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This Is The Hardest Thing I’ve Ever Written

I’ve mentioned Ben Hatke many times on this page; he’s written and illustrated many, many great books, including one just two weeks ago. We know each other from Camp, which is where I also met his wife Anna, and youngest child, Ida. They are all the best, warmest people; I was continuously impressed that a toddler could travel across the continent and be thrown in with 80 strangers and still be in a continual good humor. Joyous would be the correct word. Vivacious would be the example set by her parents.

I’ve just learned that she was injured by a horse this past Sunday and has since died. She was four years old. I cannot imagine the grief they, and their other daughters, must be feeling now. Anything I say will be insufficient to the task, but it feels like there’s a hole in the world right now.

Friends of the Hatkes have started a fundraiser to defer medical and funeral costs, which you can find here. If it is in your means to help in this tragic time, please do so. If you pray, they would appreciate that. If you don’t, keep them in your thoughts and try to do something generous, something adventurous, something good for Ida.

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