If you haven't read the book yet, you may want to do that first before you continue reading here...

At the end of the book, I wrote that I hoped with all my heart that I would be able to post a photo here of my co-author holding the book in his hands. I'm sorry to say that Barclay moved on to his design studio in the sky before that could happen. The PDF of the gorgeous final layout landed in my inbox on the morning of May 26, a few days after I had read the epilogue to Barclay. Seeing that was the moment the book became a reality for me. I could not wait to share the designed interior of the book with Barclay, a man who had designed many an interior in his life but not of this kind.

I hadn't received a morning text or call from Barclay, which was rare. The night before at midnight we'd had a good conversation, though. He was in pain and struggling, yet still cracking jokes. He never wanted his mind to go, but I knew with cancer, it usually did in the end. He hadn't gotten to that point. I tried calling him and messaging him, with no response, so I figured he was resting. I plowed through final edits as fast as I could, still with the goal in mind of getting the book in Barclay's hands.

For some reason, more orders poured in on May 26 than any day since the book first became available for pre-order. That afternoon, I kept messaging Barclay: "The orders are flooding in today!" "Call me!" We had a routine: when an order came in, I called or texted him who it was from. He would get so excited. On May 26, I didn't even get a "seen" notice below my Facebook messages. That was worrying.

I talked to Choo, one of Barclay's archangels, and told her I would forward her the email with the PDF attached, so that she could show Barclay. She said she would be able to the following day.

At about 8:45 pm, I got a call from Choo. "He's gone," she said. We knew he was going soon, but the timing was so heartbreaking. I had the final layout open on my computer screen, and Barclay would never get to see it. After many days and tears, I had to come to terms with that. I had read Barclay the whole book twice through. He had seen his stunning cover. He'd answered all my questions. He was at peace that the project was in good hands, even if the book would never be in his. I know he is beaming, in between analyzing color swatches for his cottage in paradise.

His wish was to go in his sleep when the time was right. That is what happened. His sister and angels were with him much of that Friday. He was reluctant to sleep that day; he said, "I'm not going to wake up." Also, a hospital bed had arrived on May 26, as Barclay no longer could get in and out of his regular bed. He declared it a "death bed" and refused to get in it. He said it was "ugly!" For the man who was the master of taking the ugly out of sickly, he was having none of it. In the evening he sat in his chair, with his head resting on his bed, went to sleep, and flew off with the angels. RIP Barclay Fryery. I love you and am so honored to share your story.

Barclay Fryery