As Good as She Imagined: The Redeeming Story of the Angel of Tucson, Christina-Taylor Greenby Roxanna Green
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Christina-Taylor Green was beautiful, precocious, and popular, a member of her elementary school’s student council and the only girl on her Little League team. Born on 9/11/2001, it was perhaps no surprise that she harbored aspirations of becoming a politician—thus her presence at the political rally that fateful day in Tucson last January. Congressman Gabrielle Giffords was severely wounded in the gunman’s splay of bullets; six others were killed, including Christina, the youngest of the victims. But this inspirational book recounts far more than the events of “the tragedy of Tucson.” Written by Christina’s mother (with New York Times best-selling biographer Jerry Jenkins), As Good as She Imagined celebrates this little girl’s life, along with the hope that has been born out of a nation’s loss and a family’s grief.
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As Good as She Imagined
The Redeeming Story of the Angel of Tucson Christina-Taylor Green
By Roxanna Green, Jerry B. Jenkins
WORTHY PUBLISHINGCopyright © 2011 Roxanna Green and Jenkins Entertainment, LLC
All rights reserved.
"SOMEONE WILL SPEAK WITH YOU"
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me (Psalm 23:4A).
I'll never forget the phone call from Suzi Hileman's husband, Bill. It was 10:30 in the morning, Saturday, January 8, 2011.
"Roxanna, listen," he said, his voice tight. "I just got a call that Suzi and Christina are at the University Medical Center."
Suzi, a neighbor and friend, had taken my nine-year-old daughter, Christina-Taylor, to an outdoor event hosted by Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
"What happened?" I said. "An accident?"
"I wasn't told anything, just that we need to get there."
The drive to the UMC would take me right past where Suzi and Christina-Taylor were to have seen the congresswoman.
I told my son, Dallas, "Get your shoes on and grab a jacket, because we have to go to the hospital."
"What's going on, Mom?" "I'm not sure. Just pray everything will be okay, all right?"
We don't wear it on our sleeves, but praying is a normal thing for our family. Dallas and I were both praying silently, hardly knowing what to ask for.
I called my husband, John, but had to leave a message; we had to get going. As I neared the Safeway in La Toscana Village Mall, I saw emergency vehicles, flashing lights, and barricades. I was going to have to go the back way.
I wound up on the south end of the strip mall and saw people wandering about and yellow police tape around the plaza. If Suzi's little car had gotten caught in a major pileup, maybe it was a more serious accident than I thought.
Christina-Taylor and Suzi had to be okay though, right? That's not my life; serious things don't happen to my family and friends.
I reached the hospital just before 11 a.m., but when I followed the signs to the emergency room, I found the entrance blocked off with police cars and ringed with camera crews and news trucks.
Suddenly I had a one-track mind. I needed to find a place to park so I could get in there and make sure Christina-Taylor was all right. I told myself everything would be all right once I reached her. I just wanted answers, to know my daughter was okay. I could deal with anything else, no matter how serious.
In the ER I went to a woman behind the counter and introduced myself. She said, "Wait here just a minute."
I was a nurse, not to mention a mother who had been to the ER before. That was not typical. I could tell by the way she looked at me that she knew exactly who Christina-Taylor was and what had happened to my daughter.
I didn't want to hear, "Wait a minute"; I wanted to hear, "Just one second."
When the woman returned, I couldn't get a thing out of her. She looked as if she would rather be anywhere but right there right then, and she led Dallas and me to the elevator and to a waiting room on the sixth floor. She asked if Dallas or I wanted anything to drink. I knew she was trying to be helpful, but something to drink was the last thing on my mind.
"What I want," I said, "is for you to tell me what has happened and what is going on with Christina-Taylor."
"I'm sorry, I can't," she said. "But someone is going to come and talk to you."
I didn't like where this was headed, but I did not even allow myself to think the worst. I was hoping for the best and working to stay calm. I sat down, more convinced than ever that whatever this was, it was worse than I had originally thought. I envisioned debilitating injuries, maybe a long recovery time. We would handle it; that was the kind of family we were.
I asked the woman to direct me to a restroom, and as I entered I imagined Christina-Taylor was in emergency surgery. That had to be why I was not being told anything yet; no one knew anything.
I realized this was probably going to be the last time I would be alone before someone came to talk to us. I was desperate and glad Dallas didn't have to see me that way. I knelt on the floor and folded my hands. "Lord," I said, "please take care of Christina-Taylor. But if it's really, really bad, just let her go and don't let her suffer. Take her; don't let her be in pain."
* * *
I face the seemingly impossible task of trying to express in words the loss of a child, the love we shared as a family, and the light my daughter added to the world.
The tragedy that ripped through Tucson that January Saturday in 2011 tore from us someone we'll never get back and changed our lives forever.
But though Christina-Taylor is gone, her memory will live on.CHAPTER 2
A LOVE STORY
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up (Ecclesiastes 4:9–10).
To tell you about my beautiful girl, I must take you back to when I met the man I fell in love with and who would become her father. John Green and I met at the University of Arizona in 1990, and while it may not have been love at first sight, it was the beginning of something deeper and truer.
I was born October 1, 1965, in the Bronx. My father, a New Yorker named Richard Segalini, was a financial planner; my mother, Yolanda Lopez, a Pan Am flight attendant from South Texas. My father had a successful career and traveled often, and they had met on an international flight.
My father's success afforded us a good life. After my younger brother Paul was born, we moved from New York City to a beautiful house in Scarsdale in Westchester County, New York. My dad commuted to work every day, and my mother stopped flying and devoted time to the Manhattan chapter of Pan Am's charity. She was also active in the PTA at our school after my youngest brother, Greg, was born.
Life was fun and exciting, and we had lots of room to run and play. We traveled a lot, but we rarely missed a Sunday dinner at my father's parents' house. Sundays were quintessentially Italian, filled with family, love, laughter, and of course tons of food.
My father's work required more and more international travel, and the time away took a toll on my parents' marriage. When I was about ten, my mother's doctor recommended a dryer climate for her allergies. We moved across the country to Tucson, closer to my grandmother Faustina, with whom I was very close. My Aunt Elida and Uncle Red Hildreth lived not far away too, and became like a second set of parents to me and my brothers.
Dad took a job in Zurich. He visited when he could for the next three or four years, but that simply didn't work. Mom was doing all the parenting and finally decided to make the split official when I was about fourteen.
I was heartbroken, because I had been close to my father until we moved away. Yet I felt bad for my mother, because she had tried everything to make it work. Divorce was not as common in the late seventies as it is now, and she didn't get the kind of support that a single mother might get today.
My mother did an amazing job making a life for me and my brothers. She was happier, and that made us happier. She worked part-time as a teacher in a private school, but her priority was to spend time with us. While we had clearly downsized from the lifestyle we had enjoyed in Scarsdale, we kids hardly noticed. We were close and life was good again.
My mother had an inner strength. She fought for what she cared about. Beautiful and poised, she had given up a lifestyle in New York to be happy and to make us happy. She showed us that to live where there is no love is not strength but weakness. She was amazing and loved me dearly, teaching me so much.
I enrolled at the University of Arizona in the fall of 1983 to study business. My hope was to become a financial planner like my dad, but it seemed everyone else in the family thought I should become a nurse. Maybe it was because I tended to be a nurturer, being the eldest daughter in a broken home. Though I often took care of my aging grandmother and looked after my brothers, I didn't see nursing in my future, at least back then.
While I wasn't much of a baseball fan, I had friends on the baseball team who were friends of John. He had been a pitcher at the University of Arizona and was now playing minor league ball in the Chicago Cubs organization. During the off-season he would come back to finish his engineering degree one semester at a time. When we met in 1990, we hit it off immediately as friends. He was a big, strong, athletic guy who had a good sense of humor, and we found it easy to talk. It also didn't hurt that he was handsome.
As our friendship grew, I learned that John had grown up in a traditional family, with both parents, a brother, and two sisters, in Wilmington, Delaware, outside of Philly. His mother, Sylvia, was a schoolteacher, and his parents virtually lived within the same twenty-mile radius their whole lives. He doesn't remember his father, Dallas Green, as a big-league pitcher, because John was a toddler at the time. But as he grew older he spent more and more time with his dad during his baseball career.
John would tell me stories of going to spring training with his dad almost every year, of being on the road with him a lot, of attending sometimes sixty-five big-league games a year. Even as a teenager, John had worked out with big-league teams, impressing the players with his work ethic. He wasn't just the manager's privileged son. He worked.
I heard about his high school and college pitching career, how he played junior college ball in Oklahoma, then in Chicago when his dad became general manager of the Cubs. He told me of the future big leaguers he played with and how he had back-to-back College World Series experiences in the early 1980s. He also told me of playing in the minors after that.
We began to see each other romantically after two years of friendship. It wasn't until later that I realized that our friendship had helped us build the foundation for what would be a solid marriage.
After being traded to the New York Yankees and reaching the triple-A level, John's baseball dream ended when he was released. That took John some time to get over, because he loved the game so dearly. But, being tenacious, he finished his degree and became an engineer.
By then I had fallen madly in love with him. He was generous, old-fashioned, spoke his mind, and had a strong, outgoing personality, much like myself. He was also a Christian, which was important to me, as my faith helps define who I am.
John: Roxanna has always had that untamed spirit about her, something that challenged me. I liked that about her. She's vivacious and spirited about things, and that struck me. Plus she was beautiful, with dark skin and long dark hair.
* * *
After college I took a job selling life and health insurance and mutual funds, while John was working as an engineer. Though there were parts of my job I really liked, the dog-eat-dog nature of the business was getting to me. I began wondering whether my family was right. Maybe I was more cut out for something like nursing. I began looking at other options, including the medical career I had always dismissed.
I could see that John was getting restless with his job too and didn't really love what he was doing. He was volunteering as a scout for the Baltimore Orioles, a part-time thing where he would report to the big-league team on local high school baseball stars who might be candidates for recruitment. He talked often about how much he missed baseball. Finally the day came when he said he wanted to return to the game full-time.
I didn't know as much about baseball as I did about other sports, but I knew coaches and managers were rarely home. The instability of my childhood during my parents' divorce made me wary of John's return to baseball. When I asked in what capacity he saw himself, he said scouting. Everything he had learned from playing his whole life, growing up around the big leagues and playing in the minors, told him he could do this.
I knew this was his passion and his dream. Though I had fears of him being away and traveling a lot, I wanted to support him, because I feel that if you are happy with your career, you will flourish in life.
My mother's mother, Faustina, died in 1993 when I was twenty-eight, before she was able to see me marry and have children. She had been a wonderful model to me of what a grandmother should be, and I knew my mother would follow in her footsteps with my children when they came along. I had been so close to Faustina that I longed for the same grandmother-grandchild relationship for my kids.
As we got closer to marriage, John landed a job as area scout for the Baltimore Orioles, covering Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona. That would require a move of a little more than a hundred miles north and made me realize it was time for me to get out of financial planning. I decided to go into nursing, a move I knew would make me happy. We married on New Year's Eve of 1994 and moved just south of Phoenix to Ahwatukee. We purchased our first home, agreed we were in no hurry to have children, and set about enjoying everything about married life. We had lots of friends who had moved to that area, so we socialized, I studied, he scouted, and life was good.
Over the years I would travel with John to every big-league park in the United States and gradually get to know all the people he had known since he was a kid. I became a baseball fan. It became a part of me and I found I really enjoyed it, learned a lot, and looked forward to every spring training and every summer—whether he was scouting high schoolers, college kids, or pros. There were sights to see and things to do in every town.
After a few years, John was promoted to eastern supervisor, which he handled from his parents' house in Pennsylvania while I finished nursing school. Of course I couldn't travel with him all the time, and the on-the-road lifestyle of a scout can be hard on a marriage. His typical workday started in the middle of the afternoon and ended in the wee hours, drinking and talking baseball with friends and coworkers. Then they sleep all morning and start the pattern all over again. I began to wonder what that kind of a schedule would mean to a family. One thing was sure: I at least needed to be living with John, not several states away.
The break we needed came when there was a shake-up in the Orioles' front office and John entertained offers from both the Cincinnati Reds and the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was close to a lot of the guys with the Pirates and respected them, so he chose the Pittsburgh job—which meant I could join him on the East Coast.
As soon as I finished nursing school, I was ready to go. Being from the East, it sounded like a great idea to get back there, and maybe now it was time to try to start a family.
I left everything I knew, and at first it didn't really matter where I was going to live. I was proud of John for getting the promotion, and as long as he and I were together, I knew that wherever we landed would be home. Our plan was to have two or three children, and as soon as they were old enough, we would all travel with John during the summers.
I was ready to settle in one place for a long period and become a stay-at-home mom for most of the year. John was happy, doing what he was born to do. Baseball is in his blood, part of who he is. I was looking forward to our new adventure.
We moved to Conowingo, Maryland, where we rented a 250-acre farm from John's parents. It was a beautiful place, but talk about remote! We had moved from a growing, bustling neighborhood to the middle of nowhere in the dead of winter, 1998.
During the first week there I discovered I was pregnant, and we were thrilled. But John immediately hit the road in his new role, and I have to admit it was hard to be alone in a new place and a new climate. I knew no one in Maryland except John's sister and brother-in-law, Dana and Mark Ressler, who lived on the same property. They were very busy people, but they were wonderful to me while John was gone.
My pregnancy turned out to be high risk, because during my fourth month I developed placenta previa, which causes hemorrhaging and requires complete bed rest. For the last five months of my pregnancy, I had to be on the couch or in bed reading or watching TV and could get up only to go to the bathroom. For a Type A personality, being deprived of all activity—even housework—was torture. Although I missed John dearly, I didn't want to burden him with the difficulties of my pregnancy. It was hard enough for him to be on the road for his job, and I didn't want him to worry.
All this was worth it because, come late summer, we were going to have a son. Now that was something to look forward to.
Excerpted from As Good as She Imagined by Roxanna Green, Jerry B. Jenkins. Copyright © 2011 Roxanna Green and Jenkins Entertainment, LLC. Excerpted by permission of WORTHY PUBLISHING.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Meet the Author
Roxanna Green has been a practicing home health-care nurse, now serving as CEO of the Christina-Taylor Green Foundation. Her husband, John, is National Crosschecker in the scouting department of the Los Angeles Dodgers. They have a son, Dallas, 12, and their daughter, Christina-Taylor, would have been 10 on the tenth anniversary of 9/11.
Jerry B. Jenkins is a New York Times best- selling novelist (Left Behind Series) and biographer (Billy Graham, Hank Aaron, Walter Payton, Orel Hershiser, Nolan Ryan, Joe Gibbs and many more), with over 70 million books sold. His writing has appeared in Time, Reader’s Digest, Parade, Guideposts, and he has been featured on the cover of Newsweek.
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This story written from a mother¿s viewpoint will rock your world as you experience a part of the pain she felt in losing such a dear child. Christina-Taylor Green truly did seem like an angel sent briefly to earth. From the birth date of 9/11 to the day of her tragic death her light shone so bright in a dark and sometimes painful world, it is hard not to weep through the whole book. Yet it was so sweet and touching. It reminded me at times of Carol Kent¿s book ¿When I Lay My Isaac Down¿ where there was a moment when life was so perfect and then their world was turned upside down never to return to that perfection. In saying that I also thought of the book of Job throughout. The affect that young Christina-Taylor had on people seemed magical, even down to her relationship with her brother, Dallas. Although he had some special needs she made him feel so special and loved that it was a big part of his healing and he seemed to cope so much better with life after she was born. I adored the stories about Christina-Taylor¿s relationship with her grandmother. I know they are happy to be together in heaven now. The time-line of the shootings and the facts given about the tragedy were very informational. But being allowed to journey with this family through their personal grief was a wonderful contribution to the world. I also loved the small but poignant writings from the Dad especially in the last chapter where he said, ¿I love thinking about Christina-Taylor and will do so forever.¿ He also wrote a poem called ¿Faith:¿ Christina-Taylor Green on one-eight-eleven, Was laid to rest and went to heaven. She left her mark in nine short years, And we remain to shed our tears. Mom, Dad, and Dallas will love you forever, Awaiting the day we¿re together again. (John Green) The letters from friends and family added so much to the value of the story of a life that was much too short. It was good to read what the President said to encourage our nation at the State of the Union address shortly after the shootings. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was also wounded and Christina-Taylor Green was one of six people that were killed, with 13 people wounded. Shattered in soul and spirit, this mother, Roxanna Green gave us such a gift in writing this book (along with Jerry B. Jenkins) and the heart of a loving mother was so evident. The focus on forgiving and not dwelling on the murderer was commendable. Any thoughts I have now of Christina-Taylor make me smile amidst the tears. There are some that the book of Hebrews, chapter 11 speaks of, that ¿the world was not worthy of them.¿ Our world was not worthy of such a pure, sweet, kind angel-like spirit as Christina-Taylor Green was. We are so glad the Lord sent her for a brief moment of time to show that you can really live a life that is better than can be imagined. Unforgettable book about an unforgettable family! Donna Collins Tinsley
My heart goes out to this mother. I honestly don't know how she did this but I'm glad she did. Not only did it help her heal but she allowed us to get to know her beautiful, bright shining star. My daughter was also celebrates her birthday on 9/11 but she was born in 1976. I will read it again even though I sobbed all the way through it because loosing a child is a parents worse nightmare. Her and her husband should be proud of her accomplishments in the short years she was with them.
Our pastor used this book in one of his sermons and I couldn't wait to get home and order it. I was not disappointed!! A very moving and heart warming book.
How one coupes day to day after losing a precious daughter. A happy family of four brought to their knees by a tragedy that takes one away. The before and after life of Christina-Taylor Green and her beloved family. Heart breaking reality but special whimsical memories that the family have are shared. Help make Christina's dream come true. "Christina-Taylor Green Memorial Foundation"
The book is a very powerful tribute to the life of Christina Taylor Green. The very special 9 year old girl born on 9/11 and shot during the Tucson tragedy on Jan 8. Her character, interests, talents, activities, personality, hopes and dreams, as told by her very courageous Mother, Roxanna. It also gives details of the events occuring after the death of Christina Taylor, and how two very strong, loving parents handle the whirlwind of national media attention and outpouring of love and support from a nation that grieved with them. The book is not only a tribute to Christina Taylor, but a challenge to all Americans to strive to make this country, our communities, and ourselves, As Good as she Imagined.
This book is one of the best books i have ever read. I have lent it to all my friends!!!
I am not a fast reader but this book I read very fast. It was an amazing book. It also was amazing the strength of this family. It made me want to become more close to God after seeing how much God gave them strength. Christina was an amazing little girl that we could all learn a lot from. Once you buy this book you will not be able to put it down. Very well written.
I am so personally close to this story, and have not had a chance to read the book until the last few weeks. With my busy schedule, I chose to read it aloud to my husband in bed over a few nights. We didn't get very much sleep this last week! To read this story, and know it all so well, I just didn't think it could surprise me. It did! There were chapters that my husband and I were just sobbing. It was so well done! I am so proud of my friend to have had the strength to be able to share with the world who Christina-Taylor was and what she stood for! It was an honor to know her. I hope you all pick up the book, It's fantastic! It is not all sad, it is inspiring and full of hope!
I thoroughly enjoyed As Good As She Imagined by Roaxanna Green and Jerry B. Jenkins. It’s a wonderful book that portrays the life of this 9-year-old, Christina-Taylor. My heart mourned for the victims and their families but especially for the Green family. No one wants to lose his or her child. Green and Jenkins share stories from Christina-Taylor’ short life and I couldn’t help but fall in love with her and her family. It’s reminded me of the importance of community, love of family and how enduring challenges develops the perseverance needed to survive later trials. It encouraged me to enjoy each moment with my loved ones. Not to sweat the small stuff and to avoid passivity. Christina-Taylor did a lot in her 9-years on earth and she left us with her mark and a smile. Even though she has passed, Christina-Taylor continues to bring good in this world.
I love this book because it tells the world what a truly amazing little person Christina-Taylor really was. At such a young age, she completely got the fact that 1 person could make a change in the world, & she wanted to be that person. Yes, it is a story of sadness & loss, but it is also a story that should inspire us all to do something while we are here- something positive for our children like Christina. 2 thumbs up!
I finished reading, "As Good As She Imagined" at 11:30 pm last night (1/8/12). I cried a lot, but I also laughed. There are parts where Roxanna describes Christina-Taylor's relationship with her brother, Dallas. They were quite humorous. Dallas' letters to his sister were so whimsical and cheerful. The incident with the pretend hair salon left me laughing out loud. I'm not an overtly religious person and don't go to church, but the signs that God gave cannot be denied. I will not divulge them here because I want others to read the book, but I truly saw them as angels amongst us. At the end, I was filled with hope. Hope that a little girl's life and potential to give back were still being felt. In that, Christina-Taylor lives on. Thank you Roxanna for writing this book. I was really angry about what happened and if you and John can forgive; so can I. Everyone should read this book. It was well-written and you truly feel the heartache in Roxanna's writing. I felt honored and humbled to be able to read about such a special person. Roxanna was right when she said Christina-Taylor did so much in her nine years than some do in their whole life. I want to live up to her expectations. I want our democracy to be as good as Christina imagined it. I want America to be as good as she imagined it. All of us -- we should do everything we can to make sure this country lives up to our children's expectations. ~ President, Barack Obama, 1/12/11
The story of a remarkable little girl. The first few chapters move a little slow, but it doesn't take long to be drawn into the life of this incredible family. Christina-Taylor soon captures your heart and you find yourself attached to this little girl. Despite knowing the tragedy that was to come, you feel tremendous loss at not having more time to get to know her better. Roxanna Green does an outstanding job of sharing the story of her precious daughter's short, but full, life.
One of the special challenges of writing (and reading) the story of "the angel of Tucson," Christina-Taylor Green, is that we already know how it ends. When news of the shooting broke this past January, we watched and listened in horror. Regardless of political affiliation, we prayed for Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and mourned as the death and injury toll mounted. Other than Ms. Giffords, the victim whose death sparked an outpouring of compassion was nine-year-old Christina-Taylor. Born on 9/11/01, her life was bookended by tragedy but bathed in significance. In AS GOOD AS SHE IMAGINED, her mother and Mr. Jenkins pour intense effort into making that message plain. The book combines a strong narrative thread with italicized comments from Christina-Taylor's father and others who knew this bright, confident child. The additional perspectives add credence to her parents' claim that their daughter was born for greatness. The news-like feed that fronts each chapter adds a powerful, creative element without glorifying either the killer or his crimes. As expected, raw grief makes its presence known, tempered by a strong faith that seems natural rather than forced. I applaud both Mrs. Green and Mr. Jenkins for their work to complete this book so soon after the tragedy that birthed it and for sharing the personal truth behind the public reports. Only God knows the potential for good cut in the lives cut short by a misguided marksman. But as President Obama challenged those who heard his memorial tribute to Christina-Taylor, we have potential of our own. Read this book and receive a challenge to become "as good as she imagined."
With amazing candor Roxanna Green, with Jerry B. Jenkins, portrays the death or her nine-year-old daughter, in the poignant book, As Good As She Imagined. She tells enough family history for the reader to understand their faith, community involvement, normal life and interests. Christina-Taylor Green was born just before the tragedy of 9/11/01 and was included in a special commemorative book, Faces of Hope. She grew to love tee-ball, soccer, dancing, learning to sew, and politics. Because of her interest in politics, Christina-Taylor attended a political meeting in Tucson, Arizona. In an innovative format, as Roxanna tells the story of her daughter¿s too-short life, the top of the first page of each chapter gives a running commentary on the tragic time-line of the tragedy of January 8, 2011. On that day, a gunman shot into a crowd in Tucson, killing Christina-Taylor Green and five others, and severely wounding Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and many others. As Good As She Imagined emphasizes the Green family¿s faith in God, the great love and support of friends and strangers who heard of their plight, and overcoming the difficulties of adjusting to the death of a child. Roxanna forthrightly delineates details of their tragedy and includes sections by other family members, friends, President Obama and Peyton Manning among them. As heart-wrenching as it is, people should read As Good As She Imagined to understand and better help those who have suffered loss.
Nine year-old Christina-Taylor Green was born on 9/11 and was killed during the fatal shooting at a political rally held by Gabrielle Giffords, killing 6 people. However, As Good As She Imagined is not about that event. Not entirely. If you want a detailed account on the shooting itself, this is not the story. In fact the book is really about the extraordinary Green family. It starts at the beginning telling of how Roxanna and John Green met and started their family. We learn all about their kids Christina-Taylor and Dallas. Then the tragedy strikes and changes their lives forever. Told from the perspective of Roxanna Green, we learn the inside story of what her life was like during this. Although she is the main voice, there are snippets from friends, family, speeches, statements, and letters compiled in the book. We also learn a little bit about the other victims through the President's speech. The killer is rarely spoken about, because the family didn't want to see him, hear about him, or give him any more attention. Though at the beginning of each chapter we get a tiny look into what the killer did to prepare for this unfortunate event and what happened minutes afterwards. Although I enjoyed this book, I had one problem with it. Roxanna's daughter had been dead only months before writing this book. Thus there seemed to be unnecessary details at a few spots, including what people were wearing. Sometimes it seemed like she was just pouring out her grief into this book. While this can make it more real, I can only imagine how much deeper and better this book would have been if she only waited the right amount of time before writing. What really got me was, at the end, she would say things about her still having a hard time. I'm thinking, "Roxanna your little girl just died in January! Of course it is still difficult." I wish she would have waited a few years, so we could have found out what it is like overcoming the loss of a loved one. This is a touching and heartwarming tribute to a little girl and her family. From the words of the President, the name of this book is birthed, he hoped that the word would be as good as she imagined. As Good As She Imagined is available in stores January 3rd 2012. *This content was based upon a free review copy the Contributor received.*