I've spent a good deal of time the past week thinking about life and how the briefest moment in time can set us on a path we would never have imagined. When I was five and my little brother was three, my mother blamed me for a farming accident that could easily have claimed his life, practically destroyed our family and left him with severe physical and mental disabilities he would have to endure for as long as he lived. That horrifying declaration, "If you had been watching him like I told you to do this never would have happened," took away what was left of my childhood and plunged me into a world filled with self-doubt, guilt and an inability to trust or ever feel truly loved again.
We never spoke of that moment until right before her death over fifty years later where she said she didn't recall ever saying it, but I was left with scars that have never really healed. I don't actually believe in fate, but I do believe that insecurity and self-doubt, along with the knocks of life that come to each of us so we can gain experience and get to know ourselves better, have a tendency to put us in places we would rather not be. I've lived through three bouts with Rheumatic Fever, the loss of half of my hair that has never grown back, being molested by my violin teacher, loosing my dad when I was thirteen, and being forced to leave home after my mother - who was suffering a nervous breakdown - tried to run me through with a butcher knife because I wouldn't do something she asked. I lived with other people until I was taken to college by my grandmother and uncle. Those were lonely days because I wasn't allowed any contact with my siblings. My grandmother died a few months later. All of those heart-wrenching experiences, along with other less traumatic events, happened during my first nineteen years.
I remember watching "Gone with the Wind" as a teen and feeling very much like Scarlet O-Hara when she said she would think about it tomorrow after facing a life-altering event. That simple phrase has kept me going through an entire life filled with more loss and sorrow than I ever dreamed possible because tomorrow never comes, and the daily pressures associated with living must be faced as they come. I feel blessed that my spirit would not let me give up, even when all I wanted to do was curl up in a ball and never see the light of day again. I also suppose that's why I write the kind of books I do. Anyone can write about a single trial turning into a happily-ever-after kind of life. But what about all those people who never get their happy ending?
I want the bloodied, bruised and broken who refuse to give up or give in because life is hard to know that they're not not alone. Those are the people I write for because I'm still waiting for the same things I desired as a child - not to feel afraid and to be loved for the woman I am. I recognize that the chance of that happening before this life is over is minimal at best, but I also believe in a loving God who wants the best for each of his children and will compensate for every loss and hurt felt in this life in the one to come - as long as a person never loses hope and remains faithful.
So I want to invite each of readers to check out all the books I've written under the pen name of JS Ririe. I know they will bring help and comfort to even the most troubled soul. You can read about Brylee and Reagan and all the people them come to know and love in two powerful series for free as a member of Kindle Unlimited. And if you don't belong to that, I'd like to send you the first book in the Indecision Flame series of 7 books and/or the first book in the Reagan Sinclair, FBI series in digital format for free just by sending me a quick email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love to hear from you. All books are available at https://amzn.to/2BXNSdv. Resilience came out in September and the next book in the series will be out right before or after Thanksgiving.