Wishing each of you Happy Holidays and a very Merry Christmas!
(Can you guess what my favorite color is? Go ahead, take a shot in the dark!)
This is my favorite time of the holiday season. The tree is up and decorated. The presents are wrapped. The cards have been sent. Family has all arrived safely. Tomorrow we will make Christmas cookies, the cookie cutter kind.
Time to relax and enjoy the holidays!
Hope you are doing the same!
Don't forget, throughout the holiday season I'm offering all of my books for 99 cents--my present to each of you!
While awaiting the proof copies of my next book, I decided to revisit my novel, Sierra.
When I was working on the final edits
of Sierra, I was worried that the book was much too long. Sierra was originally
a 165,000 word monstrosity of a novel. The published version is 100,000 words. The
original novel had TWO epilogues; two years later and twenty years later. Some of
my early readers have expressed disappointment in the missing epilogues, and
some agreed the book is better without them; the story just seemed to go on and
on and on. A few reviewers have stated that they felt the novel ended abruptly.
One reviewer even requested a sequel!
It would seem that people want a
little more of Alex and Alyssa’s story.
Hence my decision to publish the
Two Years Later epilogue here on my blog. Not only does it share the Happily
Ever After ending and give the reader some closure, it also delves a little
more into the life of Adam.
If fans of Sierra really enjoy the epilogue, I just might add it to the published version!
The epilogue to Sierra that didn’t
make the final version:
Two Years Later
sat on the porch watching Clay and little Alex play in their fenced-in front
yard. They were best buddies and had a great time together. Clay played the
part of the big brother, always watching out for Alex in a way that was very
endearing. Seeing Clay now, you would never know the trauma he’d suffered in
his young life. He’d just started kindergarten and was flourishing before her
heavily wooded area they lived in was breathtakingly beautiful and reminded her
of her time at the cabin. In the end they’d chosen to settle in Oregon. They
chose a small town just outside of Portland.
Alex wanted to be as far away from Connecticut
as possible. They didn’t want to settle in the Sierra Nevada Mountains either.
Except for her time at the cabin, that area held too many bad memories for
long tree lined driveway took them to their home, which was situated in a small
clearing. The area gave them the feeling they were back at the cabin. In fact
they chose to have built a huge, sprawling two story cabin made of dark
redwood, with a wrap-around porch. It was gorgeous and they loved it. The dark
wood of the cabin and the vibrant green scenery surrounding them complimented
each other. She teased Alex, “I told you I only wanted you for your cabin. Guess
I got what I wanted.”
teased back that he got what he wanted too . . . her.
had thought the cabin to be too big, but Alex winked at her and said they would
just have to fill it. She was working on it. She was seven months along with
their second child, biologically. Alex had adopted Clay and you’d never know he
wasn’t his child. Alex treated him as his own and she loved him for it. Clay
did begin to ask questions about his father. He had vague memories of him,
although he had no memory of the shooting, thank goodness. Alyssa told him the most
basic story possible of what had happened to his father, leaving out the
details of what had happened specifically to Clay himself. As he got older he
would eventually know the entire sordid story. The gory details could wait
until he was old enough to handle them.
Once little Alex had been born, Alex had
insisted she have the corrective surgery. Keeping his promise, they didn’t
spend a night apart. For the few nights she had to stay in the hospital he slept
in the chair next to her bed and never left her side. He pampered her through
it and played Mr. Mom to the children. He was absolutely exhausted at the end
of each day and said he had a new respect for mothers. But she knew he also
loved every minute. He refused to hire anyone to help him. He wanted to do it
all himself. Of course, Jerry and Teresa were a great help as usual. After the
recovery and never ending rehabilitation exercises, Alex whisked her away.
Teresa volunteered to watch the children and they trusted her implicitly.
remembered his words to her, “Alyssa, I’m taking you away for a week. Choose
your destination, anywhere in the world, name the place. I love our children,
but I want some time alone with my wife. Where do you want to go?”
didn’t have to think about it. “The cabin.”
love you for wanting to go to the cabin, but no, absolutely not. I want to take
you somewhere where we can stay in a five-star hotel. Some place luxurious, where
we can feel pampered and call room service when we’re hungry. And furthermore I
want a bathroom with running water and all of the amenities . . .” And so it
she said, interrupting his tirade. “I’ve told you before and I’ll say it again,
I love a man who owns his own outhouse.”
kissed her until she gave in and chose a place. It took her a long time to
decide. Finally, she said, “Hawaii.
I’ve never been.”
off they went to Hawaii for a week. Just like that. She’d forgotten who she was
traveling with, but she was quickly reminded when they traveled first class,
and when they arrived at their hotel and instead of the small hotel room she’d
been picturing in her mind, they were in a suite bigger than most people’s
used to it,” he told her with a wink.
absolutely doted on her the entire week. She’d never felt so pampered in her
entire life. They spent their days lounging by the pool or lazing on the shore
of the ocean. They spent their nights enjoying romantic candlelight dinners,
long walks along the beach, and making love as if they were honeymooners. It
was a magical week and they left with a new bond between them, even stronger
results: another baby on the way.
drove up then, and Alyssa’s reverie faded. He climbed out of his soft top jeep,
wearing jeans with a dress shirt and tie. He looked devastatingly handsome in
his sunglasses and windblown hair. Once
again, Alyssa couldn’t believe this man was her husband. The boys ran to their
father for hugs and he twirled them each around in the air. It warmed her heart
to see him with his children. He was a doting father; she’d always known he
would be. Alex approached as Alyssa’s eyes followed him. “Hello, handsome.”
kissed her softly and then kissed her tummy and said, “Hello, baby girl.” Alex
was visibly moved when they found out they were having a girl. He could hardly
wait to meet her. “How are we today?”
“We are fine. If I could just get this heel
out of my ribcage, I’d be even better.”
laughed and joined her on the porch swing as they watched the boys play happily
in the yard. Alex worked at the local medical clinic part time. He enjoyed his
time there and they were glad to have him. He loved being back in the medical
hired a cook and a housekeeper to take the load off Alyssa. At first she
objected, but now she was glad. It was enough for her to take care of their
boys and get Clay to and from school each day. Alex put his arm around her and
she rested her head on his shoulder. He laid his other hand on her stomach and
felt the baby moving inside of her, something which brought him endless joy. He
often teased that she just looked like she had a basketball hidden under her
shirt. Alyssa, however, felt huge—and was pretty sure a beach ball was hidden
had dinner together, bathed the boys, read them a bedtime story and put them to
bed. It was their nightly ritual and unless Alex was called in for an
emergency, they always did it together. They settled themselves on the two
recliners that flanked the roaring stone fireplace and sat down to enjoy a
peaceful evening together. They were both quietly reading when the phone rang. Alex
is this the home of Alex and Alyssa Kendrick?”
voice on the phone was elderly. Surely this wasn’t a telemarketer. “Yes it is.
How may I help you?”
am sorry to disturb you, sir. This may not be a phone call that you would like
to take, but I politely ask that you hear me out. My name is Kendall Browning.
I am the father of Allan Browning. Do you know that name?”
knew he’d heard that name somewhere before. “It’s familiar to me. I’m sorry,
you’ll have to refresh my memory.”
believe that you and your wife knew him only as Adam.”
looked up at Alyssa with surprise. She immediately comprehended the unbelieving
expression on his face.
what is it?” she asked with worry.
are you there?” Mr. Browning prompted.
what is it you want?” Alex hissed, unable to keep up any pretense of politeness.
so sorry. I know that the mention of his name must bring back painful memories.
I do not want to cause you or your wife any pain. My wife and I are in Oregon visiting her
nephew. The last time we saw our Allan was when he was four years old. You and
your wife were the last ones to see him alive. We would so much love to talk to
you. There are so many things we would like to know. There’s only so much the
police can tell us. We hardly know anything about him. May we come and talk to
heartfelt plea touched Alex. The man sounded quite elderly and as if he was in
ill health. He spoke clearly and distinctly, but slowly. Alex understood his
desire to know more about the son that was so cruelly taken from them. But he
had to put the well being of his wife and child first. “Hold on a minute,
please.” He held Alyssa’s gaze for a moment before speaking. He didn’t want
this to upset her in any way.
something wrong, Alex?”
the parents of Allan Browning on the phone; Adam’s parents.” Alyssa’s eyes
widened. “They would like to speak to us. They want to know more about their
didn’t wait for a response from Alyssa. The sudden sickly pallor of her skin
was quite enough. “I’m sorry, Mr. Browning. My wife is expecting and I’m afraid
this may prove to be more than she can handle right now. Perhaps another time .
wait,” Alyssa said to him, a pleading note in her voice.
covered the receiver with his hand, his disturbed gaze settling upon her. “Alyssa,
I don’t think it’s a good idea. You don’t need to relive it all again.”
their son, Alex. He was taken away when he was only four years old. I feel for
them. They may not like what I have to say, but I think they deserve to know
happened to their son. In their position, I would want to know too.” She
swallowed, obviously not feeling quite as confident as her words. “It’s okay. I’ll
speak with them. Tell them yes.”
don’t have to do this. You owe them nothing.”
“I know. But the ‘not-knowing’ must be driving
them crazy. As long as you’re with me, I’ll be fine.”
his better judgment, he agreed. “Mr. Browning, my wife has agreed to see you.
Please understand that if it’s too much for her, the conversation will end
abruptly . . . yes, that will be fine, see you tomorrow at noon.”
exchanged a worried glance with Alyssa.
should we tell them, Alex?”
truth . . . their son was a monster.”
next day at noon they impatiently awaited their visitors. Clay was at school
and little Alex was down for a nap. They were surprised, however, when instead
of one car, three cars pulled up. Several people filed into their living room.
An elderly couple identified themselves as Mr. and Mrs. Browning. They were
sweet and ever so polite. Mr. Browning handled the introductions.
you don’t mind, we brought the family with us. It’s just that they’ve all missed
Allan so much and would so like to hear of him. This is our eldest son, Jacob,
and his wife, Marie.”
nodded at them.
two little girls with him are his daughters, our granddaughters, Mary and Abby.
And then next to him is our middle child, Annette, and her husband, Jack.”
held a sleeping baby in her arms and smiled at them.
our youngest, David. He was fourteen when Allan was taken from us. I’m afraid
that Allan was a bit of a surprise. We didn’t think we would be blessed with
another child. David brought his wife with him, Ellen.”
was pregnant and held her stomach proudly.
rest of the gang decided to stay at the hotel. You know teenagers, they’d
rather swim in the pool, but none of them knew Allan.”
felt herself turn cold as she stood transfixed. Adam’s older brother, David,
could’ve been his twin. It was like looking at Adam, cleaned up and dressed
decently, hair cut and neatly combed. Instinctively, she took a step back and
Alex wrapped his arms around her protectively.
could see the uncanny resemblance between David and Adam. It was as if a
resurrected Adam stood before them once again, in their living room no less. He
had to resist the urge to hide Alyssa behind him. He actually found himself
thinking about where his gun was located and how quickly he could get to it.
stood casually and held his wife’s shoulders as she stood in front of him.
Ellen reached up and held one of his hands, smiling sweetly.
he and Alyssa were completely speechless for at least a full minute. The need
to defend and protect boiled in his blood. The urge to take a few steps forward
and deck the guy felt so strong, his hands actually formed into fists.
a few deep breaths and several moments of dead silence, Alex recovered.
wasn’t Adam; of course it wasn’t.
have a seat,” Alex told them politely and introduced himself and Alyssa. She
still seemed somewhat shell shocked. Alex sat next to her on the couch and held
her hand. She grasped his hand tightly, her fingers turning white, and sat very,
very close to him. It was obvious the sight of David had thrown her for a loop.
was taken aback at the sight of Adam’s family. Especially David. She somehow
expected them to be awful, like him, which she realized was a foolish thought.
Still, she didn’t expect to see such nice and wonderful people all staring at
her hopefully. They were a normal, happy family. Her eyes rested on David
again. She could hardly look at him without feeling the urge to run like crazy.
The only thing keeping her in place was Alex. All of his protective instincts
had kicked in at the sight of David. Alyssa liked the way he’d immediately wrapped
his arms around her as if shielding her from the enemy.
“I’m back, mountain man. Me and
her have some unfinished business.”
Adam’s words echoed in her mind.
She’d never shake the awful memory. But, thanks to Alex, she’d been able to
move on. Now that she’d had time to recover from the shock of seeing Adam’s double,
she couldn’t help but study him a little more closely. This was how Adam would
have turned out had he not been taken from his family at the tender age of
four. Without Pa’s demoralizing and atrocious upbringing, he would have been
normal—a sobering thought. Alex gave her hand a squeeze and she realized she
was wringing his hand. “Sorry,” she whispered. One glance and she knew he was
thinking the same things as her. She held her stomach with one hand
protectively and Alex cast her a concerned look. The thought of Adam saying he
would cut her baby out of her filled her with paralyzing fear, yet adrenalin coursed
through her as if her body knew she needed to take action quickly. She half
expected David to brandish a knife at any moment. “Hello, Eve. I’ve come back fur ya.” Surely this was a trick—Adam
hadn’t really died—this was his way of getting into their home—he would attack
at any moment.
shook her head, dislodging crazy thoughts. It wasn’t Adam. She knew that. She
should’ve listened to Alex. He was right. This wasn’t the time for her to meet
with Adam’s family.
don’t want to take much of your time, Mr. and Mrs. Kendrick. We do not want
this to be upsetting to you either. As I told you last night on the phone, we
know so little about Allan. He was the sweetest little boy. Being the baby of
the family we all doted on him. Why, he was the apple of our eye; the joy of
our hearts. A day hasn’t gone by that we haven’t thought of him and hoped
whoever had him was taking good care of him. The police have informed us of
Allan’s crimes. We know he was involved in your abduction, Mrs. Kendrick. But there’s
so much we don’t know. The man who took him doesn’t sound like a very nice man.
Was he a father to him? Did he love him? We so want to know what our precious
son was like. Was he a good young man? Was he happy? You are the person who
last saw him alive and we hoped you could tell us a little about him, perhaps
help us feel some closure.”
eyes were concentrated on her as they stared expectantly. She’d spent the most
time with Adam and perhaps they felt she knew his character better than anyone
felt floored. She had planned to tell them the ugly truth about Adam, but now
the words stuck in her throat. She cast a sideways peek towards Alex, silently pleading
for help. He looked as speechless as she did. How could they tell this
wonderful family what their son had become? It would break their hearts and
destroy them. Adam’s frail mother already had tears pouring down her face and
Alyssa feared she might collapse at any moment. Her heart went out to her.
was a faithful young man,” Alex said to them, breaking the silence. “He was
obviously being controlled by the man he called Pa. He loved him. He did
everything that his father told him to do. Unfortunately, Pa was not a nice
man. He made him do things that I’m sure he didn’t want to do; things I’m sure
he never would’ve done of his own accord.”
was good. It was her turn now though. Everyone was waiting for her to speak. Alex
had twisted his words into positive statements. Following his lead, Alyssa said
slowly, “He was the kinder of the two of them. He was very loyal to Pa. He
should . . . he should be commended for his loyalty.”
wave of nausea washed over her. Alyssa couldn’t do it. She couldn’t sit here
and say nice things about Adam.
when she looked into their sweet, expectant faces, she knew she would. What
harm would it do to give these people some peace of mind, some closure,
concerning their long, lost son? His crimes were not theirs. Her mind searched
for ways to say kind things about Adam, even though it went against the grain.
It was hard to think of Adam as a victim, even though he’d been one as much as
very much wanted to have a wife and children of his own—especially sons.” She
thought of his unwanted advances and how he always spoke of their wedding
night. The memory of him telling her he would drown any female babies would
always haunt her. “He must’ve had some distant memory of his own family and
knew it was what he wanted,” she added.
mother let out a sob that seemed overly loud in the excruciating silence.
swallowed hard and pressed forward. “He watched over me when Pa was cruel.” She
thought of him watching as Pa kicked her in the gut and then warning her to not
make Pa mad. She suppressed a shudder.
father nodded as if pleased with his son’s actions. Adam would’ve been a decent
human being had he been raised by these wonderful people.
made sure I . . . had enough food.” To this day, the sight of beef jerky still
turned her stomach. Alyssa’s mind landed on the moment Adam offered to share
his beans with her and how she had refused to eat off the same spoon. For a
second, she thought she might be sick. Alex disentangled his right hand,
replacing it with his left hand, and rubbed her back reassuringly. His fingers
gently ran through her hair and she absorbed the calm, peaceful feeling only he
all of the family members now had tears in their eyes and wiped at their faces.
Keep going, Alyssa. You can do this.
okay, Alyssa?” Alex asked.
she told him. Having Alex at her side gave her the strength to go on.
“And he made sure I didn’t . . . trip as we
walked in the mountains.” Alyssa’s hand automatically ran over her neckline as
she relived the feel of Adam tugging on her leash, forcing her to stay upright.
Alyssa tried to smile at them, but knew it came out more as a grimace. She
trailed off, knowing there was nothing more she could say.
understand that he died at your cabin, Mr. Kendrick. We were told that he
Alyssa added, answering the question. “He thought that Alex had kidnapped me.
He came to see if I was still there and . . . to . . . to see if I was okay.”
She thought of Adam roughly tying the leash on her. His words echoed in her
mind, “I’ve come back for you, Eve.”
Alyssa avoided looking at David, not once glancing his way. She didn’t trust
herself enough. Already she could feel her limbs tingling from the early
effects of hyperventilation.
w-was worried about me.” She thought of him yelling at Alex, “You stole my woman.” It was a truly
horrifying moment. They were waiting for her to say more, to give them some
type of answer as to how he had died.
to him, the police had followed. H-he got caught in the crossfire.” She
remembered the words Alex had said as he ended his life. Damn you to hell. It’d been a fight to the death and she knew in
her heart that Adam had deserved to die.
smiled another smile at them, knowing only Alex knew how strained, how fake the
smile was. “There isn’t really more I can tell you than that. He believed that
the man called Pa was his father and he followed him loyally. He really can’t
be blamed for that, now can he?”
Browning patted his wife on the back. “See now, mother, he never forgot the
teachings he learned at your knee.”
Browning dabbed at her eyes with her handkerchief. “Is it true that . . . that
. . .” Adam’s grieving mother couldn’t finish her question.
wondered if they could see right through their statements and knew they were
slanting their story in Adam’s favor. More than likely they could read between
the lines. At the same time, they wanted so much to believe there was still
some good left in their son, they eagerly grasped at the crumbs she was tossing
my wife wants to know is, well, what we would all like to know is—is it true
that Mr. Abernathy and Allan killed your husband and son in cold blood?”
felt as though she was made of stone. How
do I answer that? Her mind refused to go back to that moment. It was just
too much. The intense feelings that accompanied the memory had the power to
leave her breathless. “Pa is the one who actually shot them.” Alyssa unwillingly
thought of Adam yelling at Pa to do it, egging him on as if he’d enjoyed it.
“Adam kept his arms around me when it happened.” She hoped that sounded as if
he had been comforting her. She’d never forget the feel of the cold, hard steel
of the knife at her neck. She couldn’t help but shiver. “My son lived through
it.” She was sure they thought the shiver was brought on by the thought that
her son lived; a shiver of relief.
we understand that you, Mr. Kendrick, ended Mr. Abernathy’s life?”
obviously had not been told that Alex had also ended their son’s life. She
wasn’t about to enlighten them.
was holding us at gunpoint. When I saw the chance I took it. Adam was injured
in the . . . scuffle, but he escaped into the night.”
you for saving Allan from that man.”
couldn’t wrap his mind around that thought. It was too preposterous to
sorry,” Alex interrupted. “I really don’t want my wife to relive this experience
any longer. I think she needs to take a rest now.”
they stood Alex felt Alyssa wrap her arm through his tightly. She stood closely
to him, her body pressed against his as if she was glued to his side. He could
feel the tension emanating through her body.
Kendrick, may I ask one more thing?” Mr. Browning said hesitantly.
it true that if it weren’t for this abduction, the two of you would not have
let out his breath. He had a point, but it wasn’t something Alex wanted to
examine too closely. “Yes, that’s true.”
it would seem that something good came out of it then. The two of you seem to
be very happy together.”
looked at Alyssa and she held his gaze.
you. We are very happy together,” he replied. Alex thought of the first time he
saw Alyssa and the condition she’d been in. It still sent a chill up his spine
I hope this has helped in some way. But may I offer some advice? Try to
remember him as the sweet little four year old boy that you knew and loved. To
do otherwise will only cause you pain and heartache.”
tears in their eyes and several expressions of gratitude, they left. Alex
closed the door behind them and leaned heavily against it. He took several deep
breaths. He turned to Alyssa who watched him with wide eyes. “Are you okay?” he
I couldn’t tell them the truth. I just couldn’t do that to them.” She held her
stomach protectively. “I didn’t exactly lie.”
we know how up for interpretation those statements were. You did the right
was a lot harder than I thought. I wasn’t expecting them to be so normal.”
walked over to her and placed his forehead on hers. They shared a small smile
that expressed great relief.
handled it well.” He took her into his arms and kissed her softly.
relaxed in his embrace. “I’m sorry—you were right—it wasn’t the time for me to
talk to them. I’m not sure there could ever be a right time though.”
trust you. I knew it was something you felt you had to do, that it was
important. I know I’m overprotective when it comes to you,” Alex said to her as
their lips met again in a soft caress.
wouldn’t have it any other way,” Alyssa said quietly. “I’ll always feel safe
with you by my side. I’m sorry I held onto you so tightly.”
. . . when I saw him . . . I wanted to run . . . I . . .”
I know, I know.” He gently ran his fingers through her hair the way she loved.
“I want you to take a nap, de-stress. I don’t want anything upsetting you right
now. I’ll look after Alex when he wakes up and pick up Clay at school.”
be a couple of hours from now, Mr. Kendrick. Why don’t you join me?” she said
with a raise of her eyebrows and then added seriously, “I don’t want to be alone
right now. Actually, I don’t want to be away from you. And I really don’t feel much like sleeping.”
the middle of the afternoon? How very scandalous . . .” he said, loving this
woman more than he thought possible.
will the housekeeper think?” she said with a mischievous smile.
kissed her and said, “She’ll think we’re in love.”
held his face in her hands. “I guess our secret is out.”
whispered to her, “Just between you and me, I think she already suspects
something.” He kissed her again, tenderly.
smiled at each other and hand in hand, slowly, climbed the stairs.
Today on Monday Musings, I am going to reveal the cover of my next book,
I'm With You!
If you follow my blog, then you know I go back and forth on my cover decisions. But I LOVE this cover and do NOT feel undecided on this choice at all!
Can three little words irrevocably change your
When the doctors
inform Chloe Brennan that her pregnancy is “incompatible with life,” her
subsequent choices will change her path forever.
She becomes one of
the quiet, unsung heroes of this world, incredibly strong, yet somehow wrongly
looked upon as damaged.
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.
My daughter designs my covers for me and she does a fabulous job. The original background was a light pink. She superimposed one of her own photos of a night sky over the image and changed the color to grey. The results: a romantic starry night!
I love it!
With the the holidays just around the corner, and the fact that I'll have three of my children home and one grandbaby, I've changed my release date to:
March 1st, 2014.
Currently I am still editing this book. Then it will go to my editor. Once that's done it will be off to the ebook formatter. All of these things take soooo much time and I know that NOTHING will get done over the holiday season! March 1st is a safe, I-can-make-this-deadline prediction.
Sorry for the delay, but I'd prefer to put my best work out there and not rush the creative process!
A few thoughts about I'm With You:
When my daughter received the news that she was having a Trisomy 18 baby, we were devastated. "Incompatible with life" is the official medical term that refers to Trisomy 18.
After going through the experience with my daughter, I knew I wanted to write about it.
But, I write Romance novels and I wasn't quite sure how I would go about it.
Slowly, a story developed in my mind and I'm With You came about. It is a Romance novel that includes a Trisomy 18 story.
The Trisomy 18 story is based upon my daughter's experience, with her permission.
I am happy to help increase awareness of this devastating condition and to share the heartfelt emotions that accompany it.
The couples that face this diagnosis truly are an example to the world of selfless love.
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.