My mother developed breast cancer at the age of 81. I’m not sure she had ever had a mammogram before. She was very old-fashioned and didn’t go to the doctor unless she absolutely had to. I confess I am the same way, except I do have my yearly mammograms. My mother also had Alzheimer’s, which is the worst disease I’ve seen. It’s very hard to see your mother lose control of herself and do things she would never have done normally, as well as call you by a different name. Even on your birthday. She had this disease for at least three years, maybe longer. It’s uncertain because my three older brothers and I all lived out of town, and she was widowed nearly twenty years previously. Fortunately, we were able to keep her in our homes in a rotating schedule between us, so that she was able to stay out of a nursing home. Because of the breast cancer, she passed away probably many years before she otherwise would have from the Alzheimer’s. I think that was maybe a blessing in disguise.
Because of the family history of breast cancer, including a cousin who is an eight-year survivor now, I decided to write about a character in my romance novel, Sunrise Kisses, who had terminal breast cancer. I think mostly I did this to help me deal with my mother’s death. In my story, Scarlett Laurent has breast cancer, but she meets a man named Jackson who makes her laugh, brings her happiness and eventually love. There are two problems with this, obviously. First, she is dying. Second, she finds out he is not human; he’s an angel of death. Yes, this is a fantasy story with angels. I’ve always wondered what angels were really like and if they ever did wrong things and would they be punished for it? In my fictional world, they do and they are. Sometimes. Jackson comes to help Scarlett deal with her upcoming demise but ends up falling in love with her. Some of the elements in the book took even me by surprise as I was writing it, as I made up my own thoughts about the afterlife. This is a work of fiction and may not be truthful, but it has helped me deal with my mother’s death in a new way.
Sunrise Kisses is part of my new Angel series and is book two, the first book being Starlight Wishes. In that book, the reader first meets Jackson, who is keeping up with another angel, Skyler, who is a guardian angel who falls in love with his “client,” Cassie Callaway.
I hope these books help others who are dealing with some of the same issues. And I hope each of you finds love, if in unexpected places. Best wishes!