Friday, November 4, 2016

Thankful Author 2016- Nell Castle

I’m grateful to be back in the northeast to see the trees flame with color as I drive along the highway. I’m grateful the American presidential election is almost over. I’m grateful for a new chiropractor who’s teaching me how to handle my chronic back pain.
But today, I’m most grateful for my daughter.
Twenty-five years ago, I lost a person I loved to suicide. For two years I drifted through a fog of grief, questioning whether I wanted to go on. Despite prayer, despite counseling, despite the loving support of my friends and family, I was stuck in a sadness that wouldn’t lift.
Then my first child was born, and the dark clouds were blown away by the fiercest love I’d ever known. Far from suffering any kind of post-partum blues, I was walking on air. I carried my little daughter with me everywhere, in a sling, a backpack, or balanced on my hip. Feeding her, caring for her, watching for her first smile and eventually her first step: it finally healed the sucking wound I’d carried around for too long.
That little girl is 23 now. She’s graduated from college, received her Master’s degree, and landed a great job as a city planner in another state. Yet she still manages to pick me up through times where I doubt myself.
I recently went back to school for my graduate degree, my first classroom experience in over two decades. I panicked when I was told to develop a presentation on a multimedia platform. What happened to writing essays? Deadline approaching at midnight, I wrangled with a program for more than 5 hours before I texted my daughter for help. Within minutes, she’d untangled my mess and sent it back, ready to submit, with two hours to spare.
The same week, she noticed a post I’d created for Facebook to publicize an event at my church. I told her how important it was to me to bring in an audience for the speaker I’d arranged. She volunteered to create a series of posts using eye-catching graphics and quotes, instructing me on how to schedule the posts throughout the week.
And just now, as I sat down to write this piece, we were texting about the wedding she’s coming home to attend with our family this weekend. I’m not sure about my dress, and the jewelry I bought just doesn’t work. Within minutes, she’d laid out all her pieces and snapped pictures so I could choose something from her collection.
There was a time in my life when I wasn’t sure I could go on. Thank God I didn’t let go.
Thank God for the promise of new beginnings made manifest with every newborn child.
Thank God for my daughter.

* Be sure to comment below to be entered to win a paperback copy of Leap of Faith!

A Leap of Faith blurb:

Special events coordinator Sophia Anton is an old-fashioned girl. She wants a family by the time she’s 30, and she’s set her sights on an old friend. She just needs to lose 40 pounds, fast. But Jackson Thomas, the handsome new minister in town, turns her head to unexpected possibilities. Trouble is, Jackson’s taken a vow of celibacy, while Sophia’s scheme to snag the “man of her dreams” is working like a charm. So why does Jackson’s face haunt her when she closes her eyes? And how can Jackson dream of a future with Sophia after he’s shut the door on love?

A  Leap of Faith buy links:

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Author Bio:  

Nell Castle grew up in western Pennsylvania and graduated from Temple University in Philadelphia. Since then, she’s lived in Key West, Anchorage, Sarasota, and Virginia Beach. She moved back to northeastern Ohio to raise her kids closer to the family homestead but looks forward to moving to a gentler climate after her youngest graduates. Until then, she revisits white powder beaches and craggy mountain tops only in her writing. Her second novel with The Wild Rose Press, Turning the Tides, will release in 2017.


  1. Thank you for the opportunity to share what makes me feel grateful, Angela!

  2. What a lovely post and tribute to your daughter, Nell. I had to rush off after reading it to grab some tissue. :) Thank you for sharing such a heartwarming story. All the best with your book, too.

  3. Aren't children the best thing on earth? They really do add so much worth and happiness to our lives. Good luck with you new release coming in 2017!

  4. I have just had my first grandchild and that is wonderful too.

    1. I once heard a group of women my mother's age say, "You know how you feel about your grandchildren." They gave each other a significant look. Ever since, I've wondered how it feels different than mothering, and I'm looking forward to finding out! Congratulations to you!

  5. That last line of your essay grabbed me about new life and new beginnings so true and well stated! my daughters are my heart too💕

    1. That's a sweet way to put it, Charlotte. Thanks for reading!

  6. Loved this post. I can't imagine my life without my children. They heal me, sustain me, uplift me and so often remind me how human I am. What a gift your relationship with your daughter is. I am a fan...of both of you!

    1. Your love for your kids is beautifully expressed. Thank you for your kind words!

  7. Replies
    1. I take that as a great compliment, coming from you. I enjoy your blog posts. Thank you, Liz!

  8. I am so glad you found happiness, love, and joy in living again, Nell. It is amazing how such a small, but precious child can change your life in many ways. I'm sure that your daughter's caring and giving nature is a tribute to the love and support you have shown to her throughout the years, beginning with those bonds made while she was slung to your side. Continue to enjoy life, Nell!!