Who is Crystal Aceves?
Well, I love many things, but among those things are research, history, and family. I also enjoy learning about new cultures and languages, and when I was eighteen, I spent a year in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico. I went as a Rotary Club exchange student, and besides learning to speak Spanish, I learned to love the differences of culture and people. It was there that I met my husband, Ali, and we have been married since 1997.
We have four wonderful children, who are all different, but a blessing to have. Life can get busy with all that we do, but it is worth it. I’ve realized that the hardest things in life are worth the sacrifice. After having three of my children, I went to finish my college because that was important to me. It was a long four and a half years, but I graduated with a BA in Spanish and a minor in business with a 3.87 GPA. I would have liked the 3.9, but I was still proud to graduate with honors while being a full-time mother and wife. Along with going to school, my husband did real estate for many years, and that meant that our house was always for sale, so add that to an already busy and hectic life.
It was during my final college semester that I got the idea of writing the book that combined all the things I love together. I loved my granddad’s war story, I loved the history that matched with his story, and I loved putting it together and writing the book, Captured by the Enemy. As I wrote my granddad’s awesome story, my husband got a degree in Wind Energy and we moved from Kansas to Iowa, from Iowa to Texas, from Texas to Oklahoma, and then we ended up back in Kansas when all was said and done.
We had our last child, a boy, while in Texas, but I kept writing. It was hard and my granddad passed away in December 2011. I took the many hours of recordings I had, ordered Army records, talked to others, and researched until I had a finished copy. It took me eight years of researching and retracing the steps of my granddad, Carl Good, but I did it! More than anything it was a personal accomplishment, but it has also been rewarding to share his story with others. I hope you enjoy learning about my granddad as you walk with him on his journey of not only being a soldier in WWII, but also being captured and then escaping into the mountains of Italy.
After writing my granddad’s story, I had an idea floating in the back of my mind. It came from a paragraph that I had written in Captured by the Enemy. On page 9 it reads: “Every person held secret shadows of pain deeply etched into his/her eyes. It passed through eyes of all colors and circumstances like the thump of a heartbeat with blurs of blue, green, and brown. He wondered what his pain looked like from the outside. He could hide some of it, but he knew it had changed him. Circling back through time, he knew from firsthand experience that pain had no preference. Rich, poor, old, young–it didn’t matter. Every person carried an unseen cross, but some could hide it better than others.”
This paragraph made me think about all the burdens people secretly carry. However, I firmly believe that hope can be given to others who are facing the same trials that someone else has learned to heal from. After many years of thinking and learning, I have decided that my next project is a project of hope. Messages For Your Soul will be a series to help people facing trials that others have already passed, thus sharing hope that tomorrow will be a better day and there is hope in the end. Join with me on this journey of hope and healing.