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After so much dilly-dallying, self-bashing, and numerous drafts, I finally completed the artwork of my first ever Children’s Picture Book, Renzo’s Rainbow. It’s now available digitally and in paperback on Amazon.
This book means so much to me. I wrote this at a very sad time, when I was depressed and thinking of my father who had passed away. But ironically, writing this became a source of comfort for me, lifted my spirits, and put a smile on my lips after I typed “The End.”
Here’s a trivia: While I named the main character after my youngest son, in truth, it was my middle son, Carlo, who pulled me out of my depression years ago. He was just a child then, but he sounded all grown-up when he asked me one morning, seeing me sad again: “Mommy…when are you gonna smile?” I will never forget how his eyes looked at me with loneliness and confusion, searching for my usual morning smile which disappeared some months before. That single question was a wake-up call which shook me to my core, reminding me that I have a family to take care of — a husband who patiently put up with my sorrowful silence, and my children who were bewildered by the changes that made me different from the caring, cheerful mother I had been. In that moment, when I heard my little one ask me that seemingly trivial question loaded with a message and a meaning that cannot be adequately defined by mere words, I snapped out of my desolation. I hugged him and told him how sorry I was, over and over again. And then I smiled, just like he asked.
I’ve been smiling ever since. Whenever life or people become too tough or too crazy, or when sorrow knocks at my door–as when my mother died this year–or any other moment I feel not smiling, I try to curl up my lips upward, and smile…still.
I smile for my husband. I smile for my children. I smile for myself. I smile because whatever happens, life has to go on. There are chores to do, family who depends on me, hearts whose love for me are my strength and comfort.
Because that’s how we should live life. With courage and hope that dark days will turn to joyful moments, trusting an omniscient, merciful God to work for the good of His people.
I hope that readers of Renzo’s Rainbow will also realise, like I had, that happiness can be found every day, and that if we’d only look hard enough, it’s just right in front of us. 🦋
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