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Singing all the verses of the National Anthem.

Do you know all 4 verses of our US national anthem?  Nick does.  Did you know that there were 4 verses?  I think that most people in the US don’t.

You can look it up online.  I find the messages of each verse to be inspiring.  Contrary to current media coverage of the NFL, this blog post is not written to elicit controversy.   It is a cute story about Nick and his singing.

Sometimes I wonder how much Nick understands, especially in social settings or situations that have nuances I have not explained to him.  However, as you will see, I too can underestimate the amazing abilities of my son.

In the summer of 1998, we went to Ireland for another visit.  While there I decided that I wanted to learn the Irish National anthem “Amhrán na bhFiann.”  It was originally composed in English as “A Soldier’s Song.”  I had learned it in English, but felt it was more correct to sing in Irish, so I asked a cousin to write the song down phonetically so I could memorize it.  During that trip I practiced singing it over and over in the car.

About a week after we got home, we were in the car and Nick said, “Let’s sing.”

This was not unusual as he knows hundreds of Irish songs, patriotic songs, popular songs, rock and roll classic songs, country songs and hymns.

I said, “Go ahead.”

From the back seat I heard, “Oh, say can you see, by the dawns early light…

Our national anthem.  He knows all four verses.  When he finished them, without skipping a beat he launched into “Sinne Fianna Fáil”…

He stopped after the first line and with a huge grin on his face asked, “You sing with me mom?”

He was singing the Irish national anthem in Irish.  And if that wasn’t amazing enough, he also recognized that it was similar in meaning to our U.S. national anthem.  I was so amazed I started crying.  I couldn’t sing.

He started over again, “Sinne Fianna Fáil”…, as if to say, Come on Mom, get it together, let’s sing.  And sing we did.

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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.