I have been marketing my newest novel DALE DAIR – Fight for Family heavily on Facebook, Twitter and everywhere I can. In response to a post I had on a Facebook group, I received a message from a man I have never had contact with in the past. He claimed to have read my last two books and was looking forward to this new one. He made a simple statement that really got to me. “You give our families a real lesson in love and honor. This is something important for us all to live. thank you.”
I had to stop and re-read that statement several times. I was and still am stunned. I am humbled that my books have had that much of an impact on someone. Yes, I am a little proud that I was able to write something that would cause a person to write such a compliment. Mostly I am happy that a message that I write into my stories comes through.
I am the only child of a wonderful man and woman. They both worked hard and taught me well. I have three sons who mean more to me than life itself. I have several cousins who are near and dear to me and always will be. More importantly, I have learned that family is much more than DNA or a marriage license.
After thirty years as a police officer, I have people in my life who are as close to me as any blood relative. I have partners who are more than brothers to me and have welcomed me into their family as well. This family bond comes from sharing time together in a squad and knowing that we were there for each other when the excrement hit the fan.
That bond extends to most other police officers too. As a board member of the statewide union, I met officers from all over Illinois. There was a common trust and bond that comes from shared common experiences.
Yes, family and honor are important to me. I hope I have taught this to my sons. I hope they experience the benefits of a strong family as much as I have. Sir, thank you, your remark has deeply touched me.