Grieving



Giselle

     Those beautiful covers I have?  Giselle did them.  My website organization? This page!! Giselle did it.  The template for my newsletters? Giselle did it.

     And now Giselle cannot do anymore.

     Am I sad?  Yes.  In a month filled with deaths, health scares, and extreme busy-ness, to get the news that someone so young and beautiful is gone, is devastating.  And I can only imagine what her family is going through.

     Giselle was a student assistant for the Multicultural and International Student Services department of California Lutheran University.  She worked there all four years of college as a marketing assistant.  At the time she was designing posters and products to promote the many activities of our office.  My favorite posters were the ones she designed for World Fair which was one of my favorite activities to oversee and a student favorite if the crowds were any indication.

     She was also an International Peer Mentor, and a member of a group called United Students of the World.  When that group took an off-site field trip, Giselle had the bedroom next to mine.  I could hear her talking in Spanish every day, at least twice a day, although I understood nothing other than she and her mother were close.

     Giselle was one of a group of especially wonderful students which I nicknamed The Bundle.  They were all supposed to work at different times, but they liked each other – and us -  so much that many afternoons all five of them would gather around the two computers we had, working and talking and most importantly, laughing.  We loved them and they loved us. This was brought back to my attention when two of The Bundle called to tell me that Giselle had died.  One of those who called is like a third son to me; the other a wonderful guy that I keep up with on Facebook. I called the other two and my former boss to tell them.  They all said that they loved working for us and knew how important it was that I find out about Giselle from them.

     When I began to seriously pursue writing, one of The Bundle recommended that I speak with Giselle since she was forming her own branding business. It was a pleasure to talk about what I wanted on my covers, how I wanted to be perceived as an author. I would learn later that Giselle spent hours in bookstores researching romance book covers. Giselle had detailed questions and wasn’t too busy to give me marketing answers. We spent a lot of time laughing. I was what she called “my first author” and she was my first (as it unfortunately turns out) designer. I always made sure to ask about her husband who was also a former international student of mine.

     Giselle was the sweetest person I’ve ever known. Everyone I’ve spoken with these last few days described her as sweet and beautiful.  She was also determined to run a great business and to promote a podcast that helped other designers.

     There’s at least one more cover yet to come from Giselle.  It’ll be bittersweet to use it because I remember getting all excited about the design which we initially considered for Finding Peace.  It will also be poignant.  Fine, Just Fine is about the matriarch of Rue LA.  Her flower is daisy and the daisy petals flow through the air whenever she is with her husband who died way before his time.  Giselle is gone way too soon, but I was blessed to know and work with her.

 

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About the Author

I'm a wife, mom, sister, daughter, and very much not perfect. My own multiple health problems led me to write about women who experience life's traumas, but bounce back because they are resilient. I strive to bring happily ever afters to all my characters.

On Word and Upward!