How to keep my mother’s dream alive and aware that is the question? I am not a celebrity, just your average girl who was brought up in middle America and fought to make a better life for myself and my family. I suppose that is all we can ask for until your mother comes to you with a lofty request to write her story none the less on her deathbed. As many of you may or may not know, I fulfilled my mother’s request, and I finished the book my mother started, titled “Blessed to Be Unwanted.” It was a long and exhausting process with lots of bumps along the way. Yes, anyone can self-publish a book today, and to anyone who has taken the time to write a book and publish it, hats off to you! I self-published “Blessed to Be Unwanted” in November 2017. Since that time, I also was inspired to volunteer my time as a court-appointed special advocate (CASA). What a rewarding experience to know that I am making such a positive impact on a child in need. CASA’s serve as advocates for children that have been removed from their homes due to abuse or abandonment.

Once I self-published “Blessed to Be Unwanted”, I set up some events to heighten the awareness that my book was finally published. I spoke locally at an event in Temecula, Ca and headed back to my roots in Danville, IL where I spoke on behalf of my mother honoring her wishes. I also went to a small town in Indiana supporting a fundraiser for “Safe Haven Baby Boxes”; another wonderful cause that is saving babies lives. I want to thank all of those who came to those events to support me.

Once I came back home to Temecula; my first thought was to start sending query letters to publishers, agents, and producers. Not sure what happened, but I must have hit a wall as I could not seem to make my fingers move across the keyboard, and I did not have the gumption. Ladies and gentlemen, I was just burnt out. I am not so sure I really dealt with the fact that I lost my mother. I mean I did. I went through the grieving process, but when I realized those words my mother was transcribing in the palm of my hand when she was lying in that hospital bed, it was all I could think about was finishing the book. Little did I realize all the time and effort it takes to write and complete a book, even if you self-publish. So, I guess you could say I took a six-month hiatus and here we are now!

I took some time to settle into my new home here in Temecula, Ca. My husband and I were empty nesters for a short year and a half and now a full house once again. Our daughter decided to come back home from Northern Arizona University to continue school in Ca. Our son started a new job utilizing his degree as a video editor for Hay House Publishing, so he moved into our casita.

We started our summer off with a trip to DC and NYC.  We flew from San Diego to DC and took in all the sights these two amazing cities has to offer. As the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., country’s most iconic monuments and museums, we saw the National Mall, Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, the White House, the Potomac River into Virginia an Arlington National Cemetery, Mount Vernon, and many more amazing monuments. On our fourth day we took the train from Union Station to Penn Station, NYC here we come! Often called “the city that never sleeps,” it held true to its words. New York City offers non-stop dining, world-class shopping which I had the pleasure of running through the many floors of NYC’s infamous Macy’s! If that is not enough the flashing billboards of Times Square and the Broadway shows are a must on the to-do list. We had the pleasure of seeing “The Waitress,” I highly recommend. Of course, you can’t visit NYC and not visit The Empire State Building. We also visited Top of the Rock at the Rockefeller Center. Our daughter is a huge “Hamilton” fan and she had to see the Alexander Hamilton Grange home. Travel a little farther uptown to visit the internationally renowned artworks in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, stroll the shady paths of Central Park and stop by the park’s zoo. We spent time downtown in Lower Manhattan, where we rode the ferry to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. We also visited the 9/11 Memorial and much more. An enjoyable and fantastic trip!

Back home to reality, we all settled back into our daily routines. Kids, school, and work. Me, well still trying to light a fire under my behind to make some more noise about my book. It’s amazing how many times we hear in our retirement from so many people, “What do you do all day?” Well, it is astonishing just how busy one can keep themselves and makes me wonder how I worked full-time and did all the things I do today. I don’t have the magical answer for those that are not retired yet, but I do think that you can certainly keep yourself busy if you so choose to do so. I stay fairly active. I like to walk, go to the beach, Bikram Yoga, still helping my kids out. It seems there is never a dull moment.

Along with this journey, I have gained, and I have fought to repair my broken heart and rebuild my life without my mother. Along the way, I have learned clarity about who I am and my core values. I have gotten closer to my twin. I have met some amazing people throughout this process in writing this book and hope to take it to a new level. Ultimately, what that level that is I am not sure, but I do know I can’t give up…not just yet, so hang in there with me and let’s just see where this new adventure may take me!