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Sometimes I am sad.

There are days when my emotions bubble closer to the surface than other days.  Stories that I hear are more poignant.  Even if they are reports told on the TV by dispassionate newscasters.  These stories prick my heart.  This seems especially true when I am already feeling some grief.

Just over a month ago, Arden’s mother passed away unexpectedly.  All of her family and her friends have been learning to cope with our new normal since she is gone.  This is a common for everyone, I know.  But what I hadn’t realized before this was that during the season of processing my own grief, my emotional reactions would be heightened, especially when I heard that others were experiencing loss and heartache.

The other day I was feeling particularly downtrodden.  I learned that a few of our friends in different cities, had children in the ICU of their hospital, loved ones of ours were diagnosed with cancer, others we knew are already on hospice.  Two other friends were in the hospital battling serious life-threatening illnesses and three friends had just lost a parent.  The weather that day was cloudy and rainy in Seattle, and so was my outlook.

Nick was in his room sorting his brochures.  I said hi as I passed by.  Looking toward me he said, “You be happy mom.”  I stopped.  I marveled that again he had noticed what was going on with me.  I said, “Nick, sometimes I am sad.”

Pausing, he leaned forward and gesturing toward me with his free hand, he said, “You be happy mom.  Ok?  You be happy.”  It wasn’t a suggestion, it was a directive – almost a decree.  I listened.

Happiness is a choice.  I know that.  And sometimes life experiences can come so fast and furious that I forget that it truly is my choice.  I am grateful that Nick notices when I need reminding.  I want to share this message with you.  I choose Joy!

Take Nick’s challenge, “You be happy.”

Please let me know how it goes.  Sign up on my website to get my blog in your inbox.  Share the messages from our wise Nick.


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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.