May 26, 2014 MEMORIAL DAY



Today means a lot to me, as it does (and should) for all Americans. When my mother, Daphne Cavin, was still alive, every Memorial Day was spent laying flowers at the graves of her first and second husbands’. Both men were in WWII. Her second husband, my father, made it home from the War. Mother’s first husband did not. Raymond Kelley died in France fighting for our Country.

In 1998, when NBC Nightly News first contacted my mother to be interviewed for Tom Brokaw’s segment “Home of the Brave“, she was excited (if not a little bit apprehensive) to talk about Raymond and the War. Like so many others who had died in WWII, Raymond was hardly ever mentioned, and the interview with Brokaw gave her the chance to talk about Raymond, and the War that she had avoided mentioning for so long. A few months later, mother was contacted by Brokaw again and asked for her and Raymond’s story to be included in his book The Greatest Generation. Many people who read The Greatest Generation were taken by my mother and Raymond’s story, and from that, my novel When You Come Home was born.


A few weeks ago, I was contacted by Joe Smydo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Mr. Smydo interviewed me about my mother and my book. I am proud to have been involved with his article, ‘Greatest Generation’ Quickly Vanishing, and hope that on this Memorial Day, you will each take a few moments to read the article and contemplate on the great men and women who gave their lives in service to our Country.


EDITOR’S NOTE: The ereader version of Nancy’s book, When You Come Home, is available for 99 cents on Memorial Day  at Amazon.

This Week’s Events

Two exciting opportunities came up for me this week. First… When You Come Home came out as an audiobook! The audiobook, along with the print and Kindle editions, is now available on Amazon.

My book is now an audiobook!
My book is now an audiobook!

The second big event that happened this week is that I was contacted by my colleague Carol Heilman, a fellow Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas author, and asked to write a guest blog for Memorial Day weekend on her blog! The blog is “Carol Heilman and Friends” , and my post is entitled, Selfless Tribute. I hope you get the chance to scoot on over to Carol’s page and check it out!


In October of 2011, When You Come Home by author Nancy Cavin Pitts hit bookshelves. The true-life novel, written about Nancy’s mother, was in response to Tom Brokaw’s The Greatest Generation, which featured Nancy’s mother, Daphne, and Daphne’s husband Raymond, who was killed in France during WW II. This is the story of how Nancy Cavin Pitts came to write her mother’s story, and the lessons learned along the way.


Today, we share with you the first of many blog posts written by Nancy about her journey as she wrote her mother’s story, and shared it with a nation.


        Mom was born in 1919 on a farm outside of Lebanon, Indiana. Her father was a preacher and her mother, a housewife. Mom was the 10th child born to Albert and Maggie Abston. She was a little shy when she was younger, but became more confident and outgoing as she entered high school. After completing high school, Mom entered beauty college. Upon graduation, she began working as a beautician at the Ione Beauty Salon in Lebanon.

        At age 22, Mom met Raymond Kelley at a Sunday School picnic. None of the boys in the town had interested her… until she met Raymond. A year later, Mom and Raymond married and settled down to start their life together in the little town of Lebanon. America had just entered the War the previous year, and in November of 1942, Raymond was drafted. Raymond was first sent to Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis for determination of assignment. As Raymond was sent to various Army camps throughout the U.S., Mom would travel to be with him on the weekends. Then in January, 1944, Raymond was sent to Italy.

        Two months later, he was injured and sent to a field hospital to recuperate. In May, Raymond rejoined his unit and a few months later, they began moving towards France. In September, 1944, Mom received the telegraph that Raymond had been killed in the line of duty. She didn’t know what to do. She didn’t share her heartache much with her parents because they, too, were heartbroken at Raymond’s death. She couldn’t eat much, and got down to 84 pounds on her 5 foot frame. She became anemic and had to go to the doctor every week for iron shots. As the War ended, she gradually gained her health back and continued to work at the beauty shop. She worked long, hard hours at the shop, and refused to talk about the War with family or customers.

        Eventually, her faith in the Lord and the support of her family restored Mom’s health and she was able to move on with her life. In 1950, she married Marvin Cavin and they had four children, including me, the baby of the family. In 1998, Mom was contacted by Tom Brokaw’s staff to interview for a segment entitled “Home of the Brave” on the NBC Nightly News. From there, the story of my mother and Raymond came pouring out, and the novel called When You Come Home was eventually born.

To read the entire story of Daphne Cavin and Raymond, purchase When You Come Home at Amazon, available both in-print and as a Kindle download.

When You Come Home is now available as an audiobook on Amazon!