Monday, July 4, 2016

Celebrating . . . Life!

I sit here this early morning writing this post on the 4th of July. It is our Independence Day! There will be fireworks and music, patriotic movies, and barbecues. It’s a little odd for us, though, because Kim is in Wisconsin with her parents. Her dad had heart surgery and her mom is still healing from a painful break. Hannah is in Pitt with her boyfriend’s family. So on this day of celebration, it’s just Em and me. Last night we went to a movie, and today, she’s hanging out with a couple of friends.

At the end of this week, Em has her college orientation. It’s her first, Kim’s and my third. So far, each has been different.

Wil went to an art school in downtown Milwaukee. The orientation was maybe a half-day. Hannah went to a large university about two hours from home and we spent the whole day there. We dropped her off and she went one way and we went in a different direction and hooked up at the end. Em chose to attend a small school in a large city. Just as in Hannah’s case, Em will go one way and we’ll go the other and meet up at the end.

While Kim and I will join the ranks of you who are, or will be at some point in the future, empty nesters, I am choosing to look at this as a Celebration of Life!

Life moves forward, not backward. Certainly Em is moving forward with her life. Just as Hannah graduates in December and then enters grad school for her education certification and license, and just as Em begins that four year or so journey, Kim and I enter a new phase of our life. It’s a Celebration of Life!

And next week on July 11th, Kim and I have our anniversary. Twenty-four years together! A lot of adventures, a lot of very happy times, and some sad ones as well. Certainly worthy of a Celebration, especially for me, because Kim put up with me all these years. Heck, she deserves a medal!

And one day later on July 12th, we will remember our son, Wil. I wouldn’t call it a Celebration, really. It is too sad, too painful, and he was taken from us only two years ago. No, not a Celebration, but a remembrance. Not sure what we’ll do for it. But I’m sure there will be funny stories and some “I remember when . . .” Probably some tears, some in private and some together.   

We, you and I, Celebrate . . . Life in many different ways. Some of our Celebrations are personal like birthdays and anniversaries. We Celebrate success in our jobs, advancement in our careers. We participate in the Celebrations of the successes and achievements of those in our lives.

To me, Celebrations of Life are acknowledgements of what has taken place. It is recognizing our past- what we’ve achieved, what we’ve overcome. But Celebrations of Life are also a glance forward, a look ahead.

You see, Life continues to move forward. Life doesn’t stay put. Life doesn’t go backward. It is constant, ever changing, ever moving. Celebrate the moment you’re in. Take time to notice and take stock. Enjoy who and what is around you. But also, Celebrate and acknowledge your past and where you’ve been, where you’ve come from, but always, always, move forward, look ahead. Celebrate . . . Life! Something to think about . . .

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!

To My Readers:

Please feel free to connect with me at

Twitter at @jrlewisauthor

If you like to read thriller/mystery, check out:

Book One of the Lives Trilogy, Stolen Lives:
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:
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:
The FBI knows a 14 year old boy has a price on his head, but he and his family don’t. With no leads and with nothing to go on, the FBI gambles and sets up the boy and his family as bait in order to catch three dangerous and desperate men with absolutely nothing to lose.

The Lives Trilogy Prequel, Taking Lives:
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.   

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Thank you for your comment. I welcome your thought. Joe