Sunday, June 16, 2024

All Those Memories


 One of the best things that happened at my youngest daughter’s wedding last Saturday was having family there to celebrate it with us. My family traveled from Wisconsin, Florida, Ohio, and South Carolina, and Kim’s family came from Wisconsin and Kentucky. We had friends there from even more states. It was a joyous weekend. 

There was laughter and smiles and tears- happy ones, and there was joy. We shared stories, many of which we had heard before, but it was all good. I enjoy listening to them.


At one point, the subject turned to my mom and dad, their lives with the ten of us. We talked about our big yard next to the river, the woods and the cave, and camping in the old green army tent without a floor, and how difficult it was for mom. It wasn’t a vacation for her. Not with the diapers to tend to, cooking and tidying up the site. As my older brother, Jack, said, he has a different perspective on mom. The difficulties, struggles she bared. Both mom and dad, I guess. 

I remember one thanksgiving meal with all of us gathered around the table. Mom insisted on the neck because she enjoyed it. As I got older, I understood there isn’t much to like about the neck. Not much meat on it and not much taste to it. And I recognized she wanted her family to have the best parts of the bird, the ones with the most meat. 

As we got older, we don’t understand how small our yard really was. We played softball and football in that yard. How could it be small? The woods? It was small by any standard. Only a few trees here and there. And the cave was only a dugout. It wasn’t a cave at all. The river has disappeared to a stream at best because the city closed off the dam. So many changes. Or at least, a change in our perspective. 

As we shared our meals this past weekend and camped out in our hotel rooms or the small conference room the hotel kindly opened up for us because of our numbers, we agreed we need to get together more often, to talk more often. We’ve made this suggestion before, and yet … time passes and it is only the next big event, a wedding or a funeral, that gathers us together. 

As time passes, we become less. Not quite a year ago, my sister Mary passed away. One less of the Lewis clan. Judy, our now oldest sister, is still trucking along in her mid-eighties. Kathy, who couldn’t make it to the wedding, is our only other sister remaining. The four boys, Jack, Jim, Jeff and me are still around. We better be for a long, long time. 

I don’t know how many more ways I can say this, but we need to make certain those who are near to us, dear to us, know how we feel about them. We need to let them know we care, that they are loved. We need to spend more time with old and new stories and with each other’s company, before they, too, are gone. 

I watch my daughter Hannah and her husband Alex raise their firstborn, Kim’s and my first grandchild, Mason. I know they are slowly building memories for him and for each other. I’m happy Kim and I are a part of those stories and those memories. I know Emily and Quaevon will eventually have kids of their own, and Kim and I want to be a part of those memories and those stories, too. 

We need to make sure we don’t wait for the next event to let people know how important they are in our lives, because the next event might not bring us all together again. One or more might be missing. We need to share the stories, to share our love for each other, and, importantly, let our loved ones know how we feel about them. Don’t wait. Do it now before it’s too late. Something to think about … 

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference! 

To My Readers:

If you like what you’re reading and find a benefit from it, you can check out my other posts on my Website at under the Inspirational Blog tab. You can find all nine books, their descriptions, and links for purchase at the same site.  

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I will take part in a podcast, MEET THE AUTHOR with Rob and Joan Carter Wednesday, July 17 at 7:00 pm Eastern Standard Time. They can be found on LinkedIn. Look for the promo and the link early next week. 

Later this month, my newest book, Black Yéʼii (The Evil One) goes into publication production. The release is scheduled for January 2025, but it will be available for preorder in a few months and I will have author copies for sale and signing. I’ll keep you posted.  

At the end of Caught in a Web, an agreement was made between law enforcement and four victims who were the loan survivors in the house that was overrun by MS-13. The agreement was to be a secret kept so that MS-13 wouldn’t seek revenge and come back to do harm to those four survivors. 

Here is the synopsis for Black Yéʼii (The Evil One): 

The police fabricated a story about the night four members of MS-13 died in a tiny home on a quiet city street almost two years previous. George Tokay and his friends were not supposed to share the secret about what really happened that night. No one was to know the truth. But someone talked, and now MS-13, ruthless and wanting revenge, is back in town, and people are dying.

Can Detectives Graff, O’Connor, and Eiselmann find the killers and put a stop to the killing before anyone else dies?

I will keep you posted on its publication progress and date.

While you wait, you might want to check out my earlier book, Caught in a Web because Black Yéʼii Black Yéʼii (The Evil One) is a sequel of sorts. 

Caught in a Web  

“This important, nail-biting crime thriller about MS-13 sets the bar very high. One of the year’s best thrillers.” –Best Thrillers

“…the right blend of tension and intrigue …” -Midwest Book Review 

A PenCraft Literary Award Winner

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.

Photo Courtesy of Various Family Members


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