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Let’s All Take Time to Remember Those Who Have Given Their Lives for Our Country.

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Visiting the American Cemetery in Luxembourg is a moving experience. It reminds us once again of exactly what our men and women in the military sacrifice in order that we might remain free. And it is a solemn reminder that our freedom is not free, it is still purchased with the blood of men and women willing to die for our country.  Memorial Day is a time to honor those who have given their lives fighting for our liberty in all wars, but we should also be reminded to thank those brave men and women who are still risking their lives so that we might remain free and strong. I always feel proud when people thank my husband for his military service, and I would like to also take the time to thank all those men and women who have defended our country, “Thank you all for your service!”

Above, my husband, a former veteran, paying his respects to some of those Americans who died at the Battle of the Bulge at the American Cemetery in Hamm, Luxembourg. http://www.abmc.gov/cemeteries-memorials/europe/luxembourg-american-cemetery#.VTk0vZOAkg   The Ardennes Counteroffensive, better know as the Battle of the Bulge, was the last major German offensive in World War II.  The Allies pushed back the German armies from Belgium, through Luxembourg, and back into Germany.

Approximately 19,000 Americans were killed in this counteroffensive. After the battle, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was quoted: “This is undoubtedly the greatest American battle of the war, and will, I believe, be regarded as an ever-famous American victory.”

Second Lt. Nancy Leo, an Army nurse from Maryland, is the only woman buried among the 5076 soldiers in the Luxembourg American Cemetery, even though she died in a jeep accident in Paris. This oddly reflects the auto accident in Germany that led to the death of George S. Patton, and yet, they were buried with their band of brothers from the Battle of the Bulge.

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Within the cemetery grounds, there is a memorial chapel with a bronze door embellished with gold leaf cartouches depicting military virtues. Inside the chapel, there is a mosaic ceiling and a stained glass window showcasing the men and woman resting in the cemetery.

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When you are celebrating the Memorial Day weekend with your friends and family, please remember to take the time to say a prayer for those who fought and died for our country and also say a heartfelt thank you to those who are still defending us. https://www.youtube.com/embed/daqwGRdRIsk?feature=player_detailpage

Below is the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, HI.

Thanks for stopping by.

Bren

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So excited that SOMEDAY MAY NEVER COME is on Sale For 99 Cents for One Week!

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Starting May 17th through May 24th, Someday May Never Come is on sale on Amazon for 99 cents! If you like murder mysteries wrapped in a little romance, check it out. Great beach read. Below is a short excerpt:

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Present Day

Anna knew he measured every movement she made. She clicked off the recorder and leaned back in her chair. He sat with his hands clasped together on the window ledge, pausing for breath. He took a sip of water. His orange shirt looked too small for him, the material stretched taut across his belly. Even his neck looked too thick for the crew neckline of the shirt.

She stared him down before she spoke. “How can I be sure what you say is true?”

“I know people, especially women. Besides, Fiona and Meagan confided in me until that bastard detective got involved.”

“Who do you mean?”

He slapped his hand against the ledge. “Don’t play stupid. I’m talking about the detective, Frank Navarez. Do you get hot like Fiona did when I talk about him?”

Anna jumped. She’d gotten so caught up in the story, a sense of shock swept over her when he stepped out of character. Angry for forgetting this was a murderer she was talking to and not some shaman, she said, “Are you jealous of Frank?”

He snorted. “Why would I be jealous of that loser? He’s stupid enough to think people can change, or that women can be trusted. We know better, right?”

“Are you ever sorry for killing those women?”

His eyes glittered savagely. She backed her chair farther away from the glass, even though knowing he couldn’t touch her. The scrape of the chair attracted the attention of the correctional officer on her side of the corridor, and he looked up. She motioned to him that she was all right.

He leaned so close to the window, the Plexiglas fogged over. “I don’t give a damn what they do with me in here,  all I want is the truth out there. You’ll do the story the way I say. I want justice. What do you want most, Anna?”

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Do you ever think about those books that most affected you growing up? When I was a little girl, my mom and I would read Heidi, and then we’d eat toasted cheese sandwiches and drink sweet tea instead of eating toasted cheese and drinking goat’s milk. (Yuck!) I know two of my all-time favorite books when I was a kid were To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee and A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith. I was eleven when I first read these books, and they were my first grown-up books. To Kill A Mockingbird was amazing because it was about young kids who could actually influence adults into action. Coming from parents who thought children should be seen and not heard, this was an incredible breakthrough for me. I think it was the first time that I believed my thoughts mattered and I wasn’t just a silly kid for thinking and feeling the way I did. A Tree Grows In Brooklyn was about a young girl and her family growing up poor in Brooklyn. And while my family wasn’t as poor as their family, I knew my parents had been that poor, and I admired Francie Nolan’s courage in trying to better herself through education. Also, Francie had a father who drank, and unfortunately, I could relate to this situation in my own life, too.

My love of books started at a very young age, when my mother used to read stories to me at bedtime, and that love has never stopped. I believe it is that love that compels me to write my own stories. What books affected you the most when you were growing up? Do you ever reread them? I’d love to hear about the books that have influenced you over the years.

Thanks for stopping by. It means so much to me to be able to share with my family and friends. If you get the chance, get your copy of Someday May Never Come at

http://amzn.to/1sBlyyu
Bren

 

 

 

 

Mom! Though You’re No Longer Here–I Think of You Often–Especially Close to Mother’s Day!!

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Mother’s Day is around the corner, and I always find my thoughts going to my mother, and then to my own daughter. I think of the things most remembered about my mom and wonder what memories my daughter will recall of me when I’m gone. If this sounds morbid or sad, I don’t mean it to at all, it’s just that as we grow older, we become much more aware of the swiftness of time and how precious our memories of the past and our loved ones.

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I remember how much Mom loved  cooking for the holidays. She didn’t laugh aloud often, but I remember we could show her the picture above of her cooking dinner with that wild-eyed look and it would make her laugh and laugh.

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Growing up, I recall the days when my mother wore dresses and heels whenever she went anywhere. She didn’t have many friends, but I remember her friendship with Mary was very important to her. They were neighbors and  worked at Heinz together. My mom’s sister, Ruth, died young, and it was so painful my mom could never talk about. When she wanted to tell me stories about her life, I was often too busy to listen, and later, when I wanted to hear those stories, they were too painful for her to tell. Sometimes in life we’re unfortunately not always on the same track.

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I remember her wonderful pies and Thanksgiving turkeys! I remember she’d take us on the Greyhound bus to Stockton to shop for school clothes and eating lunch at Kresses Department Store. When school was out for the summer, I recall those hot evenings when she would build a campfire in the backyard and roast weenies and toast marshmallows to celebrate school being out. It felt like real camping. I remember coconut bunny cakes with jelly bean eyes, and hiding our Easter eggs in fields out on Coral Hollow. I remember dressing up in our Easter clothes, with our Easter bonnets, and going to Grace Baptist Church. Thank you so much for those memories, Mom, and I hope you know how much those memories still mean to me.

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To my own daughter, I hope that you have some special memories of us together. I know that I do. To those of you lucky enough to still have your mom, give her a big hug and let her know how much she means to you. For those of us who have lost our moms, be grateful for all those special memories, and embrace the memories, knowing that you were loved and that’s something very special.

Thanks for stopping by. And happy Mother’s Day to all!

Bren

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