"The problem was... the things I stored down deep started to fester and multiply. They rose up; I pushed them down. They were too deadly to expose, too dirty to air out. If I let even one escape into the light of day, they would all come tumbling out of their carefully sealed envelope and make a mess of this life, no - call it existence, I was trying to hold together. True life belonged to those who didn't hold envelopes stuffed with the terror and horror of a scared sixteen-year-old, turned angry twenty-two-year-old, turned bitter twenty-five-year-old.
The thing is, I want to live. "
- J.J. Hansen
As a teenager, author J.J. Hansen steeled her insides every time she walked into her mother's hospital wing. Years later, her poise under pressure earned accolades as she planned her father's funeral. The Lavender Envelope is the story of what happened when she decided to quit being strong and move forward by going through the past instead of walking away from it. In essays woven with memory and metaphor she depicts the healing process that began when she tore open her envelope and determined to live.