On the Red Carpet..

For anyone who has read Shadows.. 

  
Or who knows me.. 

  
.. knows that this is exciting news for me… Not because I need anyone to tell me that “Shadows” is a great novel.. I am confident in my novel because it took on a life of its own as I wrote it.. 

And because everyone who reads it.. Writes me to say how they can’t put it down… Even people who don’t read Fiction.. Or Historical novels.. 

  
So .. no.. I don’t need an award to know my novel is good.. Or to know the sequel (Road Home) will be a hit.. 

But it is exciting for me because being a Finalist will get the word out there that Shadows exists. Because people can’t buy something they don’t know about… 

So congratulations Shadows!!!

You now have a red carpet.. Now we can get out there and shine… 

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00N10MHRK

http://m.barnesandnoble.com/w/shadows-jules-nelson/1120182205?ean=9781490848389

Stay on the Path…

Sometimes I look back at some of my blogs and re-read them.. A friend of mine was talking about how much my “Stay on the Path” blog touched her.. 

So?? 

I opened it up and re-read it..

At the time I wrote it.. I had been only think about the aspects of being a mother of a child with special needs. But today? Today I realize it could count for any number of my struggles in life..

And lately my path has been really icy..

Stay on the Path…. (For anyone who hasn’t read it)

A rainbow…

 Growing up, I had a brother who lived next door. He wasn’t actually related to me.. but my heart adopted him as a brother just the same.

With 5 brothers of my own.. and a sister…? Some would ask why I would want to adopt another one. Others explain to me that you can’t just adopt new siblings.. like puppies…

.. but adopt him I did … Him and his older sister were almost as much a part of our family .. as the siblings who lived with me. We laughed together.. we argued… we planned elaborate schemes… we succeeded .. and sometimes we failed. And at times? At times we all got in trouble together.

This brother next door? Terry… He was best friends with my older brother Paul. Where ever Paul and Terry went? Well .. I was never far behind. Me and my moppy head of curls.. often in a dress… would trail behind the boys waiting for whatever mischief they could find. I never had to wait long..

Surprisingly? They never seemed to tire of waiting for me to catch up. They never rolled their eyes at having to nail steps into a tree for me to get into the tree house. They never forgot to warn me to stand clear of danger.. or swarming bee hives.

These 2 boys were my first friends.

When my brother Paul enlisted in the Navy.. it left me and Terry to finish out our Senior year alone. I sure did miss my brother that year.. but it’s the year I got to know Terry the best.

And MAN did we argue that year.. We debated whether Mail Order brides would have worked.. OK.. I debated.. Terry flat refused to believe that anything less than true love in a marriage would succeed… We argued about my boyfriends.. and his girlfriends.. We argued about the best season to visit the beach.. and once we even argued about arguing…

Occasionally I would frustrate him so bad?? He would clamp his mouth shut and walk out the door…

..but he would still pick me up for school the next day… without fail.

 But all the while we were arguing.. I got to know Terry really well.  I knew he wanted to SAVE the world… so he planned on enlisting in the Navy with my brother. I learned more about his “actual” siblings… I saw that he would give away his last dollar.. and even his shirt if he needed to. He loved country music… He loved “hero” movies.. especially Steven Seagal ones. He loved his truck… His family was so very important to him…

… and he wanted to find true love…

Well after graduation .. we parted ways. He enlisted in the Navy and I didn’t hear much from him for years. He was off keeping the world safe… having adventures…

10 years later.. he started calling me when he was home. Especially when he was upset. He would tell me how proud he was of his kids.. and how he still wanted a love that would make him happy.

Eventually he found that love…

He had a couple years with her… Those years made him so happy… His smile practically jumped out of the photos I would see. And he adopted more kids .. (We are very alike in that way..)

Those years made me so happy for him…

I never actually saw Terry again after graduation. I heard his voice so many times… but I never got to see his face in person.. It just never worked out..

… and I will have to wait a while longer it seems…

You see? Terry was in a car accident last week… and God called him home.

Today I sat in church and listened to my brother’s voice shake as he stood in front of everyone… Talking about his friend… sharing about how they had finally reconnected after all those years of going in different directions because of the Navy. I admired how strong Paul was to stand up and share his story.

I am not that brave.. I am not a great speaker.. I have to let my words flow through my fingers…

.. but I loved my adopted brother just the same…

I know that Everything will be Beautiful in its time… and in Time we will see why Terry was taken from this Earth so early… and it will be Beautiful..

…but I have still shed a few (ok.. more than a few) selfish tears.. because I will miss him…

… but I am so glad Terry was put in my life… God knew I needed a good friend.. a faithful and stead fast friend for those frustrating teen years… and I will gladly shed these tears and feel this heartache in exchange for all those wonderful memories…

.. and his smile will always shine through my tears… because he hated anyone to be unhappy… Making it his goal to make people smile..

.. so I will smile for him… and I will see him again soon…

Love you Terry…

It’s a Spring thing… understand?!?

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I have a son who has special needs… He has autism with a touch of bipolar. As a parent? That can be tough on a day to day basis.. or it can be easy.. depending on the day… and Honestly? Honestly it depends on the season. Summer is the easiest for us…  .. but Please don’t think my son is the norm for all kids with Autism… 

There is a very accurate statement out there.

If you know one person with Autism? Then .. you know ONE person with Autism.. 

Every child with Autism is an individual.. every child with Autism has their challenges.. every child with Autism has their super powers…. Every child with or without Autism.. is a child… first and foremost.

But in our little crazy household? 

Summer time is the easy season to parent. So much to do.. free time to explore. 

Fall and Winter come with their mood challenges… 

But Spring?

Spring is a challenging time for our family… The longer days… the warmer temps… the increased activities… These all increase the serotonin levels flowing through all of our veins… but for a child with a mood disorder? It wrecks havoc on the delicate balance in the system.  For us it means increased happiness.. increased agitation.. increased activity.. increased anxiety.. increased frustration… increased laughter.. increased tears.. and sometimes… increased aggression.

I say sometimes…

There were years that all I could remember was the aggression.. because it is devastating… Can you imagine anything more devastating than your child hurting another person? Can you imagine anything more devastating than your child feeling so “in danger” that they lash out to protect themselves? Can you imagine anything more devastating than your child feeling so OUT of CONTROL that they punch themselves in the head to relieve the “pressure”?

All of these things threaten to overwhelm me in the Spring…

But I am Blessed… My husband has always provided a stable platform for me and our two children. Because of this, I have been able to have careers flexible enough to care for our son. Flexible enough that I can be home for him when this Spring thing happens.

With my husband’s support.. constant prayer … and the wonderful people God has placed in my son’s life?? We survive every spring.. Every year we grow a little stronger and mature (my son and I both)…

My son has grown so much.. in fact… that this spring? When the flowers bloomed.. I was able to do some things I enjoy in the spring.. Like taking walks and reading books… and sewing prom dresses.

So someday soon… I hope to rewrite this spring thing…