I have been away from writing, particularly this blog, for more than a month, and I am truly sorry for my absence. I have been dealing with an arthritic hip that doesn’t allow me to sit for a long time, and it has put a crimp in all my writing. I received a cortisone shot yesterday with a steroid, so that should hold me over until my hip replacement in approximately three months. Unfortunately, I have to wait that long, because there have been studies that if the surgery takes place before the three months is up- giving time for the shot and steroid to leave my system- there is a risk of infection. I’ll keep you posted.
Tomorrow, Thursday, is Thanksgiving Day. On Saturday, November 25, I turn seventy. Seventy! That’s old, I think, and I’m feeling every year.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about the family members I’ve lost over the years. My mom and dad, and four sisters, Donna, Mary, Betty and Joanne. My son, Wil. I am happy I could spend time with and develop a friendship with Mary, who passed away recently.
Honestly, I long for the opportunity to just make a phone call to my mom. So much over the years have been unsaid, though I could mend fences before she passed away. But too much time was wasted. Same with my three other sisters. And unfortunately, with my son. Perhaps that is one of my biggest regrets and something that will haunt me to my death.
But with Thanksgiving tomorrow and with my birthday on Saturday, I have a great deal of gratitude to spend, something that if spent freely, it never runs out. Never.
All in all, I’m thankful for my past- all of it. It made me who I am. Those friends whom I’m still friends with, thanks for hanging with me all these years. Those who, for whatever reason, drifted away, I thank you for the time we did get to spend together, and I only wish you the best as each day dawns, and each sun sets.
As Frank sang, regrets, I had a few (something along those lines). Mistakes, more than the regrets. But each mistake shaped me, toughened me, and proved to me I am not invincible, but that I’m tough enough to overcome, pick myself up, and move on.
I’ve learned that grass in not greener elsewhere. Perhaps this lesson(s) occurred too late, but I learned, eventually, that grass is grass. It’s green where I water it, that’s all. Watered with love, with patience, with kindness, with understanding, with sweat and toil. It’s greener when it shared and truly lived on in togetherness.
Each job wasn’t a job to me. Some were more enjoyable than others, but always, always, there were the kids I learned from more than they learned from me, the professionals I worked with, knowing they gave me more than I gave them. I wasn’t the best by any measure, but I know I wasn’t the worst. I did my best, and that’s all that one can do.
I failed at “retirement” three times now, each time coming back to work I enjoy, to the kids I get to work with. My latest reunites me with my wife, Kim, at the school she where she works. It’s only three days a week, but still. Kim and I met in California when I was a counselor and she was a PE and health teacher and coach. Oddly, both of us were from Wisconsin, and I went to school only ten miles away from where she lived. But it took us years and a move to California to find each other, fall in love, and have three wonderful kids together. I have tremendous gratitude for all of it.
Probably the biggest lesson I learned in these almost 70 years is that we shouldn't wait to express gratitude, to feel gratitude, to express, give, and show love. To express, show, and give kindness. To not judge, but to forgive and move past and beyond. Something to think about …
Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!
From the Lewis House and Family to Each of You and to Yours, Have a Wonderful and Happy Thanksgiving! God Bless each of you!
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Fan Mail is now available FOR FREE and it can be found at Book Funnel and at this link: https://books.bookfunnel.com/endofsummerbookblowout/enp4tnldmk
My Books, Their Descriptions, and Links to Purchase
The Lives Trilogy Prequel, Taking Lives: https://amzn.to/34nXBH5
FBI Agent Pete Kelliher and his partner search for the clues behind the bodies of six boys left in various and remote parts of the country. Even though they don’t know one another, the lives of FBI Kelliher, 11-year-old Brett McGovern, and 11-year-old George Tokay are separate pieces of a puzzle. The two boys become interwoven with the same thread that Pete Kelliher holds in his hand. The three of them are on a collision course and when that happens, their lives are in jeopardy as each search for a way out.
Book One of the Lives Trilogy, Stolen Lives: Literary Titan Gold Book Award Winner! Best Thriller’s Editor’s Pick! Best Thrillers Runner Up Award Winner! https://amzn.to/3oMo4qZ
Two thirteen-year-old boys are abducted off a safe suburban street. Kelliher and his team of FBI agents have 24 hours to find them or they’ll end up like all the others- dead! They have no leads, no clues, and nothing to go on. And the possibility exists that one of his team members might be involved.
Book Two of the Lives Trilogy, Shattered Lives: https://amzn.to/2RAYIk2
Six men escaped and are out for revenge. The boys, recently freed from captivity, are in danger and so are their families, but they don’t know it. The FBI has no clues, no leads, and nothing to go on and because of that, cannot protect them.
Book Three of the Lives Trilogy, Splintered Lives: http://bit.ly/SplinteredLives
A 14-year-old boy knows the end is coming. What he doesn’t know is when, where, or by whom. Without that knowledge, the FBI cannot protect him or his family. And he cannot protect himself, his father, or his brothers.
Caught in a Web: A PenCraft Literary Award Winner! Named “One of the Best Thrillers of 2018!” by BestThrillers http://bit.ly/2WO3kka
Now Available in Audio Book, Kindle and Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Caught-in-Web-Joseph-Lewis-audiobook/dp/B07RP42BXH/ref=tmm_aud_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1700666203&sr=8-1
Bodies of high school and middle school kids are found dead from an overdose of heroin and fentanyl. MS-13, a violent gang originating in California, controls the drug, sex, and gun trades along the I-94 and I-43 corridors and the Milwaukee Metro area. They send an enforcer, Ricardo Fuentes from Chicago to Waukesha to find out who is cutting in on their business, shut it down and teach them a lesson. But he has an ulterior motive: find and kill a fifteen-year-old boy, George Tokay, who had killed his cousin the previous summer.
Spiral Into Darkness: Named a Recommended Read in the Author Shout Reader Awards! https://amzn.to/2RBWvTm
He blends in and is successful, intelligent, and methodical. He has a list and has murdered eight on it so far. There is no discernible pattern, no clues, and there are no leads. The only thing the FBI and local police have to go on is the method of death: two bullets to the face- gruesome and meant to send a message. But it’s difficult to understand any message coming from a dark and damaged mind. Two adopted boys, struggling in their own world, do not know they are the next targets. Neither does their family, and neither does law enforcement.
Betrayed: A Best Thriller’s 1st Place Award for Crime Fiction! Maxy Award Runner-Up! A Literary Titan Silver Book Award Winner! https://amzn.to/2EKHudx
Now Available in Audio Book, Kindle and Paperback! https://amzn.to/3AfUUpS
A late-night phone call, a missing kid, a murdered family, but no one is willing to talk. A promise is made and kept, but it could mean the death of a fifteen-year-old boy. Seeing is not believing. No one can be trusted, and the hunters become the hunted.
Blaze In, Blaze Out – Best Action Fiction Book of 2022- Best Thrillers! Reader’s Favorite Runner Up! Literary Titan Gold Book Award! https://amzn.to/34lNllP
Now Available in Audio Book, Kindle and Paperback! https://www.amazon.com/Audible-Blaze-In-Out/dp/B0C6FKHJZ8/ref=tmm_aud_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1700665936&sr=8-1
Detectives Eiselmann and O’Connor thought the conviction of a Ukrainian gang lord meant the end, but it was only the beginning. They forgot that revenge knows no boundaries, vindictiveness knows no restraints, and ruthlessness never worries about collateral damage. A target is a target, and in the end, the target will die. Eiselmann and O’Connor become the hunted, but they don’t know by whom or when they will strike.
Fan Mail – New Release! A Reader’s Favorite Silver Book Award! Maxy Award Finalist! Eric Hoffer Award Nominee! Literary Titan Silver Book Award! https://amzn.to/3eNgSdS
A barrage of threatening letters, a car bomb, and a heart attack rip apart what was once a close-knit family of adopted brothers. Randy and Bobby, along with fellow band member and best friend, Danny, receive fan mail that turns menacing. They ignore it, but to their detriment. The sender turns up the heat. Violence upends their world. It rocks the relationship between the boys and ripples through their family, nearly killing their dad.
As these boys turn on each other, adopted brother Brian flashes back to that event in Arizona where he nearly lost his life saving his brothers. The scars on his face and arms healed, but not his heart.
Would he once again have to put himself in harm’s way to save them? And if faced with that choice, will he?
Fan Mail is a Coming-of-Age story embedded in a Thriller-Crime-Mystery.
Photo Courtesy of Ann and Unsplash