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Honor Thy Father.

Today is my dad’s birthday.  He would have been 87 today.  If he was here we would be having a massive cake with lots of candles.  He would joke about needing a fire extinguisher nearby.  He has been gone 25 years so the last time we had candles for him, there were quite a bit less on the cake.

What I do instead on this day is look at this picture of him in my office, think of him and tearfully play Dan Fogelbergs, “The Leader of the Band.”  (If you go to this link, skip the ad.)

“He earned his love through discipline, a thundering velvet hand
His gentle means of sculpting souls took me years to understand

My life has been a poor attempt to imitate the man
I’m just a living legacy to the leader of the band”

Whether we intend to or not, our lives are a living legacy to our parents.  My daughter in law honors and celebrates the birthdays of her kids grandparents and great-grandparents.  The kids have spent time their grandparents but they have never met their great-grandparents.  Yet they feel that they know them, through the incredible efforts of their mom.  She has collected stories about her children’s ancestors, not only their accomplishments and life journey, but also were some of their favorite foods.  She serves that food to her kids during the celebration of the person.

I would have to carefully pick through the list of my dad’s favorite foods.  After all, he ate peanut butter and mayonnaise sandwiches.  He would encourage me to try it.  I still can’t do it.  But he did love apple pie with cheddar cheese or ice cream.  That I can do.

Even though it has been a long time, I still honor my father.  Everyday I continue the example of hard work and self discipline that he taught me.  Some of my tax clients started out with my dad, I still care for them the way he would.

“I thank you for the freedom when it came my time to go
I thank you for the kindness and the times when you got tough
And papa, I don’t think I said I love you near enough”

The highest compliment I would receive was when he told me that I was a gentlewoman and a scholar.  I am still working on that.

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  1. What a wonderful tradition to celebrate the birthdays of family members who have passed on. I miss my grandmothers so much, and really wish my daughters had the chance to know them much longer. I love the idea of eating their favorite foods. I’m going to talk to my parents about starting this idea and sharing the celebrations together as a family. Thank you Eva!

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Announcing that I have finished a book with the working title of “The Fairy Fort.” I am currently pitching it to publishers. Keep checking back to watch the progress of my newest novel.

Here is a quick glimpse of the story.

Sarah Doherty is an 18-year-old living in rural Ireland at the tail end of the Great War. Plagued by severe epilepsy, she is protected by her parents and lives a sheltered, secluded, lonely life. The Fae, local Irish fairies, interfere with her life. She falls forward a century in time through the local fairy fort of standing stones. She had a seizure in 1918 and woke up in 2020. The 21st century world includes life-saving prescriptions, physical comforts and the independence and freedom she seeks. The locals are welcoming and Andy Mclaughlin, a handsome young historian, is intriguing. She doesn’t want to return home.

Then a letter arrives from Boston divulging the story of Sarah and Andy’s lives that are deeply entwined in the previous century. They are not yet in love but as they seek to verify the letter through online resources, they feel a growing obligation to their unborn family and to each other. What would happen to their posterity living in Boston if they don’t return to 1918? Even if they do make it back, her parents can never know what happened to her or that would change everything.

This Young Adult time-travel romance explores the question: Do we have the freedom to make choices or is free will an elaborate illusion?

This is my third book. I love reading time travel romances. I am an advocate for epilepsy awareness because my 43-year-old son has intractable epilepsy. As a genealogist specializing in Irish research, I live part of the year in the village where the story is based. I wrote the book to help young adults understand that difficult situations can change your life. Sometimes miraculously.