This book began as a personal journal I started writing the first Sunday in March 2008 when my mom called to say that Michele's condition had gotten worse and she was requesting we all gather at her bedside. I knew it was just a matter of time before Michele would be leaving us for a better world and I knew that it would be important to log the events of her final days not only for myself but for the benefit of her husband and their children who were too young to comprehend the importance of every word and action that would transpire in the following days.

In the following years I re-visited the journal and though it was difficult to read I felt that the importance of the incredible spiritual experience that my whole family shared was important to preserve in book form as a permanent tribute to our beloved Michele. In the process of transcribing the journal to a computer file I expanded on the manuscript to include memories of growing up in the Roby household (and in the extended family households), watching Michele grow from infant to a mature woman, and the melding of the Eastman family to ours. It became a fun romp through life in the 60's and 70's recalling the state of the world and how it affected us as children. And then I searched my brain for the parts of Michele's life in the 80's and beyond where I witnessed her becoming Mrs. Brian Eastman and mother to Emmily and Sam.

I hope that the story of Michele's life ending interspersed with childhood memories is as entertaining and meaningful to you the reader as they were for me in the position of author. The significance of angels relates to Michele's love of the religious symbol, her similarity to the cherubic persona, along with her comments to me in the final hours of her life where she experienced the presence of angels, primarily a little boy angel who kept trying to gently tug her over the mortal threshold. As far as the image of the skunk is concerned, if you are a family member or close friend of Michele's you probably heard of her propensity to crossing paths with the smelly creatures who populated the woods behind their house. The age-old question 'why did the skunk cross the road' was answered with 'because Michele was behind the wheel' or 'because Michele let the dog out of the house' or...well, there were probably several reasons we may never know about. The skunk became a metaphor for her encounters with uncomfortable, "bad" situations that are thrown into our path but with which she dealt without complaint--from something as small as a bump in the road to something as monumental as cancer. She learned to accept fate, take a deep breath, be grateful for the opportunity to learn and move on. While our first impression of a death sentence from cancer might be the ultimate skunk from which we never recover, I think she would tell you that all the skunks on Earth are just part of the path that leads to an eternal spiritual existence in a realm much higher than we know on this planet. In other words, 'don't sweat the small stuff; it's ALL small stuff.'

When I imagined being able to ask Michele (in her current existence) what her favorite moments were in her life on Earth, a voice in my head replied 'all the small moments.'  She appreciated and treasured every little second of sunsets and ocean views, musical notes and chirping birds, your smile and your hug for no reason in particular. 

Remember your small moments with her and she will be forever in your heart.


Angels & Skunks: Highlights From the Life of Michele Roby Eastman is now available as an ebook:

Make a Free Website with Yola.