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This is a dream come true!

Updated: Oct 25, 2021

I have written my first children's story book that will be released soon. I started this journey in 2017 and it's finally come to fruition. It's been an exhilarating ride!

I invite you to visit Mascot Books to order The Dream Tree children's story.

Thank you Maria Ballarin for your beautiful illustrations, Claire Pask for your coaching, editing, and guidance. Also, to the whole Mascot team. You all made this dream a reality and I am forever grateful.

The Dream Tree story is inspired by my dad, Richard Patrick, and the many summers he used to spend at his Aunt's farm in Montana. My dad was orphaned at a young age and his determination to create a new path for himself, his wife, and his children inspire me. It took grit, hope, and love. He never gave up on his dream. Thank you dad.

The story and characters are intertwined with memories and inspiration from his childhood and mine. The main character Patrick is my dad. My grandson LP also identifies with this character as the "P" in LP is Patrick.

My dad had many dogs in his life and one of his all-time favorites he met later in life. His name was Chauncey. In this story Chauncey and dad grow up together and have many adventures.

The character Aunt Kathleen is my dad's real Aunt. She also embodies my neighborhood adopted Grandma Fannie who taught me many life lessons when I was a young girl. She forever will be part of me. I also identify with Aunt Kathleen as a YaYa myself; kitchen time with LP is where many life lessons and great stories are formed. Plus, she wears really fun wild sweaters!

The Celtic knot is the knot we've adopted as a family. It's the never ending knot that holds our family together closely. There is a little treasure hunt for the reader and listener to find a Celtic knot on each page.

The Tree, well I will leave it to the reader to learn about this in the story.

I hope you enjoy The Dream Tree as much as I have loved writing it. It's been a joy to see this story unfold and into beautiful color. Maria Ballarin did a phenomenal job bringing the characters to life. Every little detail is done with such care. I'm incredibly thankful.

This story was birthed from a poem I wrote for my dad on his 80th birthday on March 17, 2017. My husband and I were traveling back home from our favorite little town of Walla Walla in southeast Washington State. It's about a 7 hour drive from our home - with stops on the way. On this ride home we had great conversation and music playing like we always do.

A song came on called Walking Stories written by Jilian Linklater. Something about this song stopped my husband and my conversation. I said, "Hold on a minute Babe. I need to replay this song." I quickly restarted it, closed my eyes, and listened as my husband drove us closer to home. When the song finished playing I had tears rolling down my face. I rummaged around the glove compartment and side door searching for a tissue or napkin to dab my eyes and face. I found a lone pen and something to write on. A crumpled up napkin was my canvas. I pressed the crumpled up napkin out and began to write as I played the song again. The poem below is what came from those scribbles on that crumpled up napkin. From this poem -The Dream Tree story came to life.

CRANN BETHADH (Cran Beth-ad) - Celtic Tree of Life

Bridged Mary (Meehan) Atkins

Child boy - wise beyond his years.

Forced to grow up faster than his peers.

Rich blood - deep roots.

This young boy dug deep, placed everything he had into the earth.

The storms of life tousled him - things that were out of his control.

He remained strong and focused.

Survival. Future. Hope

In the earth he planted grit, determination, grace, hope, and love.

A legacy...

His legacy.

The seed - watered with tender care by gentle hands.

Against all odds - the seed grew; driving its roots deeper into the earth.

Each season that passed, the sun shone and the tree grew closer to the sky.

Rising above the obstacles of life, the roots grew stronger and the branches even higher.

Life winds blew, grace rains fell, storms shook the branches and rattled its trunk;

The arms grew stronger and the foundation remained stable, steady, and strong.

Roots of this tree - hold the story of strife, heartache, burdens, joy, laughter, love, provision,

marriage, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and most of all -hope.

Hope - to continue the legacy.

A rich legacy full of loyalty, wisdom, trust, grace, strength, bounty, dignity, protection, faith, and redemption.

This tree is a story of selflessness, sacrifice, and rich heritage.

The little seed was a little boy with a big dream - to make life better.

He stands today on St. Patrick’s Day, stronger than ever - Mind, Heart, and Body.

He is our roots of Life, Love, Laughter, and Dancing.

Happy 80th Birthday Richard Patrick Meehan!

Thank you for being our example of a tender, compassionate, loyal, and loving father.

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