So, something really cool happened, but for you to fully understand it I have to start from the beginning! Last winter when Taylor and I started writing A Lover’s Lament, I asked him to send me a picture of a guy, someone that he envisioned for Sergeant Devin Clay. A couple of minutes later he sent me a picture of a very attractive man in uniform. I was impressed.
http://ifcus.org/2011/06/03/what-it-is-about/ Me: He’s hot! How did you find him?
Sunagawa Taylor: I just googled handsome soldier and he popped up.
I couldn’t help but laugh, but hey … it worked. So, I saved the picture to my computer and for the next nine months I probably looked at it close to two hundred times. This may sound weird, but I talked to him (the soldier picture guy). Not only did I talk to him, I yelled at him a few times, and begged him to help me understand certain things (I promise i’m not crazy). In short, I used him as inspiration. He was my Devin.
Today I received a message from Taylor:
Harburg Taylor: Ready for your mind to be blown?
Taylor: In kind of the saddest of ways.
Taylor: I’m waiting on you to respond for dramatic effect lol.
It took me a few minutes to see the message, but when I did, I replied.
Me: oh God
Me: Now i’m nervous
Me: Am I going to cry
Me: Please don’t make me cry, i’m having a good day lol
What happened next is nothing short of amazing. Taylor shot me another message telling me he randomly saw something on his newsfeed and he wanted me to look at it. So, i pulled up the screenshot he sent and it was a story honoring a fallen hero … this is the screen shots he sent me.
Taylor: Let me know after you finish reading it
Me: You weren’t supposed to make me cry.
Taylor: And now this …
HOLY COW … you guys … this is the guy, the soldier in my picture from nine months ago … the soldier that Taylor sent me for inspiration.
The hair on the back of my neck stood up. Tears welled up in my eyes. My soldier, my Devin Clay was a real soldier … a real hero that lost his life fighting for our country. My Devin Clay was actually Roberto Daniel Sanchez …
He wasn’t a model posing … he was a soldier … the man that i had been talking to for nine months was real … only he was gone. I was speechless and sad and there were no words for everything that was running through my head … then, to top things off I read where his family resides in TN … for those of you that read A Lover’s Lament, you know that the characters hometown is in TN.
Me: NO WAY
Me: Taylor … Holy shit!
Taylor: Did it give you chills like it did me?
Me: I don’t even know what to say … chills doesn’t do it justice.
Taylor: I swear all i typed in when I found him was “handsome soldier”. I just saved the picture, didn’t read anything. Crazy!
NO ONE … and i mean no one will ever convince me that this was coincidence … there was something much more powerful at work here … fate maybe? Who knows … all I know is that my Devin Clay now has a new name and I have an odd connection to a man that i’ve spent countless hours talking to (again, i’m not crazy LOL) … a man that I’ll never get to meet because he died fighting for us … fighting for our freedom.
Thank you, Sgt. Sanchez, for your service … for your sacrifice … for unknowingly helping me to write the story that had been swirling in my heart for so long.
Thank you, Taylor, for unknowingly sending me that picture nine months ago …