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About Shelby

“Rather often I am asked whether the grief remains as intense as when I wrote. The answer is, No. The wound is no longer raw. But it has not disappeared. That is as it should be. If he was worth loving, he is worth grieving over.
Grief is existential testimony to the worth of the one loved. That worth abides. So I own my grief. I do not try to put it behind me, to get over it, to forget it… Every lament is a love-song.” 

― Nicholas Wolterstorff, Lament for a Son

 

If you are reading this, it is likely that you are grieving. Grief takes many forms. Sometimes we find ourselves grieving the loss of a loved one. Sometimes it's something else like a grim diagnosis, a divorce, the loss of a job, and so on. Grief is complex and usually we navigate the intensity of multiple types of grief at one time. Often, when we feel we've got a handle on our grief, a fresh wave crashes over us. This is my story as I've grieved my father-in-law dying from stage four lung cancer, miscarrying our squirming, strong hearted Sam at twelve weeks, navigated the intensity of a loved one dealing with substance abuse and the trauma  and grief other loved ones faced due to many factors I won't discuss here, and so much more.

I believe that, despite circumstances, all are worth loving. I carry those words by Nicholas Wolterstorff like I carry microchimerism with the baby I miscarried. I'll carry both with me for years as I sit side by side with grief.  I grieve because I love. I grieve with hope. I love with hope.

I am the author of Every Little Lifean interactive, self-help book for women who've experienced baby loss. This book is close to my heart and in completing the project with so many who came alongside and supported the vision and distribution of this book, I am now working on a children's novel. Writing a children's novel is a dream I've carried since I was a little girl after reading Fog Magic by Julia Sauer. I closed her book and took in my surroundings from the branch I sat on. Minnows and craw-daddies moved in the creek below my worn tennis shoes. Daffodils swayed gently in the breeze. Birds sang above me. A dream formed in my heart and met with the tangible, natural world where impossible was considered alongside the possible. 

I live in Pennsylvania with my husband and four daughters. We enjoy camping, stargazing and spending time together. You can read more facts about me and my family below.

Facts about Shelby

1. Favorite books?

Fiction: Christy, Fog Mountain 

Nonfiction: One Thousand Gifts, Under God

2. Do you collect anything?

Pressed pennies from our adventures together.

3. What kitchen appliance do you use every day?

The coffeemaker of course.

4. What's your favorite zoo animal?

Penguins. My parents called me Shelby Lynn the Penguin when I was a kid and gave me penguin-themed gifts for every birthday since I'm near being a Christmas baby. What I disliked at first has grown on me. Penguins are easily my favorite animal. I'd have one as a pet if it were possible.

5. What did you want to be when you were small?

Secretly I wondered if I could be an author of children's novels akin to the ones I read as a child, but my outward answers were always geared toward who was asking and never included writing. It seemed impossible and unattainable in rural, West Virginia.

6. What makes you laugh the most?

The hilarious things my kids say without meaning to be funny. 

7. Favorite authors?

C.S. Lewis, Herman Melville & Catherine Marshall

About Shelby's Family

I think it's safe to say we're outdaughtered but we love everything about being parents to four beautiful girls!

Wes is my husband. He's an above-knee amputee, a physicist and his latest hobby is astrophotography.

Em is our eldest and loves dance and anything creative that allows her to express herself.

Ava is a spitfire. She's hilarious and strong. She's full of confidence and loves life.

Sam is our middlest that we don't include in our usual count, but when we went to get pictures of our completed family and I was feeling emotional over missing the sweet one we miscarried, a rainbow showed up in the photograph below right where there'd be room for one more child. It seems fitting to include Sam here in this space because we move forward, but we never forget.

Liv is our introvert. She loves to draw and will sit with a chapter book for the longest time though she hasn't learned how to read yet.

 

Iola is our "cutie baby," a name our girls made up. Her name means "violet-colored dawn" and "valued by the Lord," a fitting name for our last sweet girl as we believe daughters are just as valuable as a boy who carries on the family name. All children, male and female, are made in the image of God.

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