Sunday, March 15, 2015

Trudi Sheppard - The Promise Tree

Meet one of my more 'mature' heroines, Trudi McNeil Sheppard from THE PROMISE TREE.

When I moved from Paxton Corners, the small rural West Virginia town where I grew up, I vowed I'd never return. Not for more than few days visit to my mother. I'd left the small town, the old farm house and Wynn Colton behind years ago. I'd lived a whole life since then--married, had two daughters, divorced, made a nursing career for myself. Life was good.

It wasn't without its struggles. My father died and left mom alone. Then she began to, as the doctor put it, "fail." She became frail and forgetful. I convinced myself I was being a good daughter by hiring someone to live in and provide care. Boy, the lies we can tell ourselves convincingly. When her caregiver quit, I had to hurry home to put a new plan into place--convince Mom to go into a care facility, either there or in South Carolina where I now live. These things always seem reasonable on paper, don't they?

My eldest daughter was about to make me a grandmother for the first time and I'd promised to be there for the birth. One thing at a time, though. I flew to Paxton Corners thinking I'd be there for a week, two at the most. One evening I took a stroll at sunset to the creek and to tree Wynn and I had dubbed The Promise Tree. I soon found myself caught between a freight train load of memories from the past and a future slipping out of my control. Control is a funny thing. We think we need it until we have it, then we realize we don't want all that responsibility. I could no more control my feelings for Wynn Colton than I could control the disease that was dragging my mother deeper and deeper into darkness. All I really needed to do was to let go.

THE PROMISE TREE is available in ebook at and in trade paperback at Wings ePress.

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