Yesterday afternoon I sat in a room with many others and let tears flow. We sat and witnessed sorrow, pain and joy and felt our own. For some it might seem like a torturous way to spend a Saturday afternoon but those who came to see Sheree Fitch and hear her read passages from her latest book ‘You Won’t Always be This Sad’ were moved and touched by her honesty and vulnerability.That is not to say that seeing someone else’s pain is easy. But carrying your own is no easy task either.Nothing easy about any of it. Sheree looked weary as she gave the last presentation of a grueling tour . She was anxious to get back home but still gave the afternoon her all. I have great admiration for Sheree Fitch.Our lives have intersected in several ways. Firstly we are the same age, both having December birthdays. Many of our experiences are similiar.We have seen the world unfold in the last sixty three years and have witnessed so many changes in society. We both got our degrees from St. Thomas University. Her writing career began years before mine. For me and countless others she was a beacon to follow. I was honored to have her blurb my first book. At the time she was struggling with her brother’s illness and the fear of his passing. I was writing about the sorrow of losing Zac and she was so gracious with her support. Both our sons struggled with learning disabilities and we both know the deep pain of not being able to make things easier for our precious boys.The book she supported, The Year Mrs. Montague Cried went on to win the Ann Connor Brimer award which Sheree won in 1995 with Mable Murple. In 2018 we were both shortlisted for the Ann Connor Brimer. I was honored to be in her company. Charis Cotter won with her book The Painting.Another parallel came when Sheree lost her son Dustin and as she said yesterday ,joined a club no one wants to belong to.For three summers we have taken our granddaughter to River John to Sheree’s Mabel Murple’s bookstore,a delightful dream realized by Sheree and her husband Giles.This dream and her many books have impacted and touched countless people and I am just one of them. Thank you Sheree Fitch!