The core themes of my writing delve into the qualities of human courage and resilience. My stories are often set amid historical events which have required people to reach inside and find depths of strength they never knew they had. We can look back dispassionately at the trials of history and see that people survive great suffering and go on to find meaning and joy in life.
But sometimes the story intertwines with our own lives. It reaches out, clutches us and yanks us unbidden into a heartbreaking stream of events. We bob along trying to regain our equilibrium, but up is down and down is up and it seems a real possibility that we will drown in our sorrow.
A week ago my sister's husband fell on the asphalt of a cul de sac and bumped his head and he's remained unconscious. As my sister goes through these days of uncertainty and suffering, her courage and resilience have amazed me. Filled with anxiety and facing the possible death of her husband she has stood at his bed in the critical care unit and spoken words of love and encouragement in a calm, strong voice. In private she has let go into weeping and raging, then walked into the next room and shown her four young children a face of normalcy, sitting with them to fill pages with bright colored drawings, taking them to release their energy at McDonald's Playland, helping them make their small painted handprints on a canvas surrounding Daddy's large handprint.
I do not want to need courage like this. It's easier if courage is some noble action far removed from everyday life. And yet time after time we see that courage is wrought in our own personal dark places. We let down our defenses, our need to be in control, and we accept that pain is as much of life as joy.
Tell me your stories of courage. Whether large or small, the instances when we find our way to the light serve as inspiration for others.
PS-One more day to enter the drawing for a copy of PURE GRIT. Sign up for my newsletter before February 1st and you could hold in your hands one of the very first copies released! Plus, get a sneak peek at all new videos!
I'm fascinated to discover little-known history, stories of people and events that provide a new perspective on why and how things happened, new voices that haven't been heard, insight into how the past brought us here today, and how it might guide us to a better future.
I also post here about my books and feature other authors and their books on compelling and important historical topics.
Occasionally, I share what makes me happy, pictures of my garden, recipes I've made, events I've attended, people I've met. I'm always happy to hear from readers in the blog comments, by email or social media.