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Love is Fragile

 

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My mom and her great-grandchildren

Parents tend to talk about how they missed out on parts of their children’s lives. How they were too busy, or too whatever. I understand; I wish I could have spent every minute of every day with my beautiful daughters. Today, though, I would like to turn this sentiment on its head. 

We expect our parents to be there forus. When we’re young, we take them for granted. When we’re older, we get busy with our families and careers and all the minutia of life. Then one day, we discover the hard way that parents are fragile humans.

For me, it was when my stepfather was in a horrible accident that I discovered just how fragile life is. He wasn’t expected to live, and when it became obvious he would, we were told he’d need 24/7 care the rest of his life. We never lost hope, and turns out the doctors were wrong. He isn’t as strong as he was, and his memory isn’t great, but he’s still him. And I realized how much I love him.

That was a horrible time, but the worst was yet to come. Recently my mom went to the doctor about some seemingly minorpains in her side. Suddenly the world turned upside down. Pancreatic cancer. Metastasized to the liver. It’s almost a month later, and I still can’t really comprehend. Something precious is leaving my life.

My mom and I haven’t always had the best of relationships, but we’ve always loved each other. Now, when we’ve finally found some peace, some place where we can be together and just be. Now she’s going away. I could whine it isn’t fair, but life rarely is. Thankfully, I have some time. I can be there and tell her I love her.

Enjoy being with those you love. They are each precious, wonderful pieces of your life.

 

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

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In honor of Valentine’s Day, I would like to tell a story about a couple who, in my opinion, live a romance novel life. The couple, by the way, happens to be my wonderful husband and me.

Several years ago, we both returned to school at about the same time, taking classes at our local community college. We spoke once, saw each other across campus fairly regularly, but we never really connected. Though it turns out each of us was attracted by the other.

A year or so later, I was taking some outpatient therapy at a rehabilitation hospital. I was waiting to be called back, when I saw this handsome man rolling past me. It was that guy from the college. I had time to think how nobody like that would talk to me.

He stopped, rolled his wheelchair backwards, and pulled up beside me. He remembered me from the college too. We started talking. He invited me to a group for adults who use wheelchairs (both of us did at that time). I went, and we talked. I invited him to go with me to watch my daughter perform for a small town TV station program. I was so proud of her when I saw the expression on his face. I knew he didn’t believe she could really sing. But she’s incredible (I know I’m prejudiced, but she is!)

We talked for hours on the phone, and he began going with me to my daughter’s performances. At a community picnic, sparks literally flew when we touched each other. I thought that was just something romance writers made up. Nope. It can happen.

I told him I wasn’t interested in a relationship. He just nodded and proceeded to make me fall head over heels for him.

When he asked me to marry him, I was thrilled. Our wedding was one of the happiest days of my life.
No, things don’t go smoothly all the time. We’ve had more than our shares of problems. But we’re better together than alone. Oddly, or maybe not, all my writing success has been since I’ve been with him. I think our relationship is magical.

But what would you expect from a leprechaun and an alien with a dragon for a muse?

Have a sweet and special day!
Cheryel

Barely Awake

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Yawn. Oh, hi there! I’m sticking my head out of my cave. I want so very badly to hibernate until spring, but unfortunately, I’m not a bear. All right, no remarks from the peanut gallery regarding excess body hair. Or my growling. I’m a human, not a bear.

Here we are, stuck in the middle of the week where everyone plays with newly acquired material possessions as we look toward the new year. There it is, just ahead of us, bright and shiny and full of possibilities. Now if I could just sleep through the first couple of months.

Oh well, I’m stuck here in the world like the rest of humanity. So, let’s get this party started. Forget the usual resolution stuff. What is something fun, crazy, off the wall that you’ve always thought about doing, but never took the time to actually do? Come on, hang gliding? Jumping out of an airplane? Getting a pet iguana? Going to Alaska for a vacation? Buying an over-the-top pair of shoes, the kind of shoes you think are awesome, but didn’t think were you?

Come on, there’s something, isn’t there? Let’s all come up with something. Then do it. It’ll be fun!

Have a great rest of the year!
Cheryel

Protect the Children

Even though this is extremely hard for me to talk about, I’m going to put my 2 cents into the Penn State uproar. It’s too bad their football program is taking a hit. It’s too bad a famous coach was fired for covering up a crime, but let us not forget the victims here. Those children who will have to live with the horror of what was done to them for the rest of their lives. The adults in this case made their own decisions, and they put the football program ahead of children.

The athletic programs at major universities, particularly the basketball and football programs, are major sources of income. That’s why these programs are so important. Like most things in today’s world, it all comes down to money. While hopefully none of these adults would have taken part in selling children to the highest bidder, what they did basically comes down to the same thing.

In 2002, a graduate student witnessed Jerry Sandusky raping a child. This rape took place on university property (locker room showers). This student, instead of dialing 911, went to the head coach Joe Paterno the next morning (he now says he reported the crime, but the police deny it—somebody decided on inaction). Paterno didn’t call the police. Instead, he waited another day before he met with Tim Curley, athletic director and Gary Schultz, Senior Vice President for Finance and Business they chose not to call the police. Instead they met with the graduate student a week and a half later and the matter was essentially dropped (Sandusky was told not to bring kids to the locker rooms). Gary Schultz recently retired, and he and Paterno are getting great retirement benefits.

The grand jury report reads like a horror story. Incident after incident reported and ignored or actively covered up. for instance, a janitor saw Sandusky performing oral sex on a child (11-13 years old) back in 2000. He was afraid of being fired, but he did tell his superior. This incident was never reported .

This whole horrible story is just one more time that a child’s welfare was completely ignored. This time, it was for money. Sometimes it’s to “keep a family together” or embarrassment—somebody is afraid of what the neighbors will think.

I said in the beginning that this blog was very hard for me. It’s hard because I’m a survivor of sexual abuse. I was abused by both a close family member and a family “friend”. I could write my own horror story here, but I won’t. Both abusers are dead now, so it’s up to God to decide what happens to them. The reason I began to speak out in the first place (many years ago) is because sexual abuse is a hidden crime. Most victims don’t tell, of those who do, few see their abusers punished. It’s a horrible thing, and it won’t get better until we as adults speak openly about it, make others admit what it does to its victims, stop covering for the perpetrators, punish those who hurt children.

We have to protect the children.

Boo!

It’s Halloween or Samhain, depending on your tradition. Tradition tells us that tonight the veil between the living and the dead thins and our ancestors can communicate with us. I don’t know if this is true or not, but I can feel a power, a strength growing as the shadows begin to lengthen. Maybe it’s my imagination, but I’ve always sensed something this time of year.

In the spirit of the season, I’m going to tell you a truly spooky story.

I have some difficulty with balance when walking, so I tend to go slow and be careful. A couple of years ago, I was in my writing office (AKA the guest bedroom). I started toward the doorway, tripped, put my arms up in case I fell, and focused on getting back my balance. I thought I had. Crisis averted.

The next thing I remember, I was flying headlong into the wall. Of the hall across from the office doorway. A good 8 feet from where I tripped. My hands were down and to my sides. The spot where my head apparently hit was about two inches higher than the part of my head that hit it. And I hit hard enough to make a huge lump, give myself two black eyes, and a concussion. We have hard heads in our family, so that was a serious hit. Especially since I was barely moving when I started.

Now, I’m not going to say I’m positive something supernatural happened. I’d be more than happy to find a scientific reason for this occurrence. I haven’t yet.

Wanna hear something even scarier? I’ve seen Christmas decorations up already. Honest. Run screaming now.

Above is the cover of my debut novel, a good spooky ghost story with romance. You can get the paperback, or you can download it on your Kindle or Nook or whatever you read ebooks on, and scare yourself to sleep tonight.

Do you have a personal spooky story? Would you like to share?

Have a happy and safe Halloween!