Good afternoon campbellsworld visitors and parents everywhere.
Author Jo E Pinto has come back today with another wonderfully heartwarming post.
The world needs more kids like her “Little Fighter”
Once you’ve enjoyed this post I hope you’ll stick around to check out Jjo’s magnificent book.
If you have read it please take a moment to let us know what you think in the comments section here on the blog.
We authors thrive on knowing what others think of our work.
In fact we count on it.
So, if you’ve not reviewed on Amazon Goodreads or any of the other book buying sites, such as maybe Audible, please be sure and do so.
Book reviews to an author are like blood is to a Vampire.
Anyhow, enough from me, here’s Jo with today’s offering.
The sidewalk slid beneath my boots. A long second hung in the air, a second when I knew I was going down and there was nothing I could do about it. Then I pitched forward and sprawled on the icy concrete in front of Taco Bell, struggling to catch my breath.
“Mom! Mommy, are you okay?” My seven-year-old tugged on my arm, and my guide dog pushed her cold, wet nose into my face.
I did a quick injury assessment as I fought off a barrage of sloppy dog kisses. Nothing warm and sticky; I wasn’t bleeding. My joints all seemed to work, more or less.
I tried to smile reassuringly. “Give me a minute. I’ll be fine.”
“Mom, get up,” my daughter Sarah urged, still tugging. “Please get up.”
“I’m coming. My knee is sore, that’s all. The sidewalk is slippery. I have to get up slowly so I don’t fall again.”
I heard someone approaching, then passing and unlocking a nearby car. I wondered briefly why the passerby didn’t stop, then let that thought go. One more busy person in a world of busy people. Sarah suddenly left her position beside me.
“You could help her up, you know!” she burst out from a short distance away. I could hear the glare in her voice. “It’s not nice to laugh at her!”
“Sarah!” I called, concerned. “Over here!”
By the time Sarah came back to me, I had gotten to my feet. We started walking home, carefully avoiding the treacherous patches of ice on the sidewalk.
“That man in the SUV laughed at you because you fell,” Sarah said, still outraged. “I made a mean face at him.”
“I appreciate the way you stick up for me, Sarah,” I told her. “You have a strong sense of justice, of what’s fair and what’s not. But you have to be careful how you speak to people. That was a grown man you just told off. Luckily, he chose to get in his SUV and drive away. But what if he had yelled at you, or even pushed you or something?”
Sarah wasn’t sure what to say about that; she just shrugged.
So far, as a little girl, she’s been mostly unchallenged in her attempts at social justice. But as her mother, I worry about her safety as her image in the world changes from small and cute to tween and snarky. I’ve never asked her to speak up on my behalf; her support has come naturally. She’s been a spitfire from the time she learned to talk, not just when it comes to her blind mother. She speaks up for bullied kids at school and mistreated stray cats and baby birds in our neighborhood.
She may become a fierce advocate for social justice as she gets older. But I don’t want her to feel like she’s expected to become one because her mother is blind. There’s a fine line between feeling obligated to advocate and feeling inspired to do so. And until she figures this all out and learns to pick her battles—God help us as we navigate her teen years together–I will be praying that she is protected by the best angels Heaven has to offer. She’ll need them.
This piece first appeared on Holly Bonner’s Blind-Motherhood blog:
More On Jo E Pinto
“The Bright Side of Darkness” Is an award-winning novel, Available in Kindle, audio, and paperback formats.
About the author…
J. E. Pinto is a magnet for underdogs! Early in her married life, her home became a hangout for troubled neighborhood kids. This experience lit the flame for her first novel, The Bright Side of Darkness.
Pinto’s Spanish-American roots grow deep in the Rocky Mountains, dating back six generations. J. E. Pinto lives with her family in Colorado where she works as a writer and also proofreads textbooks and audio books. One of her favorite pastimes is taking a nature walk with her service dog.
The Bright Side of Darkness won a first place Indie Book Award for “First Novel over Eighty Thousand Words,” as well as First Place for “Inspirational Fiction.” The novel also won several awards from the Colorado Independent Publishers Association: First Place for “Inspirational Fiction,” Second Place for “Audio Book,” and First Place for “Literary and Contemporary Fiction.
Rick Myers, an orphan without much faith in the future, and Daisy Bettencourt, a blind girl who is running from an alcoholic father and a set of overprotective foster parents, cross paths at a high school baseball game and make their way together. Daisy becomes the bright spot in Rick’s universe as he and his four lifelong friends–Tim, Mark, and the twins–battle the forces of poverty and hopelessness. Mark’s grandma dies of heart failure, and Tim’s stepdad is arrested on felony child abuse charges, leaving them, like Rick and Daisy, with no authority figures in their lives.
Rick and Daisy are trailed by a fat man in a battered green jeep who makes Rick more and more uneasy as the weeks pass. Then, just when Rick discovers an interest in the culinary field and decides to complete his education, the bottom drops out of his world.
There’s nothing a damn bit bright about sunshine when you’re seventeen and you see it from the wrong side of a jail cell window.
It isn’t that I’m moping for my lost freedom or anything. I wouldn’t give a half a crap for my life anymore now that the crew is scattered to the four winds, and all I have left of Daisy is her parting note in the waistband of my jeans and a wilted dandelion dangling between my fingers. But it seems to me that the Man Upstairs could have marked my downfall with a terrific thunderstorm or at least a few nasty black clouds out of the west.
When there’s a war or a funeral or some other sad thing going on in the movies, the sky usually turns dark and ugly, and the rain pours down in buckets. The longer I stare at the square of sunlight streaming through the tiny window of my cell and stealing across the floor, the lonelier I feel. August 27, 1986, is slipping by the same as every other hot, heavy day, and I’m the only one in the world who knows that nothing will ever be all right again.
It hasn’t always been this way. I ought to have known better than to believe I could reach out and snag a piece of paradise, but for a little while I had it on my fingertips. Breaks are hard to come by for kids from the projects, though, and sure enough, all I ended up with at the last second was empty hands.
I’m doing my level best to hold off a flood of memories, but my mind keeps drifting back to the sweltering summer evening when the chain of events began that shattered my world into a zillion pieces. First thing tomorrow morning, some juvenile court judge will decide if my life is worth rebuilding. Maybe he’ll have better luck with my future than I did with my past.
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