Sit down with a cup of coffee or an iced tea and visit with Sam as she shares a lifetime of memories in this new fictional memoir. No “ah hah!” moment, just a string of “ahs” weaving a tale of life, love, loss, some sorrow, but oh so much joy! Some drama, some humor, some heart tugs from a free-willed suburban Jersey girl trying to figure out this journey called life.
Targeted Age Group:: adult
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
Reviewers of "Heaven Shining Through" consistently indicated the novella could be a novel. That's what I did, expand and develop characters and add on to the story.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
The main characters were Sam and her mother and the story revolved around their tension. As their relationship developed, additional characters were naturally introduced, such as her husband Chad and later her neighbor George.
The morning sky is dark with rolling clouds as I sit on a boardwalk bench in Seaside Heights, NJ, just reflecting about how blessed my life has been. The waves are anxious, pounding the pristine sand in a precise, rapid rhythm. The boardwalk is empty except for a few early morning gulls and a man standing by the rail about 100 feet away. As I huddle here, I close my eyes, soaking in the sounds of the surf, the fresh, clean smell of the air, the feel of the salt air enveloping me in the gentle breeze.
Through the veil I sense the clouds suddenly open. When I open my eyes I could see the gray sky punctuated by shades of morning pink and blue with a pure white center. You can’t see the sun but know it is just behind that one puffy, thin cloud. Rays shoot out in all directions.
Immediately my thoughts dart to my early Religion class days and something my Daddy said.
Sister Mary Louise was teaching us about Noah’s Ark. She emphasized God’s love for us as symbolized in a rainbow. She told us whenever we saw a rainbow, we should say a little prayer and thank God for loving us and keeping His promises. The class created individual rainbows on craft paper. I remember mine was far from perfectly arched with the colored crayons overlapping.
But I was proud of my six year old creation and couldn’t wait to show it to Mom and Daddy. Mom politely told me it was “beautiful.” Daddy peeked at it while driving and told me I did a good job. Then he said, “We might see a rainbow” since the clouds were dark and it was raining.
We didn’t see a rainbow that day, but Daddy spotted the sun trying to peek through the clouds and pulled the old Plymouth over so we could observe. You couldn’t see the sun but knew it was just behind that one puffy, thin cloud. Rays shot out in all directions.
“Wow!” I said.
“Isn’t that amazing?” answered Dad.
“Yes, dear,” said Mom.
“Look at how it sparkles,” I added.
“Do you know what that is?” asked Dad. As I was shaking my head no, he said, “That’s heaven shining through.”
“You mean God is doing that?”
From that moment, the sun’s rays became my symbol of hope. It didn’t replace the rainbow, but supplemented it. Whenever I was challenged or feeling down, God would allow heaven to shine through to remind me of His presence. Yes, even in those days when I was trying to ignore Him, God’s light shone through.
I did have a good life. An ordinary life, yes, but good. No “ah hah!” moment, just a string of “ahs” weaving a tale of life, love, loss, some sorrow, but oh so much joy!
That is my life. I recognize some drama, some humor, some heart tugs. I know because I lived it. Just a free-willed suburban Jersey girl trying to figure out this journey called life.
So, today I lean back and continue to breathe in the salt water tinged air and feel the sun on my face, constantly reminded of God’s presence in the ordinary as He allows heaven to shine through.
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