This time of year always makes me think of my Grandparents. They made Christmas a magical experience every single year of my childhood. When they passed several years ago and I was asked to write something for their memorial service, the memories overwhelmed me. I thought I'd share with you what I wrote for them.
The House on Nicholas Drive
This is a picture of me in front of Grandma Jean and Papa’s house.
It was my ‘special turn,’ which meant time alone with my Grandparents.
I am standing by their juniper bushes on Nicholas Drive. I’m wearing the brand new first day of
school outfit they bought for me.
I loved that outfit.
To this day, the smell of juniper bushes reminds me of
Grandma Jean and Papa.
When I look at this picture, I want to say to my younger self, ‘turn and run to them and give them
a big hug, tell them you love them. Someday they won’t be there anymore.’
But, alas, childhood doesn’t see the
big picture. I thought
the house on Nicholas Drive
would always be there with Grandma Jean and Papa waiting to greet me. Inside, the tables would be
set and a grand feast would soon be served.
Christmas Eve at Nicholas Drive
was a highlight in my life. Papa always wore his red vest and played Santa—handing out all the gifts as we opened them one at a time. Grandma Jean always served snowballs for dessert.
I’ve never seen them sold anywhere; it was a magical concoction that was known only to her.
I tried to make them once, but they didn’t turn out—the magic wasn’t there.
I dream of the house on Nicholas Drive sometimes.
I wish my children could experience at least one Christmas Eve there.
Grandma Jean used to give me Black Jack gum, the stick kind. It was black and licorice flavored.
She also gave me Fresca to drink. These were more of the magical treats that only existed at her house.
Papa gave me rides on his knee that always ended with, ‘shave and a haircut, two bits!’
I still don’t know why.
But, after he said it he’d straighten his leg and I’d slip down just as if I was on a slide.
Grandma Jean and Papa’s love for one another
will always be one of the greatest examples I have ever seen of a happy marriage.
The saying, ‘nothing is constant but change,’ begins to have new meaning as I must say goodbye to
my grandparents. An era, a generation is gone and I mourn the loss from my life.
But, I will see them again and something tells me that the next greeting will be even better than
I'm just catching up with everything after a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday weekend. My daughter and grandson just left last night and it was hard to see them go. But the memories are firmly entrenched in my heart!
I spent most of my time holding this cute little guy! I love being a grandma!
During our visit, my daughter said to me, 'mom, here's a song that goes with your next book, I'm With You.'
She was so very right. I love when she 'gets' my books. I've been listening to this song over and over. It really captures the emotion in I'm With You. Love it!
Note: It's the words to the song that go with my book, not the images on the music video.
Sorry I missed last week's Monday post! We were out of town, visiting our daughter in Arizona in her new apartment.
I love the way she decorates. She just moved in, so this is only the beginning!
We also visited my sister and her family. I LOVE Arizona weather in November. It was PERFECT! We sat outside at this restaurant for hours and it was wonderful.
After a few days in Arizona, we were off again, this time to Santa Fe, where my hubby had to be for business. We once again stayed at the Buffalo Thunder. I love this hotel. The below pic is looking down into the sunken lobby/waiting area. I always look at it and wish I had a house like this!
Buffalo Thunder Hotel
While my hubby tended to his business, I was able to have two entire days of absolute peace and quiet. I spent the time going over my newest manuscript, I'm With You, from beginning to end--and it was bliss.
I'm now ready to send out proof copies to some of my early readers. (not beta readers) These are the people who read my book before it is finished and give me advice. After hearing their opinions, I spend a few more weeks making changes/edits, then the manuscript will be off to the editor.
I'm very excited to release this book. The subject matter is near and dear to my heart. It's coming along nicely, but it has not been an easy book to write. Emotionally, it has been exhausting--yet therapeutic as well.
Here's the tentative blurb for I'm With You:
(Fair warning: the blurb has changed at least twenty times, so it may change again! It's still a work in progress.)
Can three little words change your life?
When the doctors inform Chloe Brennan that her pregnancy is “incompatible with life,” her subsequent choices will change her path forever.
Three people will pierce Chloe’s existence: her husband, a stranger, and a precious baby.
One will say goodbye, one will say hello, and one will say both at the same time.
I’m With You is a novel about selfless love and the sacredness of life.
This novel includes my daughter's true story (See Remembering Jerad) and is very personal. She heard the words "incompatible with life." It's a devastating diagnosis and I wanted to share the story with the world to increase awareness of this condition. It's a condition I had never heard of before until it happened to us.
That being said, my daughter will be the first to read the manuscript--and she has full editing rights. If she feels anything is just too personal, I will remove it from the story.