My First Book

Sarah Kay Hoffman
Oct 21, 2019 · 5 min read

My first book went on pre-order today.

If the thought of discussing IBS and/or IBD, gut health, gut healing, and the concept of a leaky gut in general is just simply not your thing, I get it. Part of my heart does lie with that topic and community because I have been there — it’s part of who I am. [If you’re interested, you can read the full intro post today HERE.]

But I have to tell you something very real and raw, honest and open today.

Here was the book’s dedication:

To the Gutsy community:

When you heal your gut, you heal your life.

Never give up hope that your best days are yet to come.

And in the blog post I released for the book today (The Leaky Gut Meal Plan), I stated,

The truth? I wrote this book during the one of the darkest seasons of my life (this past summer). And I wanted to dedicate it to my dad. But I didn’t. Because it didn’t make sense.

You guys know — this site, and this mission — all for you — my Gutsy darlings.

And that is the truth.

Well, mostly.

July 9, 2019

On Tuesday, July 9, Mom, Dad, and I went to the VA hospital in Minneapolis for what would be the very last time.

Honestly, yes — yes I could tell that something was not right. But my best guess that day was that Dad would not be doing chemo and he might be admitted for a hospital stay.

That would be the day when two choices were given to Dad:

  1. Be admitted. Stay at the hospital and try to fix whatever the current issue was, knowing that there was nothing that would fix long-term.
  2. Go home to hospice. Live out the days as best and as comfortably as possible.

Dad chose the second.

And being in that room for that moment, just the doctor, Mom, Dad, and I is something I’ll never forget.

I felt the room spin, my stomach queasy, and (mostly) my heart break.

I let Mom wheel Dad out of the room; I stayed back to ask the doctor the dreaded question, “If you had to guess, how long would you say he has to live?”

And then I left, crying the whole way to the car.

A Book to Finish

In an instant, everything changed. And yet, I had a book to finish. Back in June, 2019, I signed a contract. The contract stated that I would have the last three chapters (7–10) in the hands of my main editor on Wednesday, July 10, 2019.

Furthermore, I would “submit the complete Manuscript and a print-ready author photo” by Wednesday, July 17, 2019.

The day after Dad’s appointment, I worked on both my book and DB (DELIGHTED BY Desserts, um, yeah, I also have a “regular” work life — I HATE the word job because I never feel like I’m truly working!)

I didn’t have a choice to say, ‘No” to the book. At that point, it was close to being finished.

Milestone 3 was turned in on time.

The final manuscript was turned in on time. (July 17)

And then Dad passed on August 13, 2019.


So here’s the deal. I tried convincing myself that the plan all along of giving this book to the DARLING Gutsy Community didn’t need to be anymore.

I’d dedicate the book to my dad. In this way, I would always remember and honor that time of my life. The time when I truly was feeling the heavens and hell.

And here’s something you might not know, reason #432 why I wanted to dedicate this book to my dad. HE, too, was Gutsy. You would have NEVER known, had someone not told you. My dad had Colon Cancer, which I internalize and find myself nearly sick about so often.

Why could I not help him? How have I helped thousands, but I could not help one of the most important people in my whole life?


And in the end, I chose to roll with the dedication I had always intended.

The reason came clearly to me early on, but was then solidified via a card I received at my dad’s funeral. In the card, she wrote:

The greater the grief, the greater the love was. Give yourself time, let others do for you, and be the things that you loved best about your dad.

One of the Things I Loved Most About Him

One of the things I loved most about Dad was his ability to always think of others.

At his wake, I heard this from a co-worker:

I can count the number of times your dad decided not to eat what your mom made him for lunch, opting to go out to eat instead.

In my head, I was thinking, “Likely because he didn’t want to spend the money.”

I smiled, and said, “I bet.”

He responded,

Yeah, your dad always wanted to make sure he ate the things your mom packed. He said, “If I don’t eat what she makes me, she might not make my lunch anymore.”

Anyways, I felt it deep down that this was not the book to dedicate to Dad (or anyone in the family).

He continues to speak to me on a very personal level — and I’m trying to give more than I take; and remember others more than myself. (And no, it’s not always easy!)

My First Book

If you want to see what I was up to all summer, even during the most gut-wrenching time of my life, you can pre-order my ACTUAL book today on Amazon!

It’s right HERE.

I feel compelled to share these stories and the book (even though it’s not my dream book, “A Thyme for Milk and Honey”) because even though I did’t dedicate it to Dad, like him, there are probably millions of people out there right now who know something is wrong, but haven’t taken the first step.

The Leaky Gut Meal Plan: 4 Weeks to Detox an Improve Digestive Health might be just the right first step you need.

Thank YOU, Dad, for letting me share these truths and instilling in me the work ethic to power through no matter what. I’m dying inside knowing that you never got to see (on Earth) my first book come to life, but in due time, I’ll bring one out to your grave and we’ll have our first “long-distance” chat. I’ll love you forever…..until I see you again.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin by clicking HERE or click HERE to get on the A Thyme for Milk and Honey newsletter list.

Xox, SKH

A Thyme for Milk and Honey

Adoption and faith, life and love; a milk and honey-inspired personal journey.

Sarah Kay Hoffman

Written by

A Gutsy Girl | foster-adoption advocate

A Thyme for Milk and Honey

Adoption and faith, life and love; a milk and honey-inspired personal journey.

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