Title: Art of Survival Part 2 of 2
Series: A Stern Family Saga
Author: Monique Orgeron
Genre: Contemporary Romance Suspense
Release Date: October 19, 2018

If you don’t understand the instinct to merely survive, you will never understand me.
 
I’ve done my penance and paid a heavy price for my choices.
 
It was never for selfish reasons that I became the person I am today.
 
No, I can be called many things but selfish will never be one of them.
 
It was always for them. My children.
 
No regrets and no do-overs.
 
The grim reaper is knocking on my door. It’s my time.
 
I was fine with it. I knew this day would eventually come and I was ready.
 
I was tired of living a life of battles in order to survive. 
 
Then I was forced to see how overwhelmingly beautiful life is and how tragically short my days could be.
 
With limited time, I have to find a way to finish my job and get my sons ready for what is in store for them.
 
They want me to fight and I will but in return, they too must fight.
 
Am I ready for the battle of my life?
 
Will they be ready?
This is where I break down and ask, “God, Why?!” I know how messed up it all is and how stupid I sound. There is no answer for why, so I stop and just allow myself to cry while rocking my body under the pressure of the water.
I’m not even aware how long I’ve been rocking back and forth until I snap out of it and realize the water is cold. Drained and numb, I stand and under the cold water, I finish my scrub before stepping out. Taking a towel, I wipe the steam off the mirror, just enough to see my face but not enough to see my body. My face is all I can handle right now. Once I’m dried and my hair has been brushed, I slip into my gown and robe, walking into my bedroom.
As I go to sit, I hear a slight knock coming from my bedroom door. I ignore it at first because I can’t and don’t want to talk to anyone right now, but then it happens again.  Out of pure curiosity, I go to the door and open it to find Gavin, crying and begging to come in. I pick him up and sit on the bed, consoling him.
“What’s wrong little man?”
“I scared Mimi.”
“Aww baby, come on, let’s get comfortable.”
He climbs out my arms and crawls to the pillows, getting under the covers. Smiling sweetly at him, I get under the covers with him.
“Come here, little man. Let Mimi love on you.”
Gavin jumps in my arms. I gently lay us down so we’re turned sideways facing each other with him still in my arms.
“Now tell Mimi why you’re crying.”
“I scared.”
“Of what little man?”
“I don’t know.”
“Come on, dry those tears. I want to tell you something.”
I help him wipe his eyes and cheeks and tell him, “You can’t be scared. Know why?”
He shakes his head. “Because my Gavin will be king one day. You will rule over all the land. There is nothing you should ever be scared of. You hear me Gavin? You will be king.
“I don’t want to be king.”
I start laughing. “Yes, you will, and you will be a fearless king.”
Gavin sheds another tear so I slide down even further, getting eye level with him. When I have his eyes on me, he whispers back, pouting, “I still scared.”
My eyes shut with his words, and when I open them with tears in my eyes, I whisper back with honesty,
“I’m scared too, little man.”
He whispers back, “Not my Mimi, she not scared of nothing. I’ll protect you and keep you safe.”
He kisses me and repeats, “I keep you safe Mimi.”
I allow one tear to fall and whisper again, “I know you will. One day, you will keep us all safe, like a king.”

 

He nods his little head and closes his eyes. I start rubbing his ear like I used to do to his father, when Gabriel was little. Slowly, Gavin starts falling asleep in my arms. I told him the truth, and he is the only one who knows. I am scared. Not just because of tomorrow. I’ve been scared all my life.
Written by Monique Orgeron’s eldest, most beautiful, and intelligent daughter. (My sister is going to hate this part.)

My mom happens to be the most caring, loving, and stubborn person I know, well anyone knows. She gives 100% percent of herself to everyone and has given up so much of herself for my sister and I. For twenty-one years she has poured her heart and soul into making sure we know that we are loved and that we can do anything we put our minds too, but it was about time she figured that out about herself. 
 
Up until this year I hadn’t seen my mom do anything for only her, but this book has allowed her to travel the world through the pages of a book, make new friends, and feel the joy of doing something exciting. 
 
There is a new light behind her eyes and it is just making me feel more joy than she can ever imagine. While she might be annoying most of the time, I am so thrilled that she is finally allowing herself to grow as a person and not spend all of her energy on her family. 
 
It has been a long journey of self-discovery for my mom; she has gone from domestic supermom to domestic goddess throughout the process of writing. 
 
We are so very excited and proud of you! I love you as big as the world.
 
-Bria and Tony

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