Living Life with Courage
We all have times in our lives when events or issues can cause us pain and make it hard to put one foot in front of the other after they hit the floor on any given morning. The characters in this book are no different.
In Nic Nelson and the Diamonds of Denmark, Nic and his mom, Barbara, are both dealt a huge blow in their lives when Nic’s father dies unexpectedly in an accident. Although the circumstances were, on the surface, heroic, the loss of Nic’s dad and Barbara’s husband sets off sadness and turmoil as they try to pick up the pieces.
Upon her husband’s death, Barbara Nelson was obviously faced with a life-changing event that could have left her discouraged and paralyzed with sorrow from his loss. But instead, she chose a much more courageous option – taking Nic and moving to a new town for a new life.
Of course, simply moving to a new town doesn’t provide the courage to handle every situation that comes about in New Bonn, but Barbara does a more-than-admirable job of picking up the pieces and forging ahead. She takes on a new, full-time job, settles into a new home, and for the first time must parent her son, Nic, all alone.
Feeling discouraged could easily happen as Barbara sees the after effects of her son being bullied and watches his deep emotional battle resulting from his father’s death – while at the same time struggling to maintain her own emotional well-being. But she finds the courage to stick to her guns when it comes to raising Nic with important values, coupled with the right amount of discipline and love. Somehow she musters up the courage to put on a smiling face while trying to provide a happy, “normal” home life for Nic.
Nic has a great role model in his mother on how to face his new life with courage. Moving to a new town and having to attend a new school can be discouraging for a child even in the best of circumstances. But Nic has to do it after suffering the death of his father. But if that weren’t hard enough, he immediately becomes the target of a bully and having to defend himself from mental, emotional and physical attacks. Nic could have easily become withdrawn, scared and discouraged. Yet somehow he finds the courage to push back, many times calling on memories and lessons he learned from his dad.
Not only does Nic find courage in memories of and mementoes from his dad, but he also develops a courageous attitude from the relationship he has with his new friends. He feels passionate about them and uses the love of his friends, his dad, adult mentors and the example of his mom to find the courage to stand up for himself and for others, even if the “view” he’s standing up for isn’t the popular one.
Even toward the end of Nic Nelson and the Diamonds of Denmark, a mysterious phone call stirs up questions that, for the time being, have no answers — which could be discouraging and challenge Nic.
But throughout the story, the words of Richard Evans seem to describe how Nic and his mom find a way to live each day: Don’t let life discourage you; have the courage to continue on …
And they do!