One night, at the end of a tragic year, Francine Rose Reed makes her yearly pilgrimage to the family cemetery to visit her deceased father's grave. While there, she has an unexpected visit from her heavenly father, God. During that nightly visitation she gets to do what others only dream about; to ask God anything she wants, and does she ever have a lot to ask him! Their open,and often poignant,conversation threads throughout the telling of the past year's events. With concern over her mentally ill twin brother, who's been the sole caretaker of their overbearing mother, to the tending of her chronically ill husband, along with fighting her own tobacco addiction, Fran has a plate full of worry and a heart filled with questions. The answers God gives her are sometimes painful and funny, but all of them lead her to the understanding that, while some doors close, others open, and with them, new opportunities and relationships. She also learns that there is a God and he not only cares and demonstrates generosity, but eagerly waits at the end of the road with arms wide open.
Thinking about the year's events and not knowing how to relay them, I begin to cry and it's not your tears silently streaming down your face kind of crying. This is a floodgate opening and my sobs fill the still night air like those of a tortured animal's. I've needed to cry this way all year. Why hadn't I been able to? "Oh, Daddy," is all I'm able to utter between racking sobs, my body shuddering with them. It's at that moment I feel a hand on the back of my right shoulder. I spring to my feet, dropping the twig. I'm afraid to turn around, not knowing whom I'll find. Who would know I'd be out in my parent's cemetery at midnight? Bravely, I spin around and standing across from me, with my parent's bench between us, is my father. "Daddy?" I ask in shock, my sobs temporarily squelched from fear and wonder. Mindlessly, I wipe the tears away from my eyes with my gloved hands to see well. This can't be happening. "Is it really you?" I ask in disbelief. My father is dressed for winter. He's wearing his heavy tweed overcoat with a colorful scarf around his neck, the same scarf I had bought him his last Christmas with us. "Not really," my father answers. "Well, then who are you and why are you dressed like my father?" I demand. "I'm God," he says. "God?" I repeat. I am numb from the cold and my grief. My mind is playing tricks on me. I'm freezing to death and seeing apparitions! Someone's going to find me stone cold dead in the family crypt. The way my year's been, why not go out this way, believing I'm talking to my father, to God?
Having written most of my adult life, but having been a little (well, incredibly) lazy on the marketing side of the craft, most of my stories have never reached a publisher, but were read only by family and friends. "So,why now?" You might ask. Why choose to break out of my usual writer's lethargy and brave the intimidating world of digital publishing when I barely know how to man a computer? Mainly because, once in a writer's lifetime, a story comes along that has to be told, must be shared. This is such a story and it's not just any story, but mine and my family's story that is based on true events that were too painful for me to write about as they actually transpired in the winter of 2006. This story would not leave me alone nor would it go away in the four years I wrestled with it. Every time I'd pack up the incomplete manuscript and set it aside, something inside of me would compel me to get it back out. Never before have I written about something so tragic that it rocked not only my family, but a small community as well. This is that story dressed in fiction. To write it became my therapy, to share it my mission. May it bless everyone who reads it.