Episode 126: (Bonus) Rick and Ericka Sylvester; Leaving Cloud 9

I’m excited to bring you a bonus episode where I bring on my sister Ericka and her husband Rick so they can tell you all about her new book that comes out TODAY called “Leaving Cloud 9”  There is nothing that makes me happier than seeing my close friends and family pour their heart into something and see that something comes to life. I’ve also chosen this book for our monthly book club.

Here is a message straight from Ericka to give you a little insight on the book: 

I want to tell you something today. I started writing this book in 2013. It has been a long process — one that I thought would never be completed…many times, sitting in a Word document untouched for months at a time.

Then, I was challenged with this question: What would you do no matter what the outcome? What would you create and nurture just for beauty of what it was? Without question, the answer was this book.

I heard a literary agent say this week: Don’t write a book unless you can’t NOT write that book. Without question, here is my answer to that statement.

I had to. I was compelled to. God placed this story in my hands and it was a privilege and an honor. And He placed this man — this brave, strong, resilient man — in my life to LOVE and marry and be the father of my children. How courageous is he to allow the entire world to read his life story — in all its guts and glory? He’s not a public person, you guys. He’s doing this because if ONE person is helped, healed or saved by this book, it MATTERS.

Rick’s story is so painful and tragic, but also beautiful, redemptive and hopeful. The cycle of abuse, addiction, poverty, pain — it *can* be broken.

As I listened to him for hours and hours in interviews recount the neglect and abuse he endured as a child, I was moved to tears again and again. At the same time, I was in awe of the man who sat in front of me — whole, healed, overcome.

No, it wasn’t easy. Yes, it’s still a process. In light of last week’s necessary focus on suicide…I can’t help but feel like maybe just maybe a little hope could save someone. People who go through what Rick went through as a kid are at least 6 times more likely to attempt suicide than the average person.

How could we NOT share this story? There are thousands of children in this country right now enduring some of those awful things. There are thousands more trying to heal and make it in the face of extreme childhood trauma.

I just wanted to share this today to say this book is 100% from our hearts. Rick gave me permission to be his storyteller and everyday it amazes me to be trusted with such a job.

It may not win a Pulitzer prize, but there are words there that God wanted people to read. This book is finally real and it’s not easy to read, but you will see the light burning brightly in the darkness. And we just pray that light reaches a whole lot of people.

Show Notes: 
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Comments

  1. Mike

    I’m halfway thru the book and have a few questions:

    Did Annika’s famiy consist of four or five children? Both numbers are given. Does the “fifth” belong biologically to both her and Hank?

    Also, there is so much ink devoted to denigrating Sylvia in what seems every manner possible. The only attribute so far is that she was at one time possessed of some physical beauty and fearlessness.

    Not much love, goodwill or pardoning thrown her way for a Christian memoir, don’t you think?

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