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For Mom

Patricia Nichols Walker Coulter

Patricia Nichols Walker Coulter

This is the first Mother’s Day I’ve spent without my mother. I have to say, it hurts. Really hurts. My mom was an incredible woman who never attained what she could have. It was only in the last years of her life that I caught glimpses of the amazing strength she kept hidden away inside her.

Patricia Nichols was born during the Great Depression. Her family, like most others, was poor. They didn’t have necessities like clothing, shoes, or sometimes even food. Her father, my grandfather, wasn’t much of a provider either. It was a bad situation, but the family persevered.

Mom grew up and married my father. I was born on death’s doorstep, and hung there on a regular basis. Their marriage broke up, we went to live with my grandmother. Mom worked a hard physical job to support us. I didn’t see much of her.

Years later, Mom married my stepfather and later I had a brother. It was nice having a sibling, even though he was nine years younger than me. Mom still worked her hard physical job.

Many years later, after I’d grown up and had kids of my own, she had a heart attack. She said she saw a light and believed she saw the other side. After that, she never feared death. When she found out she had pancreatic cancer and only months to live, she faced the end with dignity and strength. It was the rest of us who were falling apart.

It was difficult to see her become weaker and in more and more pain, but she faced the end of life with humor and strength that could be a lesson for the rest of us. She looked forward to seeing her mother and her brother and sisters who had gone on before.

If your mother is alive, give her a call or hug. Go see her. Sit, talk. You’re blessed to have her still with you. Maybe you don’t have the best relationship with her. I understand, Mom and I butted heads frequently. Just remember, there are only a few precious years that we have with our mothers. I wish I’d spent more of that time with mine. Don’t make the same mistake.

Happy Mother’s Day!



If she can’t believe what she sees, can she believe what she feels? When photojournalist Stephie Stephanova visits Ugly Creek, Tennessee to help her best friend, Madison, she expects a boring visit. Then she snaps a photo of something she shouldn’t have seen–and falls for a man she definitely shouldn’t have.
The Ugly Truth available only in ebook from Amazon until August 16 when it will be available in electronic and paperback formats from all major book outlets.

Love is Fragile



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.


Happy Valentine’s Day!


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!