Our daughter, Hannah, came for a visit this past weekend. She is a third grade teacher in a district south of us and has been teaching for four or five years now. My wife and I knew she’d end up being a teacher, even though she tried different majors while in college. It is her calling, and we saw it from little on.
Her class is mostly made up of non-English speaking students, and some who are below grade level. The school draws from lower income neighborhoods, and her work is hard, but she loves it.
Over dinner, she told us a story about one of her former students, now in fourth grade. Each day, he seeks Hannah out for a hello and a hug. At the end of the day, he is reluctant to leave, wanting to be with her. Not atypical for some kids to connect with teachers. As a principal, I preached that if a student connects with one caring and interested adult, the chances of success for that student multiple tremendously.
This little guy has had a tough go of it. His mother died last year, and he lives with his father, and a sister who is out of school. Both his father and his sister work long, long hours, and this little guy goes home to an empty house most days. He gets his own dinner and puts himself to bed- alone. No one to say goodnight to. No one to read him a story. No one to listen to how his day went. This little guy is only nine years old.
I could tell Hannah’s heart broke when she told us the story. Heck, mine did, too. Hannah wondered how she might ask his father if she and her husband could take the little guy hiking one day a month. Spend time with him. We suggested she speak to the school’s social worker, and Hannah suggested she might speak to the school counselor.
Our youngest daughter, Emily, is in her first year as a clinical social worker and a therapist at a nonprofit. She sees a variety of adult clients and works through their problems with them. She guides, coaches, and leads, but doesn’t preach at them or tell them what to do.
Like her sister, we knew Em would choose a helping profession. And like her sister, we saw that in her little on.
When she worked with the homeless population, helping them obtain living arrangements, medical care, and sometimes providing a path to psychiatric care, she had many funny stories. Like the one man who played a game of cards with several individuals- who weren’t actually visible or there. Like the guy who “shadow boxed” his way ahead of Em and her partner in an effort to “protect them” from unseen individuals, again, who weren’t there. At least Em and her partner didn’t see them, but the guy sure did.
Some days, she was frustrated with “the system” because of the hoops she and her clients had to jump through to get the help they needed. She would call and vent, and in the end, her stock answer to all might be, “People are stupid!” And she’d say it with a laugh.
I could go on and on about teachers helping kids, about my niece who is a 9-1-1 operator helping individuals in immediate crisis, about administrators working to cut tape and clear out the obstacles so kids and teachers can get the services they need. In my 47 years, I think I’ve forgotten more stories than I remember.
But I realized then, as I do now, that teachers, administrators, therapists, and other health and helping care workers are loving their clients. They do what they do because at the core of their belief is that kids and people are worth it. They work in service to others. They care. They love.
To me, service to others is loving others. Yes, we get paid for what we do. (Not nearly enough, however). There are so many long hours, some sleepless nights- all because these caring individuals love others enough to work on their behalf. They give- many times much more than they receive. These selfless and caring, compassionate and loving individuals do what they do in service to others because they love others. And isn’t that what we are called to do? Something to think about …
Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!
To My Readers:
I have fantastic news!
My newest book, Fan Mail, is Available for Preorder at https://www.blackrosewriting.com/thrillers/fanmail Use code PREORDER2023 to receive a 15% Discount. If you head over to my author website at www.jrlewisauthor.blog/ you will find the cover and book blurb to Fan Mail.
If you have read one of my books, I would like to ask a favor. If you could go online and write a review or, at the least, give a rating on the book, it would be of great help. Both a review and a rating would be wonderful. The review could be one or two lines. It doesn’t have to be long. Just let others know you read it and hopefully, enjoyed it. Obviously, 4s and 5s are the best. Thanks for this consideration.
Connect with me on Social Media:
Author Website: www.jrlewisauthor.blog/
Twitter at @jrlewisauthor
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Fan Mail: New Release!
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?
Blaze In, Blaze Out: A Literary Titan Gold Book Award Winner! A Readers’ Favorite Award Winner! A Reader’s Ready Recommended Read! A BestThriller’s Editor’s Pick!
Eiselmann and O’Connor thought the conviction of Dmitry Andruko, the head of a Ukrainian crime family, meant the end. It was only the beginning. They forgot that revenge knows no boundaries, vindictiveness knows no restraints, and ruthlessness never worries about collateral damage. Andruko hired contract killers to go after and kill O’Connor and Eiselmann. The killers can be anyone and be anywhere. They can strike at any time. They care nothing of collateral damage. Andruko believes a target is a target, and in the end, the target must die. https://amzn.to/34lNllP
Betrayed: Two Top Shelf Awards: 1st Place Fiction-Mystery; and Runner-Up Fiction-Crime; A PenCraft 1st Place Winner for Thriller-Fiction! A Maxy Award Runner-Up for Mystery/Suspense! A Literary Titan Silver Book Award Winner! A Reader’s Ready Recommended Read Award Winner! A Reader’s Favorite Honorable Mention Award Winner for Fiction-Crime-Mystery!
Betrayed is Now Available in Audio Book, Kindle and Paperback! https://amzn.to/3AfUUpS
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. Greed can be all-consuming, and seeing is not believing. No one can be trusted,
and the hunters become the hunted. https://amzn.to/2EKHudx
Spiral Into Darkness: Named a Recommended Read in the Author Shout Reader Awards!
He blends in. He is successful, intelligent, and methodical. So far, he has murdered eight people. 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, do not know they are the next targets. Neither does their family. And neither does local law enforcement. https://amzn.to/2RBWvTm
Caught in a Web: A PenCraft Literary Award Winner! Named “One of the Best Thrillers of 2018!” by BestThrillers.com
Caught in a Web is also available in Audio Book, Kindle and Paperback! http://bit.ly/2WO3kka
found the bodies of high school and middle school kids dead from an overdose of
heroin and fentanyl. A violent gang, MS-13, 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. 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. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CKF7696
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. https://amzn.to/34nXBH5
Book One, Stolen Lives: Editor’s Pick by BestThrillers! Literary Titan Gold Book Award Winner! A Crime Thriller finalist in the 2021 Best Thriller Book Awards!
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. https://amzn.to/3oMo4qZ
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. https://amzn.to/2RAYIk2
Book Three of the Lives Trilogy, Splintered Lives:
Three dangerous men with nothing to lose offer a handsome reward to anyone willing to kill fourteen-year-old Brett McGovern. 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 death? http://bit.ly/SplinteredLives
Photo Courtesy of Bethany Hill and Facebook.