Lacey Lafferty has worn many hats.
In the 1980s she began her career as a farmer, growing corn, soybeans and raising chickens. That business later expanded into a trucking company. She has worked as a model and even tried her hand at stock car racing in on the lower Delaware dirt tracks.
In 1995, just after graduating from Delaware Technical College with a criminal justice degree, she joined the State Police and worked on patrol duty for 13 years. Her career was cut short in 2008 by a hearing impairment.
Her doctor worried that it may have been caused by Lyme Disease and so he put her on a strong antibiotic. According to Lafferty the antibiotic destroyed the good bacteria in her stomach and destroyed her digestive system. Her body had lost the ability to absorb nutrients from the food she ate. Lafferty didn't know if she would survive and she worried about her daughter, Lacey Lynn, growing up without a mother to teach her life's lessons.
"She was only 3 [years old] at the time," Lafferty said. "I knew that if I expired she wouldn't remember me. I was worried that she would never know her mother, so I wrote messages to her."
Over the course of three years, as she struggled with her illness, she wrote message to her daughter about life, relationships, even politics. Whenever something crossed her mind that she thought her daughter might need to know, she wrote it down and kept it in a journal.
It took nearly three years, but Lafferty's health has now been restored, with the help of vitamins and probiotics. And now she's wearing a new hat. She's a published author. She formatted her journal and in October "Messages from a Mother" was published by AuthorHouse Books. The 189-page book was released nationwide on Jan. 7.
"I hope that it will be an inspiration for people that are struggling," she said. "I hope it will give them insight into how to correct their problems."
She may be a newly-published author, but the way she looks at it she's been writing stories for almost 20 years now. When Lafferty was serving on the police force she spent every day talking to people, helping them solve their problems and then writing about it in reports, so writing came naturally for her.
"You write a lot of reports as a police officer; it's like writing short stores," she said. "I figured if I could do that I could write a book."
"Messages from a Mother" isn't the first book Lafferty has published. Her book about horse racing in Delaware was also released in October. She is also working on a children's book, this one was also inspired by her daughter.
Page 2 of 2 - "The book is about my daughter. She has open heart surgery when she was five," Lafferty said. "It's geared toward kids going through medical procedures, to show them that if she got through it then they can get through it."
Not only did Lafferty get the opportunity to set down in pen the things she thinks her daughter needs to know to survive life's trials, she also got to watch as her daughter discovered the gift. Lacey Lynn, who is 8-years-old now discovered the box full of copies of "Messages from a Mother" at her house and picked one up.
"She sat down here in the kitchen and read about half of it," Lafferty said. "I don't think it quite hit home yet, it'll have more meaning when she's older."