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Stop and smell the roses!

I have heard many variations of this same idea.  The original quote in 1956 by Walter Hagen was, “You’re only here for a short visit.  Don’t hurry, don’t worry.  And be sure to  smell the flowers along the way.”  Regardless of the type of flower, the idea is to take the time to notice the beauty around you.

This is hard for me to implement.  As a 24/7 caregiver for my adult son who suffers with a life-threatening epilepsy syndrome, my free time is at a minimum.  Many days it is non-existent.  I live in heighten awareness of what is happening with Nick.  No matter what I am doing, I spring to my feet and race to his room with every unusual or unexpected sound.  Even in the evening after putting him to bed, I have one ear listening to the baby monitor next to me while I try to relax watching a pre-recorded TV show.

To keep the feelings of overwhelm at bay, I do try to make note of the good times.  Those times when Nick says something profound and insightful or other times when his comment is so hilarious that our intense belly-laughing could count as our aerobic exercise for the day.

Writing this blog for the past 18 months has given me an opportunity to ponder these amazing moments with Nick.  As I share with you the thoughts I reflect on and the lessons I have learned, I am reminded of the joyful moments.  It has been a great blessing to me.

Caregiving is hard.  It is the nature of the job.  But even though it can be intense and stressful, it is also profound and exceptional.  My life is a wild ride that gives me the chance to feel more deeply.  To paraphrase Jim McKay from ABC’s Wide World of Sports, with caregiving I experience “the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.”  It truly is human drama.

Some days I do better than others.  As I reflect at the end of each day, I marvel at the opportunity I have to tell my story.  I hope that it helps you.

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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.