Spoiler alert: I wrote the forward to My Deer Friends
My Deer Friends resonates with me in profound and personal ways. Although Piper, the spunky protagonist is diminutive in size, her stature is vast. Her sharing nature and positive vibe resonates throughout the book as the reader shares in her journey of self-realization and discovery. Nineteen years ago I also embarked upon a journey of self-realization, and like Piper I found that my greatest discoveries were the simple things that fill life with purpose and resonate with joy.
Much like the playful puppy Piper, I have found that an inquisitive mind is the key to personal growth and both of us want others to understand and benefit from our expanded horizons. In the years that immediately followed the death of my only daughter Polly, my own survival depended upon learning as much as possible about the new world in which I had been thrust and then sharing that knowledge in hopes of protecting other young children.
Instead of documenting my expanded horizons within the pages of literature, I chose to advocate through the non-profit KlaasKids Foundation. Successfully conveying new found knowledge is dependent upon an ability to communicate, and viable communication requires the ability to express a fresh perspective. I like to think that KlaasKids fresh perspective on child safety found meaning out of Polly’s death and helped to strengthen our families, secure better laws, and create a safer society.
While Polly’s years were few, her stature diminutive and her experience was limited, her legacy is as vast as her courage. She inspired us to be bigger, better and more than we otherwise would have been. Through the work of the KlaasKids Foundation her final act has reverberated from the family kitchen table to the president’s cabinet table.
Like Piper, Polly was a happy, inquisitive, and determined little girl who was opening up to the possibilities that life had in store for her. Although she had big dreams she was relatively untested in life until she faced her worst fears with uncommon valor. As she was being stolen in the night she faced her devil and said, “Please don’t hurt my mother and sister.”
Polly was never seen alive again. Now she exists in memory, in legacy, occasionally in dreams and always in the realm of angels. If you don’t believe me just ask Piper, a kindred spirit who is graced by the spirit of angels in the wonder of her everyday life.