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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Stuff Your Stocking Blogfest: Tara Nina

The Truest Gift
by Tara Nina

I’ve come to realize that the truest gift is time. In this fast-paced world we have little to no time. Twenty-four hours in the day seems to slip by without much thought as to where it went. If you actually sit and consider the concept of time, we have one hundred sixty-eight hours a week, twenty-one thousand twenty-four hours in a year and we still don’t have enough time.

The reason I discuss this issue with time, for the first Christmas in twenty years, my son will not be home for the holidays. It is with great pride and a heavy heart I have to accept the fact he has chosen a dangerous path in life. By the time you read this, my son will have left for boot camp. He joined the Navy and has been selected to train for the SEALS program. For the past year, he has already been training in a SEALS pre-boot camp program here in New Jersey. He is in the best shape of his young life, but still the training he has yet to face will be strenuous and test both his physical and mental strengths and abilities.

I worry that I have not done enough to prepare him for the events he may face. As parents, we did our best to teach him right from wrong. We were there each time he stumbled. We tended to his needs and gave him the most valuable things we could provide—love, guidance, and a sense of honor and respect. But was it enough to help him in this next chapter of his life?

I believe our lives are giant books. The beginning starts at the first chapter, birth. We enjoy the childhood years, learning and growing. We struggle through the teenage years, which provide our chapters with angst, and some ridiculous fodder to sit back and laugh at when we are older. Each phase toward adulthood, each plot twist builds the story of our lives until we reach those dreaded two words, the end. What we choose to do with our lives is up to each of us. It can be a grand adventure or a sad tale, but it all boils down to that fleeting aspect of time.
You see, I blinked and my son grew up.

I sit here thinking of all the holidays I had with him. The wonderful memories of watching him grow and I can only hope he has the right stuff to reach the goal he has set. Time is a precious commodity. It has no monetary value, no price you can attach to it because it is priceless. It is the one thing in life you can’t take back.

The holidays tend to make most of us a bit melancholy and his leaving at this time of the year is not easy for me. Who am I kidding? His leaving at any time of the year would not be easy for me. He is my first-born and I will miss him as he journeys into this new, adventure-filled chapter in his life. I can only hope that his time here at home will be a treasured memory he takes with him that will help him succeed in his future.

The greatest gift anyone can give is the gift of time. Use this holiday season to reach out to friends, family and loved-ones to gather them together and share a few hours of that sacred commodity of time. It slips past so fast that in a blink of an eye the kids are grown and you sit there wondering where did the time go.

In the spirit of the holidays, please don’t forget to reach out to those who serve to protect our great country. Remember the wonderful people in the military. It doesn’t take much effort to say thank you. Over the years, I’ve been sending care packages to different service personal around the world. If you’d like to send a care package to someone in the military, please contact Kim Adams at She will gladly provide you with an address of a deserving individual, who’d love to hear from you.

During this holiday season, take a moment of time and enjoy the peace and love of family. Please share with me a fond holiday memory and I’ll enter you for a chance to win a signed copy of either Cursed Laird or Double Dilemma. I will be choosing three winners at random.

Tara Nina

Hot Romance~Sexy Attitude best describes Tara Nina’s writing style. She creates for Ellora’s Cave, The Wild Rose Press and Highland Press in sensuality ranges from steamy hot to simmering sweet, which includes paranormals, contemporaries or romantic suspense. She is a Southerner living in the northern wilds of New Jersey complete with grown children, pets and a mountain man for a husband.


June M. said...

May your son remain safe. It is a wonderful gift and service that he does for all of us. My cousin served in Iraq and I am so glad that he is now home, safe & sound. He is not in the military anymore, but I am proud of him for his service.
Kim does a wonderful job of promoting our service men & women, and getting others involved in ways to honor them and thank them for their service.
May you have a safe & happy New Year.
manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

Debby said...

I hope your son remains safe but bless him for choosing this path. I come from a military family and I did work with Kim and sent out cards and books for Christmas. I will continue to send out books and will try and send more cards when needed.
debby236 at gmail dot com

Joanne said...

I pray that your son stays safe and returns home to healthy. The military does a wonderful job at keeping us safe and protecting our freedom.


wanda f said...

I pray your son stays safe and healty and returns home to you soon.

elaing8 said...

I hope your son will be safe.You must be so proud of him.

A fond holiday memory for me would be this years Christmas.The whole family was nieces son really got into the spirit of Christmas.It was a great day.

VampedChik said...

My best wishes to your son. He's very brave. I hope he stays safe. Thanks so much for sharing. My favorite thing would just have to be having all my family together. Love the cover!

Anonymous said...

My prayers on the safety of your son.
My favorite memory is my husband and me making our Christmas eve dinner after attennding mass, and watching a Christmas movie, usually The Christmas Story on DVD.

flchen1 said...

Tara, thanks for sharing this post. Congratulations on raising an incredible young man, and sending him prayers for his safety as he serves. We are so blessed by families such as yours.

Our favorite Christmas memories usually involve family and food -- few things are as fun as meals together!

Hoping you've been able to enjoy a merry celebration and have been able to enjoy many wonderful memories of previous celebrations!

Wishing you and yours a joyful and blessed new year, Tara!

f dot chen at comcast dot net

Jess said...

Hoping for a safe return for your son. Thanks for the opportunity to win your book :)

jcross719 at yahoo dot com

Cathy M said...

Your post touched my heart, Tara. When my son graduated from college, he came home to tell us that he had joined the Navy and we all came together as a family to give him all our love and support. Thankfully, he is back home for good now, adding to our already numerous and very special holiday memories.

Blessings to you and your family in the coming months.

caity_mack at yahoo dot com

Mountain Laurel said...

Praying for safety in your sons travels, dear!

My son (and youngest) is still in college, and I am seeing his whole future laid out before him and remembering the holidays past when he was but a babe excited about Santa's return. Happy New Year and thank you for sharing!

shadow_kohler said...

Aww. Hope your son stays safe and gets to come home soon! Thanks for sharing! Happy holidays to you and your family!

Tara Nina said...

Thanks to everyone for the wonderful posts. I'm sorry this has taken me so long to respond to, but work got in the way. LOL.
I will put everyone's names on a piece of paper, put them in a bowl and draw the winners. I will post them here tomorrow and try to contact each individually.
Thanks so much for your thoughts and prayers.
Tara Nina