Jody Becker and Lisa Hayes had been friends for more than 20 years, since their days as grad students in Columbia University's journalism program. Both had worked in their chosen fields, married and were raising kids. Life was good.
Then came the day Becker received an e-mail from her old friend with news that carried the impact of a blunt instrument: Hayes had stage 4 pancreatic cancer, inoperable. She needed Becker's advice - what should she tell her children?
Becker frantically searched for books or websites that might provide some counsel for a mother in such a situation, but was shocked to find there was precious little available. Becker provided what support she could; together the two friends ordered books on the death of a parent but there was nothing, it seemed, aimed specifically at terminally ill moms who need to talk to their kids.