To write a book about the death of your child, Roxanna Green said, is "the last thing you want to do as a grieving parent."
Green is the mother of Christina-Taylor Green, who was 9 years old when she was shot while attending a "Congress at Your Corner" event Jan. 8, 2011, at a Safeway parking lot in Tucson, Ariz.
Another five people were killed and 13 wounded, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz.
It wasn't long before the Green family was approached by a lot of authors who wanted to collaborate on a book about Christina-Taylor, and many said they would write the book either way.
"We just felt, like, gosh, they weren't even here in Arizona — they don't know our daughter," Green said.
She said a friend of the family, psychologist Kevin Leman, advised them to write the book themselves so it would be as good as possible and do Christina-Taylor's life justice. "(Otherwise) it won't be your voice," Green recalls Leman suggesting. "No one knows your child better than you."
Leman put the Greens in contact with New York Times best-selling novelist and biographer Jerry B. Jenkins, of whom the Greens were already fans, to help them tell their story. Jenkins was "a perfect fit," Green said, because of his experience collaborating on biographies, his background in baseball and his Christian beliefs.
During the weeks and months following the tragedy, the Greens had received emails, letters and phone calls from friends and people they'd barely known, sharing stories of "all these amazing acts of kindness that our daughter had done in the short nine years," Green said, many of which the family hadn't been aware.
Jenkins and Green incorporated some of the stories with Green's own memories and experiences and those of her husband, John, into the book "As Good as She Imagined: The Redeeming Story of the Angel of Tucson, Christina-Taylor Green." The book was published Jan. 3 by Worthy Publishing.
Though it was the last thing they wanted to do, writing the book helped the Greens feel some peace.
"I knew it was going to be so painful and my husband knew it was going to be painful, and going through the pictures we'd just cry and cry and cry," Green said. "But it was very therapeutic in the end. It was a way of healing."
A portion of the proceeds from "As Good as She Imagined" will go to The Christina-Taylor Green Memorial Foundation. According to the foundation's website, its mission is "to honor the life and memory of Christina-Taylor through charitable and educational projects that reflect and embody her interests, values and dreams."
"To give back makes people feel better," Green said. "We've always given back as our little family of four in the past but now we can give back in a larger capacity. We're going to make all (Christina-Taylor's) dreams come true through this foundation, and the book is just a small part of it."
Green has already heard from people who said reading about Christina-Taylor's life has inspired them or people they know to be more active in their communities.
"They have just been inspired, you know, people of all ages ... inspired by her life and what she did, and they only know that through the book," she said.
Green hopes the book will continue to positively influence all who read it.
"I just hope they will be inspired to do good things or keep on doing the good things they still are doing and to not be down or blue or sad," she said. "I hope they're inspired, and gain hope and just a happy feeling that whatever it is they're going through it could be worse, and it will get better. You can get through anything."
For more information about "As Good as She Imagined," visit http://worthypublishing.com/books/As-Good-as-She-Imagined.
More information about Christina-Taylor and the foundation is available at www.christina-taylorgreen.org.
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