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Mom, I ok!

If you ask Nick, today is the best day of the year.  It is even better than Christmas or Easter, or anything.  It is his birthday.  Born in 1979, he is 38 today.  Each year, he is so excited as he anticipates the arrival of the 19th of August. There are so many facts and details in life that Nick doesn’t easily track, but his birthday and how old he is, is always mentioned.  He also can recite the birth dates of his siblings and parents.  It is a happy, happy day for Nick.

To be the perfect birthday, the day starts with us singing “Happy Birthday to you” to Nick, followed by his birthday breakfast of strawberry waffles and whipped cream.  To be the perfect birthday, Nick needs presents, helium balloons and birthday cake.  He needs a party with his friends and he needs to open presents.  The presents need to include bubbles, and Hershey’s Chocolate sauce and a GI-Joe guy.  (We have started re-wrapping the GI-Joe guy because Nick doesn’t play with it, he just likes to open it every year.)  After the celebrations, he needs to release the balloons to heaven to his grandparents.

I am happy for Nick, and I always work hard to make his birthday dreams come true.  Since it is a pretty rigid routine, it is easy to do.

However, if you ask me, the 19th of August is a day full of mixed emotions.  Each year, in the days leading up to the 19th, my mind wanders and I begin to feel sad.  While talking to a counselor years ago, it was explained to me that I still periodically am going through the grieving process.  I have unmet expectations and learning to cope with that loss is a process that is ongoing.  Every year on the 20th, I am back to myself and stand ready to experience all of the challenges of life.

I am sharing this because it is real.  I am not trying to get sympathy or to have a personal pity party.

Last night, Nick and I had a date at home alone.  We watched the Seahawks win the football game, had pizza and chocolate.  It was a wonderful date.

When I was putting him to bed, he hugged me an extra long time.  “Tomorrow my birthday, mom” he said.

“I know, Nick.”

“You happy,” he said.

“I am trying to be happy,” I said.

He looked straight into my eyes and said, “Why you sad?”

I thought, well here goes.  Perhaps he can help me find my happy place this weekend.  “I am sad because I think of all the things you don’t get to do.”

“Like what?” was the reply.

“Well, you love children and you don’t get to be a dad and have your own kids.”

He nodded.

“And you aren’t going to get married and know the love of a wonderful spouse like your brothers and sister.”

Again he nodded.  Looking straight at me, he touched my arm to make sure he had my attention.  I waited.  Then he said, “Mom, I ok! You be happy, ok?”

So that is what I wanted to share today. Nick told me that he is ok, he wants me to be happy.  I am working on trusting God that all is well.  Somedays are harder than others to do this, but I am determined.   I am going to be happy today.

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  1. Eva, this so resonates in my life with my son. Thank you for putting words to some of my emotions.

  2. Preston also loved his birthday better than any other day of the year and I, like you, always made it a huge occasion. This is my first December 3rd without him. Pray that I can make it through that day because like Nick, I know Preston is in Heaven saying exactly what Nick said to you. “I’m happy Mom, you be happy too”! Happy Birthday sweet Nick!

  3. I love this so much❤ We are so so blessed to have him in our lives. And how precious to have a son that cares so deeply about how you feel.

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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.