Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
I’m thankful for so many things today. I’m thankful for health and happiness. I’m thankful to be able to write books, and I’m thankful for the many wonderful books that have given me so much enjoyment throughout the years.
Most of all, I’m thankful for family.
I was an only child, as was my mother. My father had a sister, but I never met her and know nothing about her. I did have great aunts and uncles, whom I loved dearly, but when I was five years old my beloved grandfather died, and shortly afterward my father took off for parts unknown. My mother was never able to locate him. So I was raised by my mother, who worked and struggled to support me and her widowed mother. My grandmother died when I was in sixth grade, leaving just my mother and me. I was often lonely, and I think that is why I cultivated a rich fantasy life which inspires me to write fantasy novels now.
But when I was thirteen years old everything changed! My mother died of cancer, and I was placed in a foster home, as my relatives–the children and grandchildren of those great aunts and uncles, all lived in the north. I entered the home with great trepidation, but soon found I had become a part of a warm, loving, and boisterous family. And growing. I wound up with four sisters and two brothers along with a multitude of cousins. Mom and Dad loved us all and never distinguished between their biological son and daughter and the “fosters”. Some children were placed only temporarily in Mom and Dad’s home, but five of us were more or less permanent placements. We weren’t adoptable but we couldn’t have felt more a part of the family if we had been adopted. We were brothers and sisters–and still are. Foster children “age out” when they reach 18, but Mom and Dad ignored that, and we all remained close.
Mom and Dad are gone now, but the seven of us still consider ourselves brothers and sisters. Some have moved to other places, other states. But those of us who remain here where we grew up get together as much as our busy lives permit. I’ll be having Thanksgiving with a large and loving family, for which I am so very grateful. And it’s not only brothers and sisters. Of course there are children and grandchildren now, and many cousins, and all are family.
But there’s more to the story. A few years ago I discovered a half-sister I never knew about. My father had married again after leaving my mother, and had a daughter. That daughter grew up and married and had children–a son and two daughters. They live in another state, but I did visit them on the occasion of the son’s wedding. I talk often to my sister on the phone. We’ve grown close and discovered much in common despite having been raised completely separately. So I have still another family to love. Such a wealth of family!
What a wonderful life I have, thanks to so much family. I have so much to be thankful for.
Oh, and the Kindle edition of my newest novel, A Mix of Magics, is free today as my way of giving thanks.
Get it here.