Hold Your Head Up High and Walk with grace

Hold Your Head Up and Walk With Grace, book by Bridget Gengler

What is the inspiration behind my new Children’s book Hold Your Head Up and Walk with grace? How did the story come to be?

On my dad’s final days on this earth, I sat with him and talked about our shared moments when he made me feel special. In those moments, I felt like I was the only girl in the room. He had a way of making me feel important and valued. 

My dad and I shared a love for reading and writing. I was the child who wouldn’t put the book down. Throughout our young lives, gift buying was our mom’s job. But on my 13th birthday, my dad bought me a book. It became a book that I have cherished my whole life. It showed the connection that my father and I shared to books and writing. 

Create your path

My dad understood me. We were both quiet and introverted. He always understood that about me and accepted me for who I was. He didn’t try to change me or shame me for being the quiet one. Instead, he encouraged me to be proud of who I was and not try to adjust to please others. He encouraged me to create my path. 

When we talked, I promised him I would pursue our shared dream of becoming a published writer. 

My dad was a poet. He had several selections of poems that he had written throughout the years. He also had typed manuscripts that he submitted to publishers but never received an offer to publish. I think, at some point, he gave up trying. I wish he hadn’t. 

My path changed

After my dad’s passing, I started to put my promise into action and take my writing more seriously. I joined a writing community called Hopewriters and began to dedicate more time to my blog. It helped me to establish a writing routine and write consistently. I stepped out of my comfort zone and began to share my work. Previously, it had always been private, and I did not want to put myself in a vulnerable spot by sharing. But I knew I could offer something to this world, and I owed it to my dad to listen to his advice that I could do anything I put my mind to. 

Growing up and into adulthood, my dad had always been my encourager. He always made me feel so loved and protected. When I was scared or nervous, he made me believe it would all be okay and I would be fine. He would reassure me that what I had to offer to the world was just as important as someone else’s offering. He made me feel so special and accepted me for who I was. 

Dad’s support

My dad and mom were there for me when I was going through my divorce. They sacrificed their time and independence to come and stay with me to help me take care of my children. My dad would remind me that they named me “Bridget” and Bridget means strong. He would always tell me it was not a coincidence. 

He would go to the courthouse when I had to be there for divorce and custody proceedings. I remember the day the judge declared that the divorce was final. My dad was there in the courtroom with me. Sadness overwhelmed my heart as a chapter in my life was over. As we walked out of the courtroom, my dad locked arms with mine and whispered, “Hold your head up high and walk with grace. There is nothing for you to be ashamed of.”

At that moment, the little girl reappeared. All the struggling moments in my childhood with fear, doubt, or insecurity played in my mind. And what I saw and felt was my dad’s love. The times when he encouraged, celebrated, comforted, and protected me played out in my mind. That poignant moment brought all those instances together with my dad’s words, “Hold your head up high and walk with grace.”

A tribute to Dad

This first children’s book is based on that. It is a tribute to my dad. When I made him that promise on his final days, I knew I wanted to write a book about us—a book about a little girl at her most vulnerable moments getting encouragement and love from her dad. 

For all those vulnerable times, whether I was 5, 10, 20, 25, 35 years old, or older, my dad lifted me and made me realize that I was unique and special. 

 In the book, it is one moment in time, but it is based on all those moments. It brings together all those moments told and felt through a young soul.

My dad always reminded me to:

Hold my head up high and walk with grace

No matter the circumstance
No matter the challenge
In the darkness or the light
Be proud of who you are
Be brave and be confident. 


I hope this book will empower young readers and remind them to be who they are. Embrace their unique self and celebrate what makes them special.

My friend, no matter how old we get, we all can use a reminder to hold our heads up high and walk with grace. 


You can check out the book right here on Amazon


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