Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Cup of Coffee

October, for me, will always be radiation month. My son Daniel was diagnosed with cancer in May, and by the fall, he was scheduled for radiation treatments every morning. For two weeks, after putting my six-year-old daughter on the school bus, my sons and I would make the trek to UNC-Hospital. After unbuckling both four-year-old Daniel and eleven-month-old Benjamin from their car seats, I would put Benjamin in a stroller. The three of us would enter the clinic. As we sat in the lobby, waiting for Daniel's turn for the tumor on his neck to be radiated, coffee in a Styrofoam cup, would be handed to me. I'd thank the hospital worker, an elderly man, and sip the hot beverage.

Soon Daniel would be called and taken into the small room for his treatment. Ben, usually content with a toy, and I'd wait in the lobby where I'd pray for all to go well. I also spent time thinking about buying winter clothes for Daniel; he'd outgrown all of his pants, and his next chemo treatments. I sometimes gave a little thought to my pregnancy; I was due in May.

While my thoughts during those chilly mornings changed, the coffee never did. Faithfully, each morning, the worker presented me with a cup. His name was Lawrence, although his name tag said Larry.

Daniel did get winter clothes, and a baby sister. But he never saw his sister as he died three months before her birth.

Now on October mornings, I think of that time at the clinic. Thirteen years later, I still remember the cups of coffee. I look back on that woman of thirty-five, pregnant, with a first grader, a toddler, and a cancer patient. I wonder how she coped. I do know that the kindness of a man who was once a stranger, continues to warm her spirit. He must have seen her coming that first day, fumbling with the front door, hair still damp from her hurried shower, and knew he had to help her in any way he could.

You never know how meaningful your acts of concern---even the simple ones---can be to someone. At the time you perform them, and, many years later.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Name Contest

Wouldn't you like to participate in a name those characters contest?
Here's your chance.

What I need for my fourth novel, set in North Carolina, are the following names:

1. Name for a 15-year-old girl who is half Vietnamese and half American
2. Name for a handsome 28-year-old American man from NC
3. Name for a 65-year-old aunt who raises butterflies in Winston Salem, NC

What to do? Simply send your suggestions to by October 30th.

If your suggested name is chosen for the book, (right now the novel is tentatively titled A Wedding Invitation), you can choose your prize. Winners will receive
either a copy of:
Rain Song
or a copy of:
How Sweet It Is.

Winners will be notified by November 5.
Happy creating!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Rain Song in Canada

What fun it was to be on CHRI Radio in Canada yesterday!
Hear the whole broadcast by clicking on this link.

Thanks to Salem Storehouse in Ottawa for offering Rain Song at a discount this week.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Down the Cereal Aisle

Down the Cereal Aisle is not your ordinary cookbook. This book is a tribute to children who have died much too soon. Their loved ones have sent in recipes and memories so that all of us can now enjoy the treats these precious kids once enjoyed. Learn to make Amy's fruit cobbler and Ethan's frog-eyed salad.

The book also holds poetry as well as tips on parental bereavement. Get a copy today! Special offer from October 14 to October 31 is this:
Pay only for shipping/handling. (Down the Cereal Aisle retails for $12.95)
Send $4.00 checks to the address below:
Daniel's House Publications
201 Monticello Avenue
Durham, NC 27707