Saturday, December 2, 2017

The Friendship in Fireflies and Lies

Fireflies and Lies, my latest release, is a story about a woman who is about to lose her family’s plantation and history—unless she can satisfy some antiquated will and trust her long-dead ancestor established during the Revolutionary War. In the story, readers become acquainted with the beauty of Jenna’s parcel of Southern land that borders an ancient river that took her brother’s life. The lies that surrounded that devastating event, the fireflies that had her mesmerized that evening and the friendship that helped her through her grief are a few of the motifs that run through this inspirational story of strength and healing.

In this fast-paced, disposable world, lasting friendships seem to be a casualty. Oh, you can find relationships that are built around a season, for example, you’re friends with the people in your neighborhood because they live on your block, or you’re friends with the other mothers from your son’s little league team, or you’re friends with your co-workers. But if you move, if your son quits little league, or if you lose your job, how many of those people will be your friends in a few short years?

Yes, many friendships fall away and some morph into the casual variety that are so prevalent these days. Few are friendships that last forever—are close forever—are special forever. Such is the bond that I have with my best friend, Joan, who inspired the friendship in this story.
In high school, Joan studied. I did not.
Joan and I became friends in middle school about forty-five years ago. Our friendship continued through high school; she was my maid of honor at my wedding, and she continues to be my best friend to this day. Though we went our separate ways physically in our early twenties, we stayed in touch through the busy years of raising our children, building our careers and beyond. We had few days together in those demanding times; however, as the years afforded more time together, we seized upon those opportunities, and now, we meet regularly, though we live in different states. Our friendship has endured and thrived because the foundation of our friendship had been built on bedrock.
What is the bedrock of friendship, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you. It is loyalty. It is truth. It is honesty. It is love. It is worrying about one another’s health and happiness. It is defending one another. It is having the other’s back when she fails. In the bad times, friends cry together, and in the good times, they celebrate each other’s successes. I have wanted all the best for my friend all my life and have prayed for her many times without her even knowing. 
In Fireflies and Lies, Jenna, who is the heroine, and April, her best friend, have the kind of relationship that I’ve just described—close, fierce, supportive and unwavering. Though the events in the story are completely fictitious, the alliance between Jenna and April is not. It is a mirror of my friendship with Joan.
Friendships that last a lifetime are rare, and I am blessed to have one. I wrote an entire page in my friend’s high school yearbook, recounting some of our antics, hard times and hopes, and I ended it with these prophetic words: “Joan, you and I are going to be friends until we turn gray.” We’ve accomplished that…and so much more. I love you, dear friend!

Joan and I enjoy some time together before one of our high school reunions.