One Tuesday Morning: Karen Kingsbury

Good day, friends. Hope all is well. Wrote this one a while back and kept looking for the best time to post it. I usually share my opinion of a book near the weekend but today seemed most appropriate. My thoughts and prayers go out to any/all of you touched in any way by the events of 9/11, especially since this 11th anniversary falls on a Tuesday.

Wow. Wow. Wow.

As has typically been the case whenever I fall in love with a book, this one found me, marked ‘Free’ in the library of the little church around the corner of my house. I’d never heard of this author, but the back-cover copy easily caught my attention:

I’m a firefighter, God, so I know I’ve been in some tough places before. But this . . . this not knowing the people I love . . . this is the hardest thing I can imagine.

The last thing Jake Bryan knew was the roar of the WorldTradeCenter collapsing on top of him and his fellow firefighters. The man in the hospital bed remembers nothing. Not rushing with his teammates up the stairway of the south tower to help trapped victims. Not being blasted from the building. And not the woman sitting by his bedside who says she is his wife.

Jamie Bryan will do anything to help her beloved husband regain his memory, and with it their storybook family life with their small daughter, Sierra. But that means helping Jake rediscover the one thing Jamie has never shared with him: his deep faith in God.

Jake’s fondest prayer for his wife is about to have an impact beyond anything he could possibly have conceived. One Tuesday Morning is a love story like none you have ever read: tender, poignant, commemorating the tragedy and heroism of September 11 and portraying the far-reaching power of God’s faithfulness and a good man’s love.

I’ve read many books. I’ve been touched and moved in so many different ways, but this one…a potent piece of (modern) historical fiction… The emotions Ms. Kingsbury evoked are the kinds I aspire to as I continue my own writer’s journey.

ONE TUESDAY MORNING kept me turning the pages—and putting pretty much all other life activities on hold to do so.

And I cried.

At the beginning, while I relieved the 9/11 tragedy through the eyes of someone inside the inferno and of their loved ones who had no way of knowing more than what came to them via the media. (I was blessed that day: being far enough away and having had no loved ones anywhere in that vicinity.) As I approached the story’s climax, I cried and cried more. I kept a box of tissues handy and had to take periodic breaks so that I could see. I stayed up into the wee hours to finish so that I could rest my eyes via sleep. (Shedding even one tear in the morning results in all-day irritation that rarely dissipates, even if I use eye drops.)

I went to bed thoroughly moved and even haunted by the story events. I wanted to email the author on the spot, but couldn’t begin to process the magnitude of what I’d read. And I woke up haunted more the next morning, almost the way I did eleven years ago, on the morning after. I couldn’t get the story hero out of my mind.

Yes, ONE TUESDAY MORNING had some formulaic components. What kept it so riveting though, were all the possibilities it could have taken; each a reasonable, relatable outcome that might have worked for all the major story characters. Yet, there was only one way it should have ended. That’s the way the author went, keeping it poignant and real; spiritual enough to transcend, in a way, the boundaries of our physical world.

Not that this was a paranormal in any way. Nor, as a Christian/inspirational book did it feel overly preachy. The author’s faith is obviously strong and comes through in the story. Unrelated real-life events involving another couple and at least one similar theme (about whom a feature film was recently released) gave credence to the story’s premise. Through it all, the terror and devastation of the day the WorldTradeCenter disappeared from the NYC skyline was treated with the respect and honor due those we lost and those who get to live with the memory.

I love too, that the author has a sequel to tie up the most important story question of all. (I won’t share that lest I give away anything about the ending.)

Ms. Kingsbury also inspired me with the direction she allowed her story to take—a huge risk—but doing what she had to do for the story’s sake.

Among the reasons ONE TUESDAY MORNING has found its keeper-place on my shelf, and this author due for a trip to my local retailer for the sequel, BEYOND TUESDAY MORNING.

Thanks for indulging me.

Joanna

Ten Year Wake-Up Call–Or Not? (Part One)

Happy Tuesday everyone. Hope you all had a great weekend and are in place and geared up to get through another one.

Quick note before I continue: this post was originally slated to run a month or so ago. Because September wound up being a fairly busy time with school starting, I’m running this essay exactly as I wrote it and keeping the tenses to reflect my thoughts the day I jotted them down. Thank you for your patience and indulgence. 🙂

 (AP Photo/WTC Memorial Foundation, LMDC,HO)

I write this post on the tenth anniversary of the day Americans—and possibly most of the world—refer to as 9/11. For days I’ve been bombarded with pictures, news articles and television coverage of the tragedy that befellNew York City’s lower Manhattan area that morning. Over and over one thought kept crowding out all the others:

Ten years have come and gone.

Please note I speak only for myself as I share this. There’s something about that decade mark that makes me stop and note how quickly such an expanse of time elapses seemingly without notice. I don’t think I look all that different. As a whole, I don’t think I feel very different either. To date I’m blessed in pretty much any aspect of my life I can name.

Some changes I have no choice but to see: hubby’s hair was probably more pepper than salt. My son, who on the morning ofSeptember 11, 2001was attending his fourth or fifth day of preschool, presently attended his third day of high school. My other son (pushing age three on 9/11) wasn’t in school then and is now in his second year of middle school. Along the way, I’ve been married close to seventeen years. Somehow, I spent those days in relatively the same manner while years slid by. Only the annual markings of time—New Year’s, birthdays, etc—reminded me how quickly time moves.

I don’t want to be long-winded. (Yes, those who know me well are chuckling, smirking and/or rolling their eyes. Be careful: those orbs might get stuck up there. J) This morning, though, I watched some of the televised ceremonies and tributes. As I watched water flow into the footprints of theTwinTowersI was amazed that ten years passed and I’ve never once visited the site. (I live close enough that a trip into the city shouldn’t be a major affair.) Today also reminds me how annoyed at myself I was then that I’d never put my boys on the Staten Island Ferry to see the Statue of Liberty and then watch the lower end of Manhattan loom small into tall as the ferry pulled into port. (Watching the towers get taller and taller as we got closer on the ferry was always one of my favorite parts of that ride. Who would have thunk those hulking rectangles that stretched into the sky wouldn’t be there forever? At least I can see the tower lights from my house. I make sure to go outside every year and spend some time looking and reflecting.)

So much for being long-winded. I had another point to share but I’ve gone on too long here. (Besides, I thought of another take on that point and will expand on it in the next post, scheduled to run on Thursday of this week.) Thanks so much for staying with me.

Until Thursday,

Joanna

Djok-hold On the Grand Slams for 2011

Wanted to post this yesterday but didn’t want to take away from my previous engagement with the wonderful authors over at Reflections in Hindsight. If you missed my post about what I’d do differently given the knowledge I’ve gained in the past near-two years, hope you take a moment and read my thoughts on that subject here.

 Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

What a final stretch to get to the finish!

Via a physical display on both sides of the net that left the rest of us mere humans exhausted just watching, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal showed why each owns the ranking of Number One and Number Two, respectively. (When it comes to fitness and athleticism, though, I’m giving these guys a tie at top billing.) And when it comes to rooting for your favorite player? It’s to both these young guys’ credit that you felt badly pulling for either one at any time b/c that meant you weren’t pulling for the other guy at any given moment. (I know. It’s up there with keeping up with that ball going back and forth across the court.)

Beginning with Serbia’s Davis Cup win Novak Djokovic spent from then through today amazing the tennis world with his eye-popping record of 64-2. I’ll paraphrase what  Rafa Nadal so graciously said in his interview at the end of the US Open Tennis Men’s Final, where he came in as runner-up: he (Novak) has done something incredible that will be extremely difficult to repeat.

And that folks, is why The Djok deserves to hold that trophy high and revel in his moment. He earned it.

See y’all tomorrow! We’ve got Joanna Clark Dawyd, quite the interesting visitor. Stop in and show her some love!

Joanna