A Year Later

I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine Day.

While we celebrated Valentine Day in our special way with loved ones, family or friends, the teenagers of Parkland held a day of remembrance to pray for their lost friends and promise they will never forget them. My grandchildren live in Parkland and were a mile away in their own school when the shooting took place.

One of the survivors, a lovely young woman only 17 last year, was interviewed in the Parkland Lifestyle magazine and explained how she overcame the trauma and her fears. She needed to show the world that this drama could not be repeated again. I was so impressed by the article I’d like to share some of its thoughts with you.

The day after, this MSD senior talked to her congresswoman and organized a march. “This happened at my high school. I had to do something. I’d wake up at 6 a.m. and slept at 2 a.m. I made so many phone calls. I contacted the bus companies, the parents, chaperones, reached out to the Civic Center in Tallahassee, organized cots from the Red Cross… “

Many more marches followed in the “Road to Change”. Those young people, not even 18 yet, explained they didn’t want to take guns away. They had conversations about extreme risk protection orders or universal background check or disarming domestic abusers. People would say, “Oh I can get behind that.”

People were receptive and the students felt America was behind them to protect the children in school. It’s amazing how fear can create courage.

This is not a political post, but a salute to my grandchildren, their classmates, friends and team members from various sports and activities.

You are still very young but you can make our world a better place.

Here are two new boxes of romance and a free one to enjoy:

UNFORGETTABLE PASSION: Unforgettable Charmers Available at Amazon

 

SWEET AND SASSY IN THE SNOW Available at Amazon

 

 

Unforgettable Valentine

UNFORGETTABLE VALENTINE — FREE this week Available at Amazon

 

 

No Birthday please, by Mona Risk

Schoolchildren anticipate their coming birthday with excitement and impatience. For a day, they are pampered, spoiled, and cherished to their little hearts’ content. I have often observed my grandchildren’s joy when preparing their special party, greeting their friends, grinning ear-to-ear while listening to their Happy Birthday song, and opening their presents. They can’t wait to start again next year. I probably acted the same way at their age.

Kids in their teens want to grow up fast, fly with their own wings and tackle the word, even if they carefully hide their inner fears and their hearts beat a little faster.

During our twenties, we still like to celebrate birthdays, but we prefer intimate celebrations with the man of our dreams. Even better, we fantasize about a very special birthday gift, a sparkling diamond on our finger. I know I did.

IMG_5196After that, things change. The day before my thirtieth birthday, I carefully examined my face for any suspicious line and my head for any silver thread. During the ten years that followed, I didn’t want any party for my birthday, but appreciated my husband’s vase of red roses, or box of chocolate, or tête-à- tête dinner in a fancy restaurant.

A week before my fortieth birthday, I noticed the crinkles and shadows under my eyes and avoided the mirrors. No birthday please. Not private because I would rather forget I have already reached that step of the ladder, and certainly not public. Instead, I gave myself a new type of presents: visit to a spa, beauty products, highlights at the beauty salon, and change of diet because my metabolism was suddenly too lazy.

A fiftieth birthday is a day any woman wants to ignore and erase from her calendar. She would rather hear her significant other tell her, “I love you. You sure look younger than your forty-one years,” rather than, “Happy Birthday, sweetheart. You sure look great for your age.” There is a subtle difference, but men are sometimes dense about some subjects.

Strange enough when you hit sixty, you suddenly turn wise, count your blessings, enjoy your achievements, spoil your grandchildren, and shower your kids with advice about what to avoid because you did it wrong. You take one day at a time and live it fully, ignore other people’s judgment and stop blaming yourself for everything.

Yesterday was my birthday, a happy one. I received a vase of red roses from my husband. My friends insisted on taking me out for dinner. My children called, and the grandchildren sang on the phone, “Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear grandma,…

In spite of me claiming, No birthday, please, I was so happy to feel loved by the people I love so much.

N Y T LG-lightred-ValentineBabies (2)VALENTINE BABIES: heartwarming story. From KY, FL. & GA to Iraq and Germany. romance, humor and babies!

Mona Risk
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author
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