A Book Drop for Jill

This is my cousin, Jill. She would have turned 49 years old today.

Jill was born with Spina Bifida and lived with significant physical disability.

She was also gifted in many ways. She smiled bigger, laughed harder, hugged tighter and held your hand longer.

Jill loved kids.

And she loved to read.

But she especially LOVED reading to kids. She volunteered at the local school, reading to the first graders and sneaking every chance she got for a hug and a laugh.

So when Jill’s mom (my aunt Jodi) approached us wanting to use some of Jill’s memorial funds to do a Project OpenBook book-drop at the school where she loved to volunteer… it just made perfect, poetic sense.

So today, on what would have been Jill’s 49th birthday, we were honored to get to meet with all of the students, Kindergarten through 3rd, at Heartland Community Schools in Henderson, Nebraska.

The Yeti in My Freezer

They were adorable and hilarious. At one point, I started a story, “…back when I was your age” and was promptly cut off by a little voice shouting “…that must have been forever ago!” 😁

Each student got a copy of The Yeti in my Freezer, including a special memorial for Jill inside the front cover.

And since our own kids are on Spring Break, they got to come along on their very first Project OpenBook book-drop. (They even shared some tips on how to improve my performance during future book-drops.)

Bitter-sweet, for sure, but an absolute honor and a privilege to remember Jill in a way that I think would make her show her trademark smile.

Love and miss you, Jill!

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