Who Knew How Rewarding My Giveaway Would Be?

My GiveawayThose of you who subscribe to my mailing list know that I published a newsletter at the end of September with news of a giveaway.

Sometime after October 15th two lucky winners will receive signed copies of No River Too Wide along with a lovely beaded bookmarks (okay, these are really bracelets, but who knew?) Winners are randomly selected from everyone who correctly enters.

I stumbled on the bookmarks for my giveaway while I waited for my Super-Shopper sis-in-law to try on oodles of clothes this summer. Joyce shops with determination while I poke around the store, usually leaving with nothing. The system works for us. But this day the bookmarks jumped out at me from a case at the front. River colors, you see. I bought them.

To enter my giveaway I asked subscribers to simply tell me their favorite moment of the past summer. I thought that would be easy as well as fun for all of us to reminisce. I’m a fan of looking back to savor recently-made memories. What I didn’t realize was just how important reading the entries would be for me.

Entries began to come in within minutes after the newsletter launched.  At first I smiled and nodded. Nice. Fun. Happy family. But quickly I realized how important these memories really were. Some were so moving I got a lump in my throat, and still do when I re-read. Others renewed my  faith in my fellow women and men. Some were reminders about how important it is to follow through with friends and family because our time together may be short. Others were testaments to the resilience of the human spirit.

Well, wow.

My readers always impress me. I can’t imagine a better review of my writing than the people who read it. You are thoughtful, kind, and funny. You value people over things, family and friends over exotic vacations–unless they’re along–love over everything. You aren’t above enjoying life’s bonuses and having adventures, but you know that being with the people who matter most, and yes, reaching out, is most important of all.

In the same way I couldn’t answer most of the emails I received, I can’t publish every “favorite moment” here, but I wanted you to see a tiny sample of what I received so you could appreciate them, too. Enjoy these few and know that they represent well over a hundred more just like them.

 Every minute spent with my grandchildren!

When we found out one of our sons is going to be a Daddy for the 2nd time. Baby is due the end of February. Knitting an afghan for them.

My Favorite Moment was when my oldest granddaughter walked down the aisle to marry the man of her choice. And she did it in the gown I made her.

My husband had a bad fall and was airlifted to another city for surgery to remove a large clot on his brain. My summer’s happiest moment was the following morning, while talking to the case nurse in ICU when she took the phone in for me to talk to him. (He’s home now.)

Miraculously, I landed my perfect job in the library I was working in part time, only 6 months after I finished my degree.

This past summer I got to have a week alone to read.

My favorite part of my summer this year was our trip to East Africa to visit our daughter whom we had not seen since Dec 2012! She is a part of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps teaching English in a primary school. So proud of her:-) Can’t wait till she comes home.

My favorite moment this summer was when I got to spend a few days with my granddaughters in my sewing room. I have been teaching them to sew since they were little. I do not get to see this as often anymore so these times are special. While we were working on a project, I suddenly realized that they were able to do it all on their own. At 12 and 10, they could complete the entire project from start to finish by themselves. I just stood there and watched and had to hold back the tears.

Well, I’ll confess I had to hold back tears more than a time or two myself. I’ve saved two I found particularly poignant for my next newsletter. You’ll appreciate those as well.

Thanks to all of you who took the time to enter my giveaway and impress me. Because you did impress me so much.

For those of you who aren’t yet receiving my monthly (or thereabouts) newsletter, you can sign up here or on almost any page of my website. I have some happy announcements and more giveaways–a big one with other authors is in the wind–coming up in the near future, so stay tuned.

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