Thursday, April 25, 2019

Take A Hand

I remember way back in the mid- to late-eighties, I went out to eat with my brother Jim, his wife, Laurie, and their three kids. Their youngest, Kim, was in a high chair. The meal was brought out to us and Kim wanted her dad to cool it down for her.

Jim took the plate of food, in this case, a bowl of soup, and blew on it. Jim tasted it, made sure it was cool enough for Kim, and handed it back to her. Without any hesitation, Kim took a spoon and began eating it.


In a more recent time, my daughter, Em, went to a doctor and had a small procedure done. I didn't think it was a big deal, but to Em, it was. Em asked to hold my hand. Interesting, since she was in middle school at the time and I always thought of her as fairly tough. But, I held her hand and all went well. We never spoke of it at that time or since.

Trust and Support.

Four years ago, Kim and I had to stand in front of a window at the coroner’s office to identify my son’s body. A large sheriff deputy stood next to me, while the assistant coroner stood next to Kim. Kim and I held hands.


I think trust and support are fairly similar in nature. We rely on one another when, at times, we can’t rely on ourselves. Sometimes it’s tough to admit that we need a hand, a shoulder, an ear, a caring presence. Even the strong ones among us need support from time to time (see my post, “The Anchor Can Drown” from 1-17-14).

We never know who among us is carrying a burden. We might never know if, or when, that burden becomes too much. Because the strong among us, so it seems, shouldn’t ever ask for help, shouldn’t ever need help. Because the strong among us are self-sufficient, self-reliant and resourceful. Right?

Or, perhaps I’m wrong. Yes, I think I’m wrong.

Because even the strong among us need help from time to time. Every now and then, we might need someone to lift us, to be with us, to hear us out, or simply to be present with us. To be heard, to comfort.

Every now and then, we need someone to Take Our Hand and let us know that we aren’t alone, that someone has our back, and that someone will stand with us. Even the strong among us. Even you. Even me.

And the weak? The angry? The kid acting out, doing poorly, not paying attention, seemingly not caring, not listening, willing to lash out and argue? Yeah, them too. Fear and pain cause varied reactions. Fear and pain are never really the same from one to another. There might be similarities, but never really the same from one individual to another.

And I think, perhaps, that by Taking A Hand, not only do we help that individual, we end up helping ourselves. Kind of naturally, I think. Where there are two, there is strength. Where there are several, we are even stronger. So maybe by reaching out, either to help ourselves or to help someone else, we are, in actuality, showing strength. Something to think about . . .

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!

To My Readers:

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Twitter at @jrlewisauthor

There have been several great reviews for Spiral Into Darkness:

“If you enjoy thrillers, especially psychological ones, Spiral Into Darkness by Joseph Lewis will grab you good and proper in the opening two chapters. You will find yourself avidly turning pages as a serial killer accosts his victims, confirms their identities and blasts away their faces with a .38 pistol. If you are interested in both the good and bad sides of humanity and why we each turn out as we do, Spiral Into Darkness won’t disappoint.” Readers Favorites

“The Bottom Line: A thoroughly compulsive police procedural by one of America’s most promising new writers. Joseph Lewis, author of our Best of 2018 pick Caught in a Web, is back with another crime thriller featuring world-weary Milwaukee detective Jamie Graff . . . While Lewis savagely explores romance, drama, and sexuality with his wider cast of characters, Jamie’s interpersonal life is refreshingly free of drama for a cop, enabling him to be the determined, resourceful rock capable of cracking the case. The result is a thoroughly compulsive crime thriller.” Best Thrillers

Best Thrillers had previously reviewed my book, Caught in a Web. It was named as a PenCraft Literary Award Winner for Thriller Fiction! Best Thrillers called it “one of the best crime thriller books of the year!” I am both proud and humbled.

If you do read Caught in a Web, Spiral Into Darkness, or any of my other books, please leave a rating and a review. I would appreciate it. Thanks for this consideration!

Spiral Into Darkness:
He blends in. He is successful, intelligent and methodical. He has a list and has murdered eight on it so far. There is no discernible pattern. There are no clues. 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, have no idea they are the next targets. Neither does their family. And neither does local law enforcement.

Caught in a Web:
The bodies of high school and middle school kids are found dead from an overdose of heroin and fentanyl. The drug trade along the I-94 and I-43 corridors and the Milwaukee Metro area is controlled by MS-13, a violent gang originating from El Salvador. Ricardo Fuentes is sent 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.

Detectives Jamie Graff, Pat O’Connor and Paul Eiselmann race to find the source of the drugs, shut down the ring, and find Fuentes before he kills anyone else, especially George or members of his family. The three detectives discover the ring has its roots in a high school among the students and staff.

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:
A 14 year old boy knows the end is coming. What he doesn’t know is when, where or by whom. Without that knowledge, neither he nor the FBI can protect him or his family.                    

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