Dedicated to all mothers

A Gift Called: Mother: The Stages and Fantasies of Motherhood


Author: Sherlyn Powell


Reviewed by Fran Lewis


Everyone has visions of the perfect life, perfect family and perfect children that they hope to raise when bringing him or her into this world. A world filled with so many different people, encounters, situations and conflicts that no matter how hard we try not everything will go according to plan. Every architect creates a blueprint when planning to create or construct a building, home, office or any structure. They review, revise and recreate the structure or building within their mind and then on the blueprint many times before the final plans are presented to the home or business owner and even then changes might still be made. But, when creating a map or blueprint for yourself, your marriage or your children’s life the are many variables that do not come into play with creating a blueprint for a building, object or even a new fashion design. Children, as our author relates do not come with that perfect plan or map that they will follow. As with any road on an icy or snowy day detours are often created, roadblocks hinder our paths and new directions need to be followed.


Mother: what a precious and special word. More valuable than the Hope Diamond and more precious than the most expensive fur as our author relates story about her life raising her children, handling their good times and bad, understanding their differences and hoping to never lose that special bond that all mother’s have with their children. Love means never giving up on your children no matter what. I was never blessed with my own children but I am what you would call a mother/aunt to my nieces and nephews. So, I do understand what Sherlyn explains as she takes the reader on a journey of her family’s life from the time her children were born until the present and the journey is far from over. A Gift Called: Mother by Sherlyn Powell. This book is truly a gift to all readers and you definitely want to read her story as you hear her voice, feel her pain, cry along with her, wipe her tears and watch her stand tall and embrace life.


Sheryln was blessed with two children. Her daughter was born in 1981, intelligent, smart and definitely musically inclined which she states she got from her father. After several miscarriages she has a son in 1981 and her world and family are complete and she is totally elated and blessed. Never once taking her life or family fore granted she shares her children’s first moments, their early years and then their adulthood. But, not everything runs smoothly and all too often we blame ourselves when something goes wrong. We question our actions, non-actions and motives and often blame ourselves for our children’s downfalls or defeats.


Miscommunication can destroy everything. Stubbornness, hardnosed and self-pity can destroy a bond. Imagine pulling the ends of a rubber band and having it snap in two right in your hands. Imagine a fragile piece of glass that you hold dear falling to the ground in pieces. Imagine that this piece of glass was something so precious to you that you never fully recovered from losing it. Things can be replaced no matter what. The love of mother is more valuable and precious and when Sheryln and her daughter had a falling out what she describes and shares with the reader will bring tears to your eyes, heartbreak to your soul and fear in your heart because it could happen to you. Stress can play havoc on the mind and body of anyone. Her daughter’s stressful job, working more hours and being pregnant seem to set off a chain of events that would devastate the author for a long time and cause her to lose touch with her precious child for too long.


Holidays passed and no phone calls or communication. Days went by and she realized that something was really causing this rift but her daughter did not impart what, communicate and even worse she could not see her grandson. That was equally as hard to bear as not hearing from her for so long. Then, the worst happened. She moved and she did not know where she was and even though her son was quite near and close things were really coming apart for our author and mother. Added to that her son joined the military keeping him away for long periods of time and holidays, her daughter requested that he come and be with her when her second child was born which as she brilliantly states: “Was like a knife cutting deep in my heart.”


Life takes its toll on many of us and although her daughter was very much alive it was as if she lost her but in a different way. Unable to eat, not caring for her health she needed to count on her faith in God to live, rise up against the pain and hope that he would hear her prayers and bring her daughter back to her. Teaching her children to have faith and believe in themselves and follow their hopes and dreams. What the author relates is a real life story that will help other mothers, grandparents, foster parents, aunts and uncles understand. Bringing up children whether your own, foster or adopted is not easy. Instilling values in them and teaching them what you hope they will learn to succeed in life is all you can hope for and desire. Learn how with her prayers to God and her faith she was able to rebuild her family. You need to take the journey along with Sherlyn to learn just how they managed to rekindle their relationship and love.


My mom and I had a great bond and she created her own map or highway she wanted me to follow. Everyone has his or her ups and downs but when I realized that what she wanted for me was exactly what I needed and wanted all along I knew the right path to follow. Sheryln’s writing is what kept up going and I am glad that she decided to share this thought provoking, outstanding, and definitely important story with everyone. Everyone has a mother. Not everyone deserves to be called that we know. Sheryln reminds everyone that if you are blessed and fortunate to be a mother you have received the most precious gift God’s gifts. Being a mother does not come with a manual, driving instructions, table of contents to follow or pay. It comes with joy, pain, laughter, tears, heartache, rewards and tons of love and hugs. It’s okay not to hug your child in public when you think they might be embarrassed or they are with their friends. But, in my family till this day when you enter a family member’s home you have to hug and kiss everyone and say a proper hello to everyone present. To Sherlyn: In case you have not been told: We all love you and hold you dear. Thank you for sharing your story with me and with everyone and thank you for the honor you gave me in this book. From the author of Captive Hearts, Secret Affair and Something Desirable comes A Gift Called Mother: The Stages and Fantasies of Motherhood.


Fran Lewis: reviewer


I dedicate this review to the memory of my mom who just passed away and to every one who has the gift of being called Mother.




Military Mom reviewed by fran lewis

Military Mom

Author: Carol Dabney

Told by Five Year Old: Noah


There are many children whose parents are in the military overseas. Some are lucky enough to live on the bases with them and others hope and pray they stay safe while fighting for their country. Author, grandmother, educator, composer and poet Carol Dabney in her inspirational book Military Mom allows readers young and old to hear the voice of five year old Noah as he tells his mother’s story and shares her journey from the beginning with everyone. This review is dedicated to all those men and women who are protecting our country and to one little boy named Noah who is sharing his mom, his thoughts and his experiences with all of us. Thank you Noah and thank you Carol. This book is truly special.


All too often children have no idea what it means for a parent to join the armed services. Their first impression of a parent joining the army might mean going to Iraq or Iran and fighting. Noah explains his life as an Army Brat, but a really cute and well- behaved one at that.


Telling everyone that he loves his mom and how she joined the army when he was one is the first recollection he shares with readers. Explaining that when she went to boot camp he learned how to talk and when she ran drills he learned to walk. But, when he calls his mom Am America Soldier you can hear the pride in his young voice. Telling about his schooling and going to daycare to spending time with her during the holidays you can hear the love in his voice and see it in his eyes in every picture in this specially photographed book. Telling about leadership school, hanging out with the other girls, graduation and his new home at Schofield Barracks you share the experiences along with Noah and the reader. You can see the face of this adorable young child who loves his mom, is proud of her and is definitely having the time of his life. Sharing his thoughts, his favorite places, the magnificent pictures of the troops, complaining about being woken up when soldiers come running down the street this book has a positive message for all kids who have parents in the military and is an inspiration to help them understand that what their mother, father, grandfather or uncle is doing is vital and so special.


The picture in front of his school says it all and you can see how proud he is about the name and the school itself. The last few pages tell about his mom, her job and what her rank. They also include a magnificent picture of this beautiful young girl, the duty station and the ocean. Just looking at the pictures you wish you were there with him enjoying the countryside, the scenery and the bright sunlight. Added to this outstanding book is a song that should definitely be recorded and put on a CD: Imagine that America written and composed by this talented author and composer. Carol Dabney might have written a book about her daughter but it could be anyone’s daughter, sister or mother. Added to this book she includes a glossary of terms that helps the reader understand the jargon and the vocabulary used by the military. This book was written for military families and to help children understand that what their family member is doing is vital, important and special.


To Noah:

Your mom is amazing and I know you are proud

Your grandmother Carol really stands out from the crowd

Thank you for sharing your special poem with us

I truly hope many people read it and make a big fuss




The pictures help tell the story in more ways than one

Your pictures with your mom show they you too have so much fun

Officer, mother, lieutenant and so much more

Your mom is amazing and there are great things in store

For you, for her and for you family so true

Noah: We are so proud of her and of course you too.


A definite must read for all young children whose parents are in the army and living on base. A definite must read for everyone. I hope that Carol will write more stories about Noah’s life and share them with us. I am sure as he gets older he will have many more stories and experiences to share with other kids. Thanks for asking me to read and review this book.


Fran Lewis: reviewer