Before I’m Gone Read Online Heidi McLaughlin

Categories Genre: Chick Lit, Contemporary Tags Authors:

Total pages in book: 126
Estimated words: 118733 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 594(@200wpm)___ 475(@250wpm)___ 396(@300wpm)

New York Times bestselling author Heidi McLaughlin tells a poignant story about living life to the fullest—and savoring the small moments along the way.

Palmer Sinclair has never needed anyone’s help. A successful loan officer, she’s all work and no play. But when splitting headaches and blurred vision begin to affect her job, she begrudgingly sees a doctor and receives a diagnosis that leaves her shaken to her core and with little time left. Facing an uncertain future, Palmer makes a bucket list, determined to do the things she’d only dreamed of before she goes.

Kent Wagner has dedicated his life to helping others. An army medic turned paramedic, he’s a regular at Palmer’s bank who makes his monthly car loan payments in person just to see her radiant smile. After responding to not one but two 911 calls involving Palmer, he learns about her bucket list. Touched by her circumstances—and needing a distraction from his own—Kent offers to take Palmer to the places on her list.

Neither is prepared for the emotional journey ahead…or how little time they have left together, but the friendship they find in that brief time might be the most lasting legacy of all.

*************FULL BOOK START HERE*************


Palmer Sinclair sat at her small table and looked out the grand picture window at the San Bruno mountainside. She saw a black-tailed doe and her fawn grazing on what little shrubbery the mountainside had to offer, and watched as the doe nudged her baby, guiding it to a food source. The sight of a mother caring for her child brought Palmer back to the DNA instructions and test that sat in front of her.

Today was the day, her self-imposed deadline to finally spit in the tube and send it off. Deep in her heart, she knew she had family out there, and desperately wanted to connect with someone. She hoped she had a sibling but would welcome an aunt or uncle or even a cousin, distant or closely related. Someone who could teach her and help her learn about her family, her heritage, and where she came from. Mostly, she wanted to know how or why she’d ended up in the orphanage so many years ago.

Palmer read the instructions aloud, picked up the vial, and began to fill it. Once she’d gone over the designated line, she added the stabilization buffer and secured the cap. She pulled out the form and printed her name. Palmer Sinclair wasn’t her birth name or the name she’d used at the orphanage. The second thing she’d done after turning eighteen was to change her name. The first was to ask for her records. She also didn’t know her birth date. The date on her file was the date she arrived. Why the orphanage never asked for her birth certificate still confused Palmer to this day. It was as if no one wanted her to know she existed. She’d made up everything herself, which made her feel like a fake. She didn’t care what her driver’s license and social security card said her name was—it wasn’t her.

With the package sealed, Palmer set it by her front door and made her way into her kitchen to brew a much-needed pot of coffee. She ran on caffeine. It was her lifeline. While the aroma of coffee beans began to fill the air around her, Palmer thought about the box that sat by the door and how she had put the test off for what felt like eons, and how well her life had turned out despite the odds being stacked against her.

All her life, Palmer had been alone. She’d never had someone in the corner rooting her on, or a mother at home to make sure her homework was done, to kiss her scraped knee or braid her hair. She didn’t have a father to teach her about cars or sports or hold her when she experienced her first heartbreak. Growing up, any friendships she’d had never lasted long. It was an inevitable end. Either her friends went back to their homes or they went to another house. School friends were impossible. Telling the other kids she lived in a group home was never fun.

According to what little paperwork she had about herself, she was about three years old when she arrived at the orphanage. She was sure of that, at least in her mind, because of a reoccurring dream she had of a woman in a brown dress, holding her hand. The issue with the dream was she didn’t know if what she remembered happened before or after she arrived. Back then, record keeping wasn’t the best, and if someone had information about her, it had never made it into her file.

Not until Palmer was older and in elementary school did she realize she was different from the other kids. Her classmates teased her, ridiculed her. The teachers tried to make it stop, but they weren’t around during recess or on the bus after school. She dreamed of being adopted or at least finding a foster family, someone to love her, and each day, she’d wait for someone to tell her she was going to finally have a mom and dad. Days turned into weeks, which turned into years.