It was our granddaughter’s fifth grade graduation. Award recipients pranced across the stage to thunderous applause and hundreds of camera clicks. One particular girl accepted her award and then skipped down the steps, racing through the center aisle all the way to the back to hug her mama. When she finally rejoined her class, sniffles could be heard across the crowded auditorium.
Yeah, I was digging in my purse for a tissue. But my writer’s mind was already at work. Where was her daddy? Why wasn’t he there? How could he miss such a momentous event in his daughter’s life? Was it because of divorce? Could he not get off work? Perhaps he was in the military and currently deployed. The possibilities, the what if’s, continued rolling through my head long after the program was over.
Just a handful of days before this ceremony, we received shocking news that our son’s childhood friend committed suicide. Terribly upsetting because as a twenty something he was just beginning his journey, but also because our lives had been so entwined with his family’s for many of their elementary school years. This, just after learning that a neighbor of ten years committed suicide. An international athlete, a mighty giant devoted to his two kids, and newly divorced.
To honor a shy fifth grade girl and two precious children, who adored their daddy and had to be reeling over his death, the inspiration for my Harmon Heritage series was born. Three siblings whose celebrity father committed suicide leaving them hurting and angry, with more questions than answers, more pain than peace. Rori’s a social phobic, hiding behind a wall of fear, preferring the solitude of animals to the whispers and pointed fingers of blame over her father’s death. Beck abandons his family and the love of his life and wanders for a decade because he fears he carries the same genes as his father. Burk, the oldest and Beck’s twin, feels like he’s the glue that holds his family together and puts his personal and professional life on hold until Rori heals and Beck finds peace for his wandering soul.
Perhaps you’re hurting, the enormous waves of pain dragging you under until you lack the strength to claw your way back to the surface. Or the chains of sorrow shackle you to this moment, blinding you to the promise of a new day, a brighter tomorrow. God, with His knows-no-bounds and nothing-holds-Him-back love, can take those dark places, those huge gaping chasms of loss, and meld them into a beautiful tapestry of healing and peace, of hope and joy.
Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning. ~Psalm 30:5 NLT
Still stinging from the publicity surrounding her father’s death, social phobic Rori Harmon prefers the solitude of her animal sanctuary, accepting that marriage isn’t in her future. Racecar Driver Graham Decker refuses to be wrangled into a relationship by another money-hungry female. On a philanthropy mission, he arrives just in time to assist Rori with a llama birthing, but his appearance thrusts her into the media spotlight again. Has Graham found a woman who doesn’t care how deep his wallet extends? Has Rori finally met a man who will stick around when times get tough? Is healing for a hurting heart finally within Rori’s reach?