One question that authors get ALL the time is “Where do you get your ideas?” The easy answer is everywhere, and really, that’s the truth. I read newspapers, internet stories, gossip sites, television and movies. But sometimes, something so special happens in your life that the event leaves you gasping, or smiling or crying. The event behind TEXAS LULLABY did all these.
On my husband’s side of the family, we have a nephew, Jason (for privacy sake, I’m using fake names.) Jason has lived an interesting life. He spent a few years in the U,S. Coast Guard, newspaper editor (for a number of newspapers) and is now an English Teacher. When he reached his forties, I just assumed he’d never marry. He’d dated a lot of women. Had been with one woman for years, but no marriage. Then one day he met a new woman, Lydia. Lydia was also in her forties. She’d never been married but due to a “special situation,” she had raised her sister’s children. At their ages, neither of them (as far as I know) had any intention of starting a family. Jason fell in love and the next thing I knew, they were getting married. I was surprised but very thrilled for me. (For some reason, I missed the wedding. Hubby went but I don’t remember why I couldn’t.)
Fast forward two years. Jason and Lydia are in a restaurant celebrating their second wedding anniversary. The police find them and tell them that Lydia’s niece and her husband have been arrested. There is no one to take the couple’s three children (ages about 4 (a set of twin daughters) and a younger daughter of about 2.) Needless to say, Jason and Lydia ran to get the kids.
Unfortunately, Lydia’s niece and her husband (the girls’ parents) have serious drug problems. There are continuing arrests and jail for both. Jason and Lydia keep the girls. Jason works from home and takes care of the children. He starts a newspaper blog so he can be full time caregiver.
Needless to say, the girls are traumatized. They are not in good health. Teeth are in terrible shape. But their mother is their mother and they missed her. Lots of emotional trauma and tears.
Fast forward to 2017. The girls have been with Jason and Lydia for about five years. This year, the girls were formally adopted by Jason and Lydia and they are the most wonderful parents! I wish I could show the “before Jason and Lydia” and the “now” pictures but I won’t expose them to any more publicity. But “Jason” and “Lydia” are on Facebook and I’ve seen the girls take Karate, Fencing lessons(!), on fabulous vacations, in cute little girl bedrooms, new clothes and smiles that would simply break your heart open. I am so proud of Jason and Lydia for stepping up and taking on young children neither of them had every thought of having.
Jason… Oh My Goodness! What a fabulous Dad he has become. I never saw this in him but he is in his element being Dad to these girls. I laugh at so many of his posts about learning to be a dad!
It wasn’t easy. There was tears and sadness, but they have come out the other side. I have so proud of this family.
TEXAS LULLABY is truly the book of my heart. I cried while writing it. I kept asking Jason questions about those early days, and the girls, and him. He was great to help me.
Recently TEXAS LULLABY was award the HOLT MEDALLION for Best Short Contemporary for 2016! And I want everyone to read it!
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