My name is Christy, bereaved mother, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, and friend. I’ve used humor to get me through every day since my son, Wyland, was tragically taken from me by his father. I never thought of myself as a writer, as I would never consider putting my feelings on paper. Then, one day, I had an epiphany - I was going to write a book!!
The title came to me instantly. The memories flowed through me effortlessly and I soon realized the narrator in my head all my life was guiding me to this point. I believe that sharing my story will help bereaved parents normalize how they are feeling, hopefully with a few laughs along the way.
This book has been a labor of love, as I have had a lot of help from several people. During the process, I am grateful to have recalled old memories of Wyland, which I was afraid had been forgotten. And finally, I’ve learned that commas and periods go inside of quotation marks - I have no idea how I passed Honors English in high school.
I grew up in Hanford, CA, but now call the central coast my home. I love to spend time with family and friends, while enjoying everything coastal living has to offer.
Wyland Thomas Gomes was born into a loving home on August 26, 2009. He was the firstborn grandchild and was immediately the star of the entire family. That day, parents became grandparents, and sisters became aunts.
As a baby, he did everything right and had everyone swooning. As Wyland grew, it became apparent that he was an old soul. He could participate easily in conversations with adults and had a quick wit and a brilliant sense of humor. Most often, he would wait until just the right moment to crack a joke that would fill a room with the Camara laughter we all know and love.
He attended Kings River-Hardwick School, the same school his parents also attended as children. Kings River was an extension of his family, and he easily made friends with other children and related well to his teachers. He was loved deeply there and was a friend to everyone. His teachers remember him as a curious kid with a great smile, who was always looking to make his friends and classmates laugh. Wyland had a wonderful group of friends and never passed up the opportunity to befriend someone who looked lonely.
Wyland was the light of my eyes. I wanted him to have the best life I could provide, and I made sure that he had experiences he would always remember. He loved playing video games, hanging out with friends, and spending time with the adults who loved him most. Wyland had an infectious smile, a sharp mind, understood the value of money, and was destined to do great things. His potential was limitless.
It is a tragedy that his life was selfishly stolen from him on March 2, 2020. We will forever mourn the loss of our little buddy and the kid who always knew how to put a smile on our faces.
After my son’s tragic death, I had two choices. I could crawl into the corner and spend each day there, slowly dying. Or, I could choose to make Wyland’s life a legacy.
The decision to expose details of my life was difficult to make, but if just one child can be saved, it will be worth it. No other parent should go through the pain I feel daily.
I want to share my story now, hoping to bring awareness to those struggling in similar situations. Hopefully, in writing and publishing this book, it will reach other parents before a tragedy like mine unfolds, taking another innocent child.
Another reason I wrote this book was to be a voice for those who are not ready to speak about grief. My suggestions could help the reader console a grieving loved one, possibly someone who has lost a child. Sometimes it’s hard to know what to say.
Sharing my thoughts and feelings may comfort a parent dealing with the aftermath of filicide, (the killing of one’s son or daughter), letting them know they are not alone.
Or maybe, my book is just a journal of silly puns, song titles, and memories about Wyland - soon to be available in paperback and e-book…
From the moment I decided to write a book and giving her approval of the very first chapter, my sister, Wyland's Auntie, has been with me every step of the way. She has read everything I've written, checked content for accurate information, reminded me of forgotten memories, and noted areas of the storyline which needed more description. As my womager, she has helped and continues to assist me with whatever I need.
My long-time friend, Ondria, was more than happy to volunteer to edit my writing. Chance brought us together, when Ondria won a gift certificate for nail services I had donated to a local fundraiser. Our common interests of travel, concerts, wine, and personal health have made us close friends. Ondria graduated with a degree of Bachelor of the Arts in English from California State University, Fresno, in 2006. She is a local farm owner, freelance writer, and pickleball fanatic who is always willing to help her friends.
Bachelor of Arts, English - Fresno Pacific University
Teaching credential - Fresno Pacific University
Master of Arts Degree in Reading and English Language Arts --- Fresno Pacific University
I've been working in education for the last 16 1/2 years. Beginning as a high school English teacher supporting students from English Language Learners to Honor's English. I'm currently employed with Madera Unified School District as an District Academic Coach with an emphasis on intervention. Love my family, reading, traveling and all things Portuguese. Christy Camara's first babysitter and cousin. Personal writing accomplishments include a poem and short story.
Thank you to everyone who has helped with their editing, input, and encouragement along the way. Thank you to Kali, Cindy, and Sofiah for helping me build momentum to get this book going.