a stranger nearly a world away, completely by happenstance. But your words and your lovely tale will forever be treasured by our family, our Ruby, who has indeed done it in her own time. Thank you so much."
Kat and Randy, North Carolina, US



All three of the Ruby books are now available in new Hatchling Books editions.



Click here to go to the Hatchling books web site


No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...