My father will turn 80 this year but to me he is ageless. He is not dying. Most people write about the people they love after they are gone. I want to write about him while he is still here.

            I grew up on Long Island in the 70’s. The youngest of three children, my mother was a registered nurse and my father was an accountant. Dad moved out of the house and into an apartment in Manhattan when I was eight years old. It was the end of their marriage but the beginning of the discovery for me of who the man I call Pops really is. A journey that has taken 40 years and which continues today.

            While a child, every Sunday he picked me up at our house in Bellmore, took me horseback riding in Babylon and then to Jack In The Box for tacos. I rode the train to the city to spend weekends with him. We went to Danbury, Connecticut to hang out at his second home. For my eighteenth birthday, Pops bought me a car. He paid for my college and grad school, my siblings schooling too. He set me up in my first apartment and when the car he bought me was stolen, he gave me the insurance money. He taught me one of life’s greatest lessons: money comes, money goes.

            That’s who my dad was and remains today. The man who can help out financially while still teaching me not to expect anything, not to be spoiled, and to build a career so I can always be self-supporting. But he wasn’t the parent I would go to when I had a problem. That was mom.

            I now realize he did that deliberately. He went away on holidays so we would never feel torn between spending time with mom or dad. If, as I grew into a teenager, I wanted to hang out with my friends instead of spending time with him, he voiced no complaint.  When I borrowed his car, parked it in Queens and the radio was stolen, he never said a crossword.

            Dad retired young, around fifty years old. He had worked very hard and saved enough money to enjoy the rest of his life without working, even with the downturn in the market. But, as we both grew older, something changed for him, and for me. It was our relationship. We became friends.

            Over the years, we have learned the things about each other that really matter. What we like to eat. What movies we like to watch and what books we like to read. What makes us happy and what makes us sad. Our philosophies on life and our politics. We share secrets, dreams and disappointments. There is no amount of money that can purchase what we now share.

            Dad is ailing but not dying. I have written this not to assuage any guilt, not as therapy for some regret and not to gain favor. I have written this to honor my Pops, my friend. To me, he is ageless.

            Money comes, money goes. Family is forever.

            Whom do you want to honor while they’re still here?

joanne lewis

When Joanne Lewis is not practicing law, she is writing. She pens murder mysteries, historical fiction and historical fantasy books and is the author of several award-winning novels. As an author, she hopes to entertain, to educate, and perhaps to enlighten. As an attorney, she is most proud of her work as an assistant state attorney and as a guardian ad litem representing the best interests of children.

Her books are available on Kindle, as paperbacks, and as audio books.

Her latest release is Bee King, a historical novel that is about the first person in the United States diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, and takes place from the start of the Civil War until 1910. Just like the people who inhabited Five Points in lower Manhattan during the 1800s and the turn of the century, Bee King traverses the pentagonal streets where abolitionists battled copperheads, immigrants clashed among social, religious and political strife, and doctors and psychologists strained to help patients. Told in Five Points (sections), Bee King is dramatized through conventional literary devices as well as through newspaper articles, a manifesto, and other non-traditional tools.

The Forbidden trilogy consists of the novels: Forbidden Room, Forbidden Night, and Forbidden Horses. Forbidden Room is her best-selling novel.

In Forbidden Room, the first book in the Forbidden trilogy, new attorney Michael Tucker has few clients, yearns to be like his famous grandmother and cannot afford to move out of his parents' home. Sara Goldstein is an heiress accused of killing her uncle. When Sara hires Michael, he gets the chance to defend an innocent person, a beautiful lover and notoriety like his grandmother. But is it more than he asked for? Is Sara innocent or is she a murderer?

Forbidden Night, the second book in the Forbidden trilogy, delves further into Michael and Sara’s complicated relationship, as well as into Soldier Boy’s psyche, into their family histories, and into the creation of the carousel horses. The question posed in Forbidden Room, the first book of the Forbidden trilogy—Is Sara innocent or is she a murderer—is answered.

Forbidden Horses, the final book in the Forbidden trilogy, travels to the eighteenth century and takes place in Austria to reveal the troubled history of the creation of the carousel horses.

Michelangelo & Me is a series of five novellas in the genre of historical fantasy.

In the first book of the series, Michelangelo & the Morgue, seventeen-year-old Michelangelo defies religious and political powers in order to capture a serial killer who is murdering the artists of Florence. In Sleeping Cupid, the second book, Michelangelo’s believed-to-be lost statue narrates his journey from fifteenth century Florence, Italy until the present day where he lives in an attic in a sleepy Florida town. Future books in the anthology include Space Between, School of the World and Michelangelo & Me.

The Lantern is a historical novel about a modern-day woman's search to find a girl from 15th century Florence, Italy who dared to enter the competition to build the lantern on top of Brunelleschi's dome. Across time and space, three lives collide as they battle abuse, disease, fear and prejudice in pursuit of their dreams. Along the way, they intersect with some of the most famous figures of the Renaissance including members of the Medici, Filippo Brunelleschi, Donatello and a young Michelangelo.

Wicked Good, a different kind of love story, begins in Bangor, Maine. Fifteen-year-old Rory is not defined by his diagnoses of Asperger's syndrome and Bipolar Disorder and lives life to the fullest. Archer, his adoptive mother, is Rory's biggest fan. Rory searches for his birth parents to find out why he is the way he is. He discovers his roots in Salem, Massachusetts where the Salem Witch Trials had occurred, and in Gloucester, Massachusetts where fishermen went down with the Andrea Gail during the Perfect Storm. He also learns his true roots are closest to his home in Bangor. As Rory discovers truths about himself, Archer learns about herself too.

Make Your Own Luck is the unforgettable and moving novel of Remy Summer Woods, a young attorney who refuses to believe thirteen-year-old Bonita Pickney killed her father, Patrick Pickney. Remy risks her relationship with her own father as well as her life to prove Bonita's innocence. Along with learning what happened the night Patrick was murdered, Remy discovers hard truths about her family and herself.

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