President Obama’s campaign web-site has given us the Obama Woman, a gal named “Julia” who we follow in cartoon form from age three through age 67+ . Julia’s life, from the formative years and onward, has been guided, nurtured and embraced by and through government programs such as: Head Start, Medicaid, Food Stamps, Obamacare, Pell Grants for education etc. There is never a mention of Julia having parents or siblings or any family at all (they had to be in the mix somewhere but I guess their impact on Julia’s life was minimal). Finally, as Julia’s wonderful, carefree and orchestrated life winds down, she finds happiness in her senior years as a volunteer in a “community garden”. May I present the JULIA alternative–JOANIE.
Joanie Peach is 17. She did have parents but they died. Her mother, when Joanie was 13, and her dad when she was 17. She has an older brother, Teddy, 18, and three younger brothers aged 14, 10 and 6. They are orphans. Yup–Joanie has had multiple roles in her young life: daughter, sister, replacement mom, high school student, cook, house-keeper, household budget manager, grocery shopper, meal planner, and, of course, nurse in charge of all the cuts, bumps and bruises that little boys seem to attract. I have to be fair–this did take place “way, way”, back in the mid 1960’s. That was a time when the all embraceable and benevolent government was just beginning to get into the “nanny busines”. Consequently, folks (for the most part)counted on their family, friends and church to help them through difficult life challenges.
Joanie Peach and the parentless journey of her and her brothers begins in the YA novel, “The Priest and the Peaches”, the first book in a fictionalized (like Obama’s, Julia) series that will follow the life of these kids. Joanie and Julia are quite different. Why not spend a few bucks (it is an ebook) to see HOW different and how the faith, strength and love of God and family can be the foundation that binds and lifts folks together no matter what life may throw their way.