Sunday, May 30, 2021

Taking it For Granted



Within the last week or two, my knee started to hurt. I can’t put my finger on exactly when, where or how, but it hurt. Ached, actually. Still does.

At first, I thought it was because of all the sitting I do while I’m facilitating online learning. I’m fairly glued to three computer screens as I check the progress of kids in their courses. I send email reminders. I send email encouragement. I open up tests, quizzes and grade various assignments when called upon. But all in all, my butt is in a chair and I’m staring at computer screens. 

I get up each hour to walk the hallways. I try, and usually do, get my 250 steps in each hour. I usually end up with more 250. I simply have to move.

But it was in those steps each hour I noticed my knee hurt more and more each day, especially as I traipse up and down stairs.

For whatever reason, yesterday was the worst. To the point where I took medication my wife used after her knee surgery. To the point where I sat with an ice gel pack on my knee. To the point where I started using crutches.  

Last night, I wore a knee sleeve to bed. Today, it feels moderately better, but I’m still taking the pain medication and something to reduce swelling.

All this got me thinking . . .

How much we take for granted our health. Now, I know I’m not the most “in shape” person in the world. No way. I do okay. As I said, I walk when I can, even forcing myself to move. While my job is sedentary, I still need to move, and I do.

I am also eating better, choosing wiser, healthier food than I had been. I think my waistline thanks me. Heck, I thank me.

As I get older, things won’t work like they once did. I get that. But what else have I taken for granted? What else have you taken for granted?

Our kids. Our parents. Our wife, husband. Our co-workers. Our job. Our home. Our life. The country we live in. Our freedom. Our rights.

What have we neglected, put off for another time? What is it we are so accustomed to that we don’t even think about?

Until they are gone . . .

Then suddenly, we realize what a gift we had. Then suddenly, we realize the importance, the significance of what he had.

Sometimes, it takes the absence of something to make us realize the true gift, the true beauty of something we had, or have, that we no longer have. And perhaps, it is the absence that comes into our lives, sometimes forced upon us as unwilling recipients that makes us appreciate what we have, or had, once again. Maybe even more so.

Don’t wait until you no longer have that gift: the child or children; your spouse; your job; your home; your country; your rights and freedom; your health. Don’t wait to appreciate what you do have. Don’t wait until you no longer realize what a gift life is. Don’t wait. Please! Something to think about . . .

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!

To My Readers:

I have an author's website, in addition to my Facebook Author’s Page.
On it, I talk about writing. I introduce characters from my books, and I introduce readers to other authors. I also release snippets from those books. Mostly, it is my way of reaching out to you so that you get to know my author side of life. You can find it at:

Other ways you can connect with me on Social Media: 
Twitter at @jrlewisauthor

The Lives Trilogy and Prequel are now available in both paperback, kindle and nook through both Amazon and Barnes & Noble! The links are below! I appreciate all the texts, requests, and messages I have been receiving. Thanks for your support and interest. I edited and revised each book. I am pleased with the results. I am thankful to BRW for their continued belief in me and in my writing. I hope you will rediscover or perhaps discover the Lives Trilogy and Prequel. 

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 live in separate parts of the country, the lives of 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 Kelliher holds in his hand. The three of them are on a collision course and when that happens, their futures grow dark as each search for a way out.

Book One, 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 will end up like the other kids they found- dead! They have no leads, no clues, and nothing to go on. To make the investigation that much tougher, Kelliher suspects that one of his team members might be involved. 

Book Two of the Lives Trilogy, Shattered Lives:
The boys are home, but now they have to fit back in with their families and friends. Their parents and the FBI thought the boys were safe. They were until people began dying. Now the hunt is on for six dangerous and desperate men who vow revenge. With no leads and nothing to go on, the FBI can only sit back and wait. A dangerous game that threatens not only the boys, but their families. 

Book Three of the Lives TrilogySplintered Lives:
Three dangerous men with nothing to lose offer a handsome reward if fourteen-year-old Brett McGovern is killed. He does not know that he, his younger brother, and a friend are targets. More than anyone, these three men vow to kill George, whom they blame for forcing them to run and hide. A fun vacation turns into a nightmare and ends where it started, back on the Navajo Nation Reservation, high on a mesa held sacred by George and his grandfather. 

Outnumbered and outgunned, George will make the ultimate sacrifice to protect his adoptive father and his adoptive brothers- but can he? Without knowing who these men are? Or where they are? Without knowing whom to trust? Is he prepared for betrayal that leads to his heartbreak and possible death?   

Betrayed: A Maxy Award Runner-Up for Mystery/Suspense! A Literary Titan Silver Book Award Winner! A Reader's Ready Recommended Read Award Winner!
A late-night phone call, a missing kid, a murdered family, but no one is talking. 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.

Spiral Into Darkness: Named a Recommended Read in the Author Shout Reader Awards!
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: A PenCraft Literary Award Winner! Named “One of the Best Thrillers of 2018!” by 
They found the bodies of high school and middle school kids dead from an overdose of heroin and fentanyl. MS-13, a violent gang originating from El Salvador controls the drug trade along the I-94 and I-43 corridors. They send Ricardo Fuentes 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.    

Photo courtesy of Agustin Fernandez and Unsplash



  1. Very well written Joe and to the point!

  2. Well written Joe and to the point!

  3. Thank you! I appreciate you taking the time to read it.


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