Creativity · Kids · Parenting

A letter for Phoebe

Dear Phoebe Gilman,

I am sorry I didn’t realize your passing when it happened 15 years ago. These words are late but no less true.

Thank-you for pursuing your craft. For not giving up. It couldn’t have been easy during those 15 years while you waited for your book to be published. Thank-you for believing in yourself, and your story. Something from Nothing is one of my favourites. How beautifully it celebrates the simple things in life. And reminds us of the deep value in our lives, our stories. I have loved sharing this story with my students as a teacher, and now with my own children. You were a woman of such talent. I soak up your illustrations with as much delight as my 3 year old.

Thank-you for being courageous. Even though your life was not free of pain or heart ache. Thank-you for remaining strong until the end. For seeing the bigger purpose in what we do as creators. Your works are gifts. I don’t know if you felt that way or not about them. How deeply my twin sister and I treasured Jillian Jiggs (so much so that we nicknamed my sister that with her silly, fun-loving nature). You gave us words when there were none and joy when it was hard to find on our own.

Thank-you for following your heart. Listening to that quiet voice that says “Hey, there’s an idea!” and letting it guide you. It did not go to waste.

It is people like you who continue to inspire me, long after your days here on earth are done. I only hope to leave such a legacy.

Much love,



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