Life’s Challenges, Surprises and Joyful Moments

Big sighs on this beautiful Spring morning. My son has decided to pack it up in Northern Virginia and move back to Europe.  Not an easy decision for him. What did I expect? I live in West Virginia where I’m growing roots, originally from Northern Virginia where my parents retired after my Dad’s Army career and before that, I was a citizen of the world. I understand my son’s feelings very well. I was an Army brat and later, an Army wife. It is a life I know and understand, living overseas and starting over. I’ve lived in five European cities in my life. Back and forth across the Atlantic. I just didn’t think my son would return so soon to start a new life in Europe, but it’s in his blood-travel and living the ex-pat life.

My kids were raised in Europe during our tours of duty. We lived in Brussels, Belgium for 13 years and that is home to them, but it doesn’t take away the heartache I feel this morning. My youngest is moving overseas. I tell myself that he isn’t going off to war, only moving an ocean away where we know he will be happier, but all that is little consolation this morning. I went to my neighbor’s house at 8 am this morning. She opened the door, gave me a hug, put the coffee on, and let me talk. It takes a lot for me to cry in front of others. I didn’t have a problem this morning. I hate appearing weak which I know is poppy cock. I can be strong during adversity and can hold it together for friends going through challenges and hardships but, I don’t give a rat’s ass about being strong this morning. My friend has said goodbye to two military sons who deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, welcomed them home only to have them leave on another tour. This went on for years. I knew she was the person to speak to this morning and I am grateful that she was up early!

So not only do I have my historical fiction book, A Decent Woman, to publish this summer, frenzied marketing after the release,  my daughter’s university graduation in May and her wedding next Fall, I now have one month to spend with my son before he moves this May. Good Lord. All great opportunities, joyful celebrations and blessings, but sheesh. All at once.

So what do I have to do? How am I going to get this all done and still have my marbles in the end? How am I going to say goodbye to my son in one months’s time and again when my daughter and son-in-law get into the limo to start their new lives? With a smile and lots of tears and prayers.

I will do this and more by putting one foot in front of another. I’ve raised my children and they are going off into the world. As it should be and how I’ve always hoped and prayed. I couldn’t feel more proud, loved and grateful to be their mother. They are awesome young adults. So, it seems my life will change drastically in the coming month and there’s nothing I can do about it. I must continue moving forward and remember to be in the moment. I’m actually happy for the distractions of planning a wedding and getting my book ready for publication this summer. I will take it one day at a time and the future looks good. I am choosing joy.

I welcome, encourage and thank you in advance for following my author blog, The Writing Life.  April will begin with my first book review ever of Jack Remick’s fantastic book, Gabriella and the Widow and there are two author interviews in the works for you, as well.

So please put a smile on my face (you know I need it), follow my author blog here, find and friend me on Facebook Pinterest, LinkedIn, Goodreads and also on Twitter. I would love to hear from you and if you can relate to this blog post, please let me know. I could use some friendly comments, suggestions and advice! Thanks in advance!






Published by

Eleanor Parker Sapia

Puerto Rican-born, Eleanor Parker Sapia is the author of the award-winning, historical novel, A DECENT WOMAN, published by Sixth Street River Press. The book is a Finalist in the 2016 International Latino Book Award with Latino Literacy Now, and was Book of the Month with Las Comadres and Friends National Latino Book Club. She is featured in the award-winning anthology, Latino Authors and Their Muses, edited by Mayra Calvani. Eleanor is currently working on her second book, The Laments, set in 1927 Puerto Rico. Eleanor is a writer, artist, photographer, and blogger, who is never without a pen, notebook, and her camera. Her wonderful adult children are doing wonderful things in the world, which allows Eleanor the blessing of writing full time. Please visit Eleanor at her website:

10 thoughts on “Life’s Challenges, Surprises and Joyful Moments”

  1. Beautiful post, Ellie, and I feel for you. My kids are a bit younger, but I can feel the wanderlust in them, and believe they’ll want to move far away (at least for a while) when they’re old enough. I think it’s natural, as i also couldn’t wait to put an ocean between myself and my parents when I was younger. But you’ve obviously raised your kids well, and I feel confident that they’ll be back to visit quite often, and that you’ll also get to spend time with them in their new homes. I wish you peace and happiness through these transitions, and, of course, much luck with your book.

    1. Hi Mary,

      You are another heart warmer 🙂 Thank you for your visit, kind words and lovely wishes for peace and happiness. I need them. You’re right, it’s natural to want to spread our young and tender wings and like you, I did the same thing as a young adult. My passport is up-to-date and my sister is renewing hers today. I knew I would return to Europe, but I didn’t think it would have come so soon. My daughter and her fiance are thinking of moving to Wilmington, NC in a couple of years and I’m on board with that, as well. Hug your kids tight, they do grow up quickly! Thanks again, Mary. Ellie

  2. Hi Ellie,

    I’m not at home, and unable to officially reply to your blog, but wanted to let you know how much I appreciated it.

    I have a 19-year-old son and a 7-year-old daughter. I understand their importance in your world. That bring said, I also know how much stress you are under. Happy stress, success stress, but stress all the same.

    Spend time with your boy, and let the book stuff come together as it will. I know it’s easier said than done, but so many if these book details will work themselves out.

    Big Hugs, Ina

    Sent from my iPhone


    1. Hi Ina,

      You have officially warmed my heart! Thank you for your lovely comments, understanding and great advice, Ina. At times, we have to work through stress with the certainty and faith that we will come out the other side in one piece 🙂 You’re right, the book stuff will come together. I’m blessed to be working with a great team at Booktrope.

      I am driving to Northern Virginia this weekend for some major hugs and TLC for all. I send you big hugs today, as well! Ellie

  3. The words in this blog sound familiar. My adult children are scattered and when that time came for me it was more than difficult. It still is. That time comes for all of us with adult children to give them to their life. This is not easy for any mother and many uncertain times will be upon you. Like as we knew it is gone, changed forever. That is hard for us as we have been accustomed to life in a certain way since we birthed them. A leap of faith is necessary and friends to lean on. It will also be a time for YOU and your new journey. God Bless and keep the posts coming.

    1. Hi Chrissy!

      Thanks for your visit today 🙂 I know you can relate, my friend. Yes, a leap of faith into the unknown is necessary this morning and in the days to come! I’m blessed and grateful for good friends like you! God bless you and your family. I will keep writing as that is what keeps me sane 😀 xo

  4. I totally get how hard it is when our kids move away. But a life in Europe, especially when he grew up in Brussels sounds like a dream to me. We’ve got to push our baby birds from the nest in order to see them fly.

    1. Hi Anne,

      Thanks for your visit and understanding. I sure didn’t have to push my baby birds from the nest, they happily left on their own right after college. I wish they would have stayed longer, believe me! For many, living in Europe does sound like a dream. For us, it was just home, where the Army sent us. It seems strange to some when my kids call Brussels their hometown, but that is the truth and true for many whose parents are/were in the military, State Department or work for American companies abroad. My children had one home for 13 years and my son went to the same high school from first grade to his senior year of high school. I was an Army brat and living in Brussels was the longest I’d lived in one place. We realize how fortunate we are to have lived in so many countries and to have experienced so many different cultures through our many travels. I wouldn’t trade my life and my life experiences for the world. I’ll be happy to see Europe again with my son and to rediscover North Carolina when my daughter gets married. Parents want to see their children thrive and be happy. I will hold down the fort in my adopted West Virginia 🙂 Thanks, again.

  5. Hi Eleanor, I also have seen two sons leave home for a different city. They both make me proud and I now have two granddaughters. I also Have a book in publication, due in the next month or so. I may be asking your advice on promotion. Congratulations and (( big huggs)) ~ Dennis

    1. Hi Dennis! Thanks for your visit and comments. It’s tough to be left behind initially, but they do make us proud as they make their ways in life. I believe we’re fortunate to have our stories and writing to keep us company 🙂 Congratulations on your granddaughters and on your new book! That’s awesome news. I’m on a steep learning curve with promotion and publication, believe me! I am learning as I go and watching other debut and seasoned authors launch new books. I would be happy to share what information I’ve gleaned with you. Big hug to you, Dennis!

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