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Thursday, August 18, 2016

A Special Hero

I wasn't here in July to post my blog. My dad was unwell and in the hospital. I had been posting pictures about him for a few years after my mom died. He became a top priority for me. We hoped we'd have more time with him, but sadly, he died on July 23. He was 93 and I still can't believe he's gone.

One of my writing goals is to write his story and I shouldn't have waited. I should have written it while he was alive. I will regret that forever :( He would tell us his World War II experiences and I remember them from when I was a kid. When my oldest son was about twelve, dad held him and a few of his friends spellbound as he recounted event after event. A few years ago I wanted something more permanent to record his memories so I got him a map of Europe and a notebook. He painstakingly recorded everything. I even have him on video and audio talking about things. 


Dad was born in Poland in 1923, and prior to Poland's occupation by Germany he was a student, working in a shop where he was to learn business. My dad was a very intelligent man. Anyway, long story short, he was forced to fight for the German's and had to sign a paper stating he would not defect. If he did his family would be shot. I found a whole envelope of papers that I will have to get translated. I also discovered a box of photo's that are simply a treasure.


He remained in the German artillery until his gun - a Howizter drawn by six horses - was bombed. After a few days of wandering he became an American POW, then was transferred to the British where he was ultimately decommissioned after adventures through Italy. He even had audience with the Pope and received these medals. He met my mom, she was a child evacuee during the Blitz, a true English Rose if there ever was one and their life began which brought them to Canada. They were married for sixty years until my mom died in December 2012.

My dad was my hero. In so many ways. He's baled me out of tricky situations. Was there to help when a strong arm was needed or something in the house needed fixing. He even read my first Harlequin Blaze. He was my dad, my handyman, my mentor, my sounding board, my supporter, my everything and the only man I've ever truly been able to count on. And now he's gone. The world has a hole in it, but a bright new star shines in the night skies. I am so thankful he was my dad. I couldn't have picked a better one. Ten o'clock at night will never be the same for me. That was the time I called dad every night since my mom died. He lived for those phone calls and the only time I missed one was if I didn't have phone service when I was away. Now I message my son's at 10pm.

He was my own special hero.




My next book release coming in November 2016 is for him. I was writing this great story while he was in the hospital and my deadline was the day he died. I finished the story, my wonderful agent was a godsend during this difficult time. So when you see the book come out this November, think of my dad because Working Girl will be dedicated to him. 

 Working Girl, a sexy serial where a woman plans to get revenge for her father's downfall by applying for a position as an executive assistant to the elusive, elderly head of his old company thinking she will find a way to bring them down, but the job will only be hers if she performs a seven-day quest that entails meeting and receiving help from seven sexy, mysterious men. 
Coming November 2016 from Headline Eternal UK 
All available for preorder.

UK pre-order links:
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Australia and New Zealand retailer links:
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3 comments:

Tina Donahue said...

So sorry to hear about your dad. It's never easy losing a parent.

Fiona McGier said...

I emailed my dad, who had grown up in Glasgow. He was a pre-teen when the Germans were bombing the shipyards in Glasgow. He remembered walking over dead bodies after getting up and out of the underground air-raid shelters. I would ask him leading questions, then print all of his replies. I have them in a folder, and I sent copies to my brother, and to my cousin who was his niece, and who lived in Glasgow until she was 18, and my dad fostered her dad and his family to come to the US. My dad typed with his accent intact. I don't know how he did it, but if you read his words exactly as they're typed, you will hear his accent as if he was speaking.

I lost both of my parents a few years ago. I still miss them. There is no good age to become an orphan. Hugs to you, as you deal with your grieving.

Shana Gray said...

Thanks Tina and Fiona! It is hard to lose a parent, and you're right Fiona it doesn't matter what age. So great you have all of his emails! Get writing his story!