As I’m winding things down, I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on each and every character I created throughout this series and I’ve come to the realization that I have made quite a family. The idea of where this series began and how it has evolved is quite amazing to me and I can’t imagine what the story would look like with any one of them missing.
That doesn’t mean I think they are perfectly developed or have no more story to tell, but I feel like they have all contributed to the growth of the series and the evolution of the family.
I’d like to take some time and go through the characters and spotlight some of my favorite moments. Some are monologues they said, others are things they did, but all are moments that speak to who they are at their core.
This family is my family, the good and the bad. I identify with parts of all of them and I’d like to think those of you who read the series identify with them, too.
I am going to place a separate entry for the villains, but I have a unique take on them and how the came to be.
For now, I’d like to start with Bill because he is the character who I think Is incredibly complex and real. He is so strong and brave but when it comes to his family, he is vulnerable and sensitive and romantic. One of my favorite books for Bill was book 9 “A Son’s Anguish” and it wasn’t because of the introduction of Chris, but it was a moment of great realization for Bill. He had to face the possibility of losing Julie and it wasn’t to an evil force, but to a medical issue and he couldn’t fight that. It was a time in Bill’s life where I was able to explore a different, more sensitive and vulnerable side and it was an amazing journey to take with him.
“Everyone I spoke to, including your brothers said this would be temporary. You will get your voice back. In the meantime, I’ll make sure you have pen and paper to write down anything you need to say. Your surgery went great and once your kidney heals, you should feel so much better,” he stroked her cheek. “I’m so sorry you have been in so much pain.”
She shook her head.
“Yes you have. You just never complain,” he grinned.
She rolled her eyes and he smiled.
“Don’t roll your eyes at me. I know you and you never take time for yourself. You always make sure everyone else is okay, but now it’s time for me to take care of you.”
She looked around and he handed her a pad of paper and a pen. She wrote and showed him.
He sighed. “You are not a burden. You are my wife and the love of my life. You are the mother to my children and this is simply another hurdle we will overcome. I love you and I need you to trust me. Can you do that?”
She wrote again. “Always.”
“Good answer,” he grinned and moved to the side of the bed, lying on the covers next to her. “Now all you need to do is rest and let me hold you and for once, you have to listen to what I say.”
She playfully smacked him and he grinned and wiggled his eyebrows. She turned gently and placed her head on his chest. He put his arm around her and linked his other hand through hers. “So here’s how I see it.”
She sighed as he spoke. “You and I were made of tougher stuff than most people. I think that’s why we fell in love,” she looked up at him and smiled. “Okay, so it might also be because of our amazingly good looks,” he felt her smile and he continued. “I know we have both spent time in our lives wondering why. Why are we put through so much heartache and sadness? What did we do to deserve this and why can’t we just be happy?”
He ran his fingers up and down her arm. “But I think I’ve figured it out. It’s because whoever designs the grand scheme of things knew we were stronger than most. We were made to show the world what is possible when you truly believe in your soul mate. Because of that, I am able to be here with you, holding you and loving you. Because of that, we have the most beautiful children. Our son is kind and caring and already knows how much he is loved and wanted. Our baby girl is the embodiment of strength and tenacity just like her mom. They will both be a handful, but I think we have shown we can deal with that.”
She exhaled and kissed his chest as he spoke. “I also think it’s why we were given the blessing of our two boys.”
She looked up at him, her eyes swimming.
“The doctors said that because of them, your kidney issues flared up. If not, you could have died and we would never have had the chance to save you. They were sent here to make sure you made it. They were the ultimate gift to us. They gave us the gift of time and even though they had to leave, I will never lose sight of the blessing they were. They gave me back my wife and I can’t put into words what that means.”
She reached up and stroked his cheek. “I know, I should stop talking, but I need you to hear me. You can do this. You can get through this and I am right beside you, always.”
She smiled and he leaned down to kiss her, holding her and watching her sleep.