A book without a reader is like a day without sunshine.
Newton, Connecticut? I heard about the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School; who didn’t? Because of my experiences with many deaths in our small community within a short period of time, I felt that the kids and folks might feel less alienated and alone if they were shown the light at the end of their tunnels. I wanted to find a way to be empower the children and their community while revealing to them a HOPE that things can and do get better. I thought that town might enjoy rhetoric from those kindred spirits. Plus, I felt others including health care professionals might enjoy those types of stories.
After pondering a bit, I woke up one day as God illuminated my next step. Thinking of three books that I had partial copyrights to, I began compiling that book. Plus, I immediately had the title of an anthology in my mind. By the way, the S.H.E. Anthology is NOT a romance anthology, but it was written by all females. In this book, the girls recollected traumas, mostly related to death, that they faced while in elementary school. Their stories reveal their path out of mourning along with many minor miracles that they encountered. Their tales of hope and inspiration are true accounts from those children turned authors. One writer and illustrator is only six; Thai wanted to be a part of empowering children to survive harsh things in life; so, her piece is story number three in this compilation.
The abbreviation ‘S.H.E.’ also refers to Sandy Hook Elementary. Isn’t God the best at setting up coincidences?
This book is meant to empower Newton as well as others that read it. We hope that this anthology also sheds some new light on grief recovery in the minds of teachers, mental health professionals and adults handling major life changes. The compilation’s royalties will help charities involved in grief counseling or with mental health issues-especially for children therapies for the types of traumas witnessing massacres produce. For example, one local group “New Hope for Kids” (Orlando) will get some of the profits from this compilation because the group that started this organization helped Stacey more than 20 years ago.
Speaking of the child, in one part of this anthology, there’s great insight into being the victim of death and childhood loss. Stacey’s Song is an intimate look at a ten-year-old girl’s personal story about the results of her mother’s death because of cancer. She also deals with the aftermath that includes her dad going crazy and committing suicide. Obviously, tragedies such as the Sandy Hook massacre touch home with her. In her book contained in this anthology, the young girl talks candidly and inspirationally about surmounting her PTSD. Her honesty through writing is only surpassed by the miracles and guidance from those around her including God.
The excerpt that follows reveals how God taps into this young girl’s anger and grief to show her hope and His love. In Stacey’s story and book, her aunt has refused to treat her as an only child and indulge her in a shopping spree…Her aunt is trying to cope with changes to the family structure as well. Stacey explains what happened next-in her words.
I spent the rest of this time avoiding her while we explored the town’s fare. Eventually, we ended our walking tour and caught the next trolley. As we sat on a bench at the entrance to our resort, a gardener from the complex arrived in our midst. You could hear his lawn mower over the sounds of birds singing and children’s pleasure on the nearby beach. Then, his engine halted as he lunged in our direction. In his grasp were four roses that he handed to the girls, their mom and me.
“Thank you,” the three of them gestured and spoke simultaneously as my nose sniffed at the rose in my hand. He rode off too quickly to hear our murmuring.
“Look! We all got different colors,” Jenny pointed out.
“Wonder how that guy knew to bring exactly four roses?” Julie wondered aloud.
“Yeah, and they are all different colors!” Aunt Cindy added.
“Where are the four rose bushes where he picked these?” Julie questioned in amazement.
We looked everywhere but could find no bushes to match our flowers. Next, Cindy took charge of the explanation, “That man must have been sent by heaven. Only God would know to tell him to pick exactly four flowers. He would guide the gardener to us. Then, He would control just who got each color.”
Julie began her excitement prance. Jenny’s eyes widened. My eyes made contact with my aunt from behind the rose still perched at my nose. Her explanation affected all of us. Suddenly, my soul was connecting with her’s. I could feel her grief and her joy combined as it surrounded me.
“Look, Stacey got the yellow rose that signifies sunshine. Surely, the message is for her to leave her gloom behind and enjoy her new family as well as this vacation. She has the right to be sunny and warm. God is telling her to be happy and enjoy her new life. It’s time to live again, Stacey. Come out of your gloom of despair!” My aunt’s voice swelled like a wave on the shore.
“Why is mine pink?” Jenny inquired.
“You are girly, and pink equals that!”
“Why is mine red?” Julie wondered.
“It is a strong color, and you are athletic,” her mom thought aloud.
She rambled more but her speech was interrupted by the trolley bell beckoning us to board.
When we looked back from the trolley car, the lawns were mowed, the gardening staff retreated, and the rose bushes evaded our view.
“That’s it!” As if a sudden revelation hit my soul, I interrupted the trolley’s bell. “This rose was sent by God and my mother. They want me to be happy.”
Meanwhile, my aunt’s three-colored rose carried the message that we could merge into one beautiful whole. She anticipated the possibility of becoming one lovely flowering rose as a real family.
This was only the beginning of Stacey’s Song. Is it a mournful tune? What happened next? Read her full story in Stacey’s Song or in the S.H.E. Anthology.
Also, in that anthology, the Evans Terrace girls give their account of what happened when seven or more parents died within a year or two of each other in a small subdivision of about 110 homes. People started saying their land was CURSED. The children heard those rumors about their subdivision and were scared to death. Then, when a neighbor lost her dad to a blood clot after surgery, the kids felt they need to help. When one of the girls heard the rumor that the mourning family ran out of milk, she setup a traditional solution or lemonade stand. That day, other angels or young children arrived; many of those neighbor kids ran door to door selling half glasses of hot lemonade. They raised enough quarters to buy milk and other perishables. More importantly, they formed a group that became a club and led their neighborhood out of grief. An excerpt from their story follows.
The girls discover that after traumatic deaths in a family or community, people may become so wrapped up in grief that they need someone else to plan their party and show them they have the right to celebrate life, again! This excerpt shows the Evans Terrace girls helping their friend after that youngster’s dad died from a blood clot. That chapter in real life starts with a visit to a nursing home where Alzheimer’s patients are losing good and bad memories and ends with a party planned!
Ann approached our chaperone, “Look over here Mrs. Hanson.” She drug mom to a wall with the poster, “They are celebrating this man’s 225th birthday or something.”
“Hey, he has my birthday, November! Thanksgiving!” Jane sung out.
Just then a nurse approached Ann, Jane and my mother at the poster’s site. “That is a picture of Mr. X. He has Alzheimer’s.”
“And, it’s his 225th birthday?” Ann stated as a question in need of no answer.
“No, that is his room number. We find he can locate his room better if he follows his face on these flyers,” she explained.
After all these projects, we were hungry. Mia and Ann had some dough in their pockets. Our adult leader had money, too. Because of her dad’s death, mom felt Jane deserved a free lunch. Nicole got lunch as well when our driver stopped at the local pizza parlor.
Mom retold and giggled about the story of the 225-year-old man over lunch. We all chuckled every time mom retold that incident. That’s when Jane reminded us that next week was her birthday. “My mom probably forgot or something,” she implied.
She’d have no celebration or party this first year after her dad’s death.
Later, I suggested, “Let’s give her a party.”
“Let’s wait for her mom to give it,” our adult leader warned.
“What if she forgets,” I questioned.
“Then, we’ll give her a party later,” my mother decided for us.
Our club events were always started with a small suggestion then a big response. We enjoyed giving but today I think Jane wanted to enjoy receiving for a change. Our club would help her if it became necessary.
Did the girls find the cash? What other minor miracles happened when these angels joined forces with others to make wishes come true? Read The Evans Terrace girls or their section in the S.H.E. Anthology.
The paperback version comes in black and white on Amazon.
Plus, the S.H.E. Anthology is in color paperback.
So, come on, buy to be inspired and help grieving children. It’s a win-win situation.
By the way, a copy of this anthology went to Newton’s public library as well.
I work for GOD! Is she crazy or telling the truth? What I mean to say is that I write many nonfiction books that are really just scribing the history of His stories. My tales are Christian-based; at least one of those books points directly to heaven. Most of the time, I explain how bad situations and good ones have the potential to bring hope and love along with stronger faith.
My writing started after a major life change or trauma. In fact, my favorite question during book interviews is: How did you get started writing? The short answer is that in 1991 my mother died. Some people dream of being authors; my writing began as what could be described as a nightmare! However, as she died, mom experienced what would be called a Christian near death experience (NDE) or miracle. My nonfiction witness became Mom’s on the Roof, and I Can’t Get Her Down by Cynthia Meyers-Hanson.
Since then, I diversified into the other books and genres; I continue to toy with writing. I’ve co-authored or compiled several other divine tales. Meanwhile, I have ghostwritten many novels under the pen name Sydney S. Song. I use a pseudonym so that people know when my books are telling the truth and when I am fibbing (a bit). Recently, I’ve produced many picture books for children. I also compile collections and anthologies filled with true short stories from the Divine to mundane including humorous tales.
In real life, I’m a friendly Floridian, born and raised in Miami’s megalopolis. I currently live a bit further north with my husband. We are semi-retired. Our children are out of the house; some are married with their own children. We love outdoor activities such as boating and swimming at the pool, springs or beach.
My author site on Amazon includes my paperbacks and Kindles.
My other author site includes sections for my book genres as well as a blog and video section (the videos are mini movies as book trailers). This site also has my contact information.
Smashwords includes all other e-book providers and formats used for my books including Barnes and Noble, Sony, Kobo, etc.
Check out my other blog on Blogspot.
Other contact information
- Generic Amazon link to all my Kindles and paperbacks
- Generic YouTube link to find my book trailers