meeting my hero

I saw her. I listened to every presentation she gave while she was on campus. I gave her directions to the restroom. I shook her hand.

I was nervous to go and listen to her presentations; I didn’t want to be disappointed to find that she’s a jerk, just a regular person, or something else. She’s incredible. Lois Lowry deserves every ounce of respect that she gets. Her insights on our life experiences were honest and inspirational. As she began to speak, I would relax deeper into my chair and just listen. Most people can write and talk, but she has the words. She knows how to use words in a way that carries you to somewhere far from where you really are; she makes you listen.

It was wonderful to sit and listen to the charm and grace of a generation past. She was raised in the World War II era; a time when radios were still a staple in every home, when black and white was the only camera setting, when television was still new and exciting, when girls still wore dresses and ribbons, when literature really meant something. I love that she grew up in a forsaken way of life and writes for the children who will determine the future.

I spent most of Friday and Saturday with her, knowing in the back of my mind that I wanted to get a book for her to sign. I figured that if she was going to sign my book, I wanted it to be hardcover. I searched Rexburg high and low for a hardcover copy of any of her books with no success. I went back to the school where the bookstore had several for sale. When I returned to purchase just a regular paperback, I was told that they were all sold out. I was so disappointed. It meant so much to me that she signed a book for me.

It was 3:15 when I left Rexburg to go to the Barnes and Noble in Idaho Falls (30 minutes away), and Lois Lowry was going to stop signing books at 4:30. I drove about 75 mph in a 65 mph zone (yes, it meant enough to speed). I arrived at Barnes and Noble, literally ran into the store and asked the first store clerk where The Giver was. There were only two copies left. I bought them both and ran to the car. When 4:20 rolled around and I couldn’t see the Rexburg exit, I started going 85 mph. I’m glad I didn’t get pulled over, then again, I don’t really don’t trust our speedometer. I ran into the building with my two books at 4:29. I held the last two books she signed.

my book