I want to give a huge thanks to Amy Lane for agreeing to write up a blog post. I kind of sort of begged her to do it. And she did. She’s wonderful like that. Thanks, Amy! ~Faye
So the fairy tales all end, “Happily Ever After”—we’ve even turned it into an acronym. And the reason that it’s a fairy tale is that very often, it doesn’t happen.
But we keep hoping. The hope is that we have lived our lives well enough that when they draw to an end, we have some company in the long afternoon. A life well loved is a life well lived, right?
But the world can be cruel—even the best of lives can be lonely at the end. And for those of us who have seen parents and grandparents pass, we know that sometimes even the most loving of children can be overwhelmed by the needs of an older person who needs care. All we want for our elderly is all we want for ourselves: Someone to be there at the end and let us know that we were loved.
Pretty grim stuff, for a romance, right?
But The Deep of the Sound is sort of a gritty, painful sort of romance, and it features a young man in one of those impossible choices—take care of his family and die a piece at a time, or take care of himself. He’s so young, and he’s so lonely—he just wants someone to take a little bit of the burden from his shoulders… but his great uncle Nascha has been lost in time for couple of years now, and Cal wouldn’t leave him for the world.
But how does Nascha feel about this?
I wrote Cal and Avery’s story first, and it is out in June, but I was asked to write a story for the Bluewater Bay Valentine’s anthology, Lights, Camera, Cupid! I know, I know, everyone else sees Valentine’s Day and thinks, “Happy! Quirky! Adorable!” And I think, “Sad! Tragic! Depressing!” but that’s not the way it felt.
It felt like I wanted to give Nascha something. We see him in The Deep of the Sound old and helpless, but Cal had relied on him—he must have been some guy. I wanted us to see him in his prime, a man asked to take care of his niece when men didn’t do that. I’d been that child at one time, when my parents split and everybody assumed my dad would leave me with my mom’s parents when she couldn’t care for me. I wouldn’t have been raised by anybody but my dad, and I wanted to give Nascha that. I wanted to give him lovers, and kindness, and good years when there were no tears.
And at the end, I wanted to give him a home he could return to when he left so his nephew could thrive.
So, it doesn’t feel like a Valentine to some people, I’m sure. It’s sad and painful—but it’s also redemptive. For me, it’s a gift to the elders I’ve loved, who have kept being active, beloved members of their family until the end. It’s a gift to the children who have needed to care for parents and grandparents and who have felt inadequate to the task. It’s a gift to those of us who hope with a clear heart that someone will be holding our hands as long as we can cling back.
Lights, Camera, Cupid is available from Amazon
and Riptide Publishing
Amy Lane has two kids in college and two kids in soccer, and four fur-babies up in her business as she writes. She, her Mate, and her brood live in a crumbling crapmansion and squander their funds on movies, travel, and joy.