The Time Has Come

by Nikki Mark

Nikki Mark with her book, Tommy's Field

Dear Friends and Family:

Every week I share a short story from my alternative healing journey that I hope will positively impact your life in some meaningful way. Today, however, I want to go one step further and share even more with you. Much more.

You see, I wrote a memoir entitled Tommy’s Field: Love, Loss & the Goal of a Lifetime and it’s being published this week. In fact, it’s being published on Tuesday, January 23, 2024, which is both ironic and magical given how important the number 23 is to me and my family.

As some of you know, #23 was Tommy’s favorite jersey number. It was also an essential part of the brand logo he created for himself.

Now, the number 23 often shows up at the most random times and in the most unlikely places, as if Tommy’s spirit likes surprising me from time to time. It’s also a key part of the foundation name that my family established to honor Tommy’s legacy (TM23 Foundation).

But I digress.

The reason I want to tell you more about the story behind my memoir is because this is the most important story I have ever told, and I want you to know it was conceived out of pure love, not ego.

I also believe it was written in partnership with Tommy, and that every word of it is infused with a frequency of love that I can only describe as both healing and divine.

Looking back on the past five and a half years, I can hardly believe this memoir is mine.

After all, I was not a writer in my former life. It was only after Tommy passed away that I spotted a green leather-bound journal in a pile of condolence cards and started writing to him in it every day.

Writing became my way of processing grief. It became a way of exploring corners of myself that I didn’t know existed. And it became a direct route to a deeper imagination that led me through darkness in a way nothing else could.

It wasn’t long before I was writing 7 – 8 hours a day and treating it like the most meaningful job of my life. Writing gave me a new purpose. And it became a much-preferred alternative to succumbing to bottomless grief.

“I’m developing my own startup now,” I told my husband, who was far more comfortable with my prior 20+ year career creating operations for other people’s startups.

This startup of mine, I assured him, would develop and grow our family’s charitable foundation honoring Tommy. It would build and activate athletic fields to share his spirit of play with others. And, even if I failed at all that, it would restart me.

I knew from my former start-up career that I was too broken to be restructured and fixed. I had to start over, like a baby, and literally learn how to eat, breathe, and walk again. Healing had to start at the epicenter of my pain, which was in the deepest cracks of my heart.

One day, while I was meditating and minding my own business, an inner voice loudly dropped in and told me, “We will write a memoir.”

This voice was not mine. I wasn’t sure whose it was, but I had heard this voice on the day Tommy left, and I trusted it completely.

Okay, I silently responded, even though I had no vision for what we would write.

✨It’s about the power of community, this voice would later disclose.
✨It’s also about the power of play. ✨

At that time, all I knew for certain was that new senses had awakened within me, and I could hear, feel, and see things I never could before.

I also knew that I was driven by a love so excruciatingly deep that nothing – not even the paralyzing moments of grief or the intense opposition from certain park neighbors – could stop me and my family from building Tommy’s Field.

Serving, I was finding out, was also healing.

In fact, the more I served, the more I wrote. In time, serving and writing took turns throughout my working day and weaved together to become not only this memoir, but also a new version of myself.

As this memoir began to take shape, a good friend inquired, “Do you have an outline?”

“Nope,” I responded. I was living the story I was writing, I told her, and I had no idea how it would end. An outline represented limits. My soul needed freedom.

Over the next three years of writing, serving, and embarking on an alternative healing journey to mend a broken heart, my vision for this memoir crystallized. My writing skills improved. A deeper voice emerged. And the coaching from the game Tommy loved to play the most, soccer, started guiding me whenever I got stuck.

Tommy’s Field: Love Loss & The Goal of a Lifetime is – at its core – a love story.💚

It is a spiritual journey sparked by a conversation Tommy and I had the weekend before he passed away when he asked me if it’s possible to go to sleep and not wake up – which is exactly what happened to him three days later.

It’s also a political drama that mirrors the growing divisions within our nation, and shines a light on how we unconsciously participate in it.

When this memoir finally had an ending and the most transformative years of my life found an editor, agent and publishing company who believed the story should be told, I gained an even deeper appreciation for the power of love.

All along, I had an inner critic telling me, You don’t know how to write a book. I had a human mind constantly doubting, What if you fail? And I had deeply rooted fears threatening, You are going to embarrass yourself.

Thankfully, I had lots of divine support shooting through the crown of my head and infusing wisdom into every word on each page. I had girlfriends who were like soul sisters rooting me on. I had a husband who was willing to support me as I embarked on a risky adventure of believing in myself.

And on the many days when I was writing and my computer glitched to the point where pictures of Tommy would pop up out of nowhere, I was reminded that this was “our” story, and we were telling it together.

Some of you have emailed and asked me how I took my first step forward after loss. Others have inquired whether I’d teach a course on how to start one’s life all over again. This memoir, while told in the form of a story and not self-help, can be used as a blueprint for those of you ready for such lessons in transformation.

For the rest, I promise Tommy’s Field will make you laugh and cry. It will help you find gratitude for the life you have, and courage for the life you want. And it will explain one of the most important lessons that tragedy has taught me:

If nothing I have said inspires you to read this memoir, then at least know this:
All of my earnings from book sales will be donated to the TM23 Foundation to continue to build and maintain more athletic fields in communities that need them most. Together we can brighten our world one Tommy’s Field at a time.

Thank you for sharing this special moment with me.

Tommy’s Field: Love, Loss & the Goal of a Lifetime can be pre-ordered NOW for delivery Tuesday, January 23, 2024! (Preorders help make the all-important “lists” that will sell more books, heal more hearts and build more Tommy’s Fields).

From my healing heart to yours!

PS: Maybe you know someone who has experienced personal loss, or someone seeking inspiration on how to restart their life? I’d be honored if you’d forward this to them, or maybe even gift them the book.

PPS: Besides being on Amazon, it’s also available at Barnes & Noble, Target, Bookshop.org, and many local bookstores if you ask.

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