Today, it’s hard to breathe. It has nothing to do with summer in the south.
I’ll tell you because we’ve come to know each other, Dear Reader. July 20th marks the anniversary of my mother’s death. She died of a long illness–heart disease. She died in our home, in her own bed, in her sleep. Her room is pretty much still the same years later. I don’t have the heart to touch it, and I find it comforting.
July 21st marks is the anniversary of my father’s death. He died of multiple myeloma seven years before my mother’s passing. He died in hospice with mom and me at his side. Ravaged with cancer, he fought to say goodbye. “See you later, pretty ladies. Love you.” I cherish those words to this day.
For fans of my work, you might recognize Mr. Manero, the character in DON’T FEAR THE REAPER. And now you’ll know where Keely gets her grief. If you’re curious about the grief I carried until I wrote it out, read my post Tell Me About Heaven.
There’s another book that is with my publisher right now. And while it’s not a sequel to REAPER, it is a book dedicated to my parents. OF SHADOW & STONE’s prologue was written many years ago while my mother was still alive. She loved it so much that she wanted me to follow my dream and go back to writing. So while I wrote short stories and bits and snippets of a variety of novels, along with a novel that I later trunked, she cooked dinner. I set aside the prologue, and clearly never wrote the novel until well after her death. My mother gave me a love of books. My father gave me the determination to stand up for myself and to go for my dreams. OF SHADOW & STONE will always be special to me. Whenever it comes out, I hope that you’ll like it, too.
Write what you know, they say. And so I do. While the characters and worlds I create are fictional, I can honestly say that I write emotion from the heart. I write to escape. My hope is that my books take you along for the ride.
Hug your loved ones. Tell them that you love them. The time gifted to you is short and the time spent without them an eternity.