I think it’s time I tell you a little more about me. Neither of my parents finished high school, still both them eventually got a college degree. It wasn’t easy. They were young when they got married, 16 for mom, 19 for dad. They worked hard to support the children they loved, finally buying a converted hunting cabin, they turned into a home. We knew how much they loved us. We saw their struggle, the complaints they never said. I can still hear my mother singing, my father playing his guitar. With my father working two jobs, mom going full time, they were able to get a bigger house. My short story, No Green-eyed Monster, published in Green, an ARIA Anthology, explains how I felt about the new house. I started working full time at 15, continuing through out my Junior and Senior High school years. I was seventeen when I met the man I was to marry. He worked full time as a maintenance man while going to college. Our exciting dates included watching him snore at the drive in, helping him clean offices (dusting while he vacuumed) and doing the typing for his college papers. We saved every penny we could and when he completed his degree in Electrical Engineering in four years, quite an accomplishment working full time, he got an apartment, we got married and began our new lives. Our first house, a small raised ranch, was the first house any in his extended family had been able to buy. We hoped to start a family. It took almost eight years before we had our son, our only child. I was finally able to earn my degree, graduating on his first birthday. He was four when the doctors found out I had a brain tumor. I wasn’t as scared as you might think. I was determined. My son was three, the doctor – the third best brain surgeon in the world – made me feel as sure as anyone could that I would survive. During my recovery, we had to keep my son in day care and there was very little I could do. My head hurt with each movement and I couldn’t chew anything harder than ice cream. It could have been worse. I could, however, sit, That was when I wrote Dark Night of The Soul. About my desire to survive, how important it is to be seen as who you really are, I hoped people would recognize the bit of themselves in its many characters. I tried to get it published, then life once again intervened and the hand written book was put in a box undiscovered until I retired. My husband’s job moved to Rhode Island, of course my son and I went with him. I became a certified teacher assistant, the best job I ever had. Retiring from that job I finally published Dark Night, the first of 8 books (I’m hoping there’ll be more). I get to travel to the places I read about. As a kid, on a good week I read three books, two if I had a lot of homework. Marriage and motherhood brought the number down to one, when I’m writing it’s down to none. I’m still married to the man I met when I was seventeen. We’ve had our problems but loving each other was never one of them. My son is soon to be married. The number of days I’ve lived is longer than those I have left. I hope those who read this see how important are the people we love to the people we become. Face your challenges, you are stronger than you think. This is written with love, and a hope you all get to move beyond your Dark Night, whatever it may be.