|(Click on photo to enlarge; trust me, it's worth it!)|
As of Saturday, four of the first cousins are now married; the groom, my daughter-in-law, and another niece's husband are in this picture along with the 30 first cousins (but unfortunately, the husband of one of my other nieces couldn't be there--again, due to military obligations, this time with the Army).
I can see years of weddings stretching before us, as all of these kids find their perfect mates and begin their families. My son and his wife already have 14-month-old twin daughters and hope to add to their family soon. It is because of them, because of my children and their children, that I wanted to write my book. It is because of this generation of first cousins--not just my five boys, but all of my nieces and nephews and their future children--that I wanted to write my book. These young people have inherited a world that people of my generation could never have imagined. When we watched "The Dick Van Dyke Show" back in the late 60's, Rob and Laura Petrie slept separately, in twin beds. Even though they were married, it would have been scandalous at that time to show them sharing a bed. That might have been a tad over-the-top; but what a difference from today, when unmarried characters on T.V. shows and in books and movies routinely hop into the sack together. Rarely do our young people get the message that the best thing to do--the best way to ensure happiness as a married person--is to wait until you find your one true love and are joined before God in matrimony. It's an old-fashioned notion in our 21st century world, I know; but I think it's as true today as it was back in my youth, when people weren't afraid to espouse a belief in a distinct line between right and wrong behavior.
Anyway, worrying about what types of books would be targeted at the generation to come--at the little ones who will be brought into the world because of this beautiful group of young people gathered by the lake to celebrate the wedding of their cousin, and others out there like them--was one of my main motivators to begin the writing process. In fact, some months ago, I typed up a page called "Why I Wrote Finding Grace," which I attached to the letter that I sent last spring to a traditional Catholic publishing house along with my completed manuscript. I got a rejection from that publisher, but luckily found Bezalel Books and was able to publish my novel through them. I'm going to add "Why I Wrote Finding Grace" to this post. It will give you a pretty good idea of what my goal was in writing this book.
Actually, this post is long enough already, so I'll save that for tomorrow.