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Take care of yourself!

It is a popular greeting in our culture when we are finishing a conversation with someone else.  Take Care of yourself!  Often we are sincere but sometimes it is just something that we politely say.

This next week, Arden and I are taking this to heart.  We are leaving today on a dream trip to Florence, Italy.  We will be gone for 9 days.  I am speaking at the MIRCI conference there next week.   My presentation is titled, “Empowering Mothers of Special Needs Children.”  As I was preparing the presentation materials, I realized that I needed to allow myself to be empowered.  I needed to learn to take care of myself.

It can be a daunting task to be a caregiver for someone who needs constant personal supervision and physical support.  I have many other responsibilities and yet my attention is continually drawn to what is happening with Nick, even if someone else is physically with him.  It gets overwhelming.  Many times I am not even aware that I am overwhelmed until someone points it out to me.

One of Nick’s other caregivers offered to stay with Nick for this time period so that Arden and I could take this trip, just the two of us.  We will celebrate our 41st wedding anniversary in Florence, experiencing a romantic evening of music and food.  It has been many years since we were able to leave Nick for more than a weekend.

I have mixed feelings.  I am truly excited for the opportunity, for the break and for the upcoming relaxation.  I also feel a bit guilty because I am so excited.  I know that Nick is loved and that he will have a great time while we are gone, but I also am experiencing the other feeling that no one can do my job as well as I do.

And while that is true.  No one else is his mom, I know that I will return refreshed and energized and be able to do a better job, having taken this break.

So for the next 9 days, my plan is to share my personal journey of self-care and empowerment through this blog.  I am feeling a little vulnerable about allowing others to witness my journey, but I feel that it will be of great benefit to me and hopefully to someone else.  So check back with my blog daily over the next 10 days.


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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.