I get a lot of questions about my thoughts on Dear Lilly. Friends and family know a lot more about me than I would ever tell them on my own. I thought it would be nice to just put it all out there once and for all. These are the most common questions I get asked:
When will Lilly read it?
We keep Lilly as innocent as we can, without keeping her in the dark. There is no specific age but I am speculating at about 13.
How do you feel about people knowing your story?
At first it was a little horrifying! but now I am totally ok with it. I am proud of the family that we have and I think it’s good for people to know what we went through to get to the point where we are today. Everyone has their obstacles and issues. Dear Lilly has taught me to not be ashamed but rather to share those stories in hopes of inspiring or comforting others.
How did your family react to the book after reading it?
My family has been very supportive. There were things in the book that they were hearing for the first time. The most difficult response is silence. When there is no reaction it is very uncomfortable.
How has the book changed your life?
Many, many ways. Pete has a healthy focus on helping people through Dear Lilly. He is taking all of his wonderful qualities and using them for a purpose. It has changed our goals and our view of success.
Are there any things in the book that you disagree with?
I have a very different background than Pete. My childhood was not perfect but it was very happy. I grew up with the protection and support of 6 older siblings. I have always seen and focused on the good in people and I have always been very trusting. I wouldn’t say that I disagree with many of Pete’s ideas, but my experiences have been so different that my interpretation of the human condition is more hopeful.
What was the writing process like?
LONG and lonely. Pete was in a closed room for hours at a time writing, editing, rewriting. But I could see the gradual changes in him as he was writing and working through his own recovery.
Were any of the events different from your perspective?
I think my perspective would show a difference in the way I was supporting him through his hard times. The book is accurate about how I wanted Pete back with us but I do not want young girls to think that I just waited for him. Sometimes there is not a happy ending with a beautiful recovery. What the book does not tell is that I was working and taking care of my baby in any way that I had to. I was fully prepared to be on my own. My daughter gave me the strength to realize that I had to step up and with or without him we would be ok. I Believe it was that confidence that made it possible for Pete to come back. If we had needed him for our survival, the pressure of that may have been too much for him in his condition.
Is there anything that you would add to the advice Pete gives in Dear Lilly?
It’s already chock full! I love his new “Dream & A Team” talk and I wish more of that was in the book.
Has the book affected your marriage in any way?
Dear Lilly is a very real, every day, reminder of what we lived through to be where we are today. Writing this book saved Pete from his destructive behavior and gave him a new and positive focus. I am proud of him for the choices he is making and for the sincere concern and passion he has for helping others. So yes, it has had a huge impact on “us”.
What are your dreams for the book?
My dream is for Dear Lilly to sustain our travels across the country and to become a stepping stone that leads Pete to motivational speaking. We will travel, learn, motivate and spread hope along the way.