Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Something nice out of the wreckage

A very good acquaintance of mine, who died on Flight 93 on September 11, will have her book published posthumously:

two sisters are making a dream come true for their third sister, a young woman, who died on United Flight 93 on September 11. Her dream was to publish a book. Vaughn Lohec and Dara Near finished the book their sister, Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas, started but never had the chance to complete. Called You Can Do It!, it will be published on May 3 by Chronicle Books. Mrs. Grandcolas was an advertising saleswoman based in San Francisco for Good Housekeeping magazine. She noticed that her female friends, often too busy with work and family, put off doing what they dreamed of doing. To encourage and inspire them and other women, she began to write a book to teach them step by step how to follow their dreams and seek out experiences. Borrowing from the Girl Scouts, she even suggested that women award themselves "merit badges" when they had mastered a new skill. A book-packager encouraged Mrs. Grandcolas's efforts, and she quit her job and flew to New York to concentrate on completing the manuscript. She was pregnant with her first child at the time she boarded the plane. After her death, her sisters decided to finish the book with the help of Caroline Herter, Mrs. Grandcolas's partner on the project, and writer Yvette Bozzini. Mrs. Grandcolas had written a proposal for the book, the table of contents, and completed the first chapter before she died. "We felt it was the right way to honor Lauren," said Mrs. Near, a New Jersey homemaker. The book is now comprised of 60 chapters or "badges" The badges span everything from learning how to be a rock star, public speaker, author, filmmaker, photographer, and art connoisseur to skydiving, surfing, yoga, and horseback riding. There are also badges on cooking, home decorating, money management, personal style, travel, and relationships. Each badge walks women through the learning process from start to finish and includes personal stories and excerpts from real-life "mentors" — experts in their fields who contributed a lot of their personal time to the book.
As you can tell from the book, Lauren was a can-do gal, and she would have been so pleased about this. I'm providing a link to the book in case you're interested.