Saturday, October 25, 2014

ENJOY-and a Book review

This is part of my 31 Day Five Minute Free Writes challenge within a challenge. I will be linking up with 31 Day Challenge at The Nester's as well as at Heading Home. For a list of all my letters you can go here.

My dear Richard:

Do you remember how we used to tell each other about the books we enjoyed? Neither of us really liked the genres the other read. But that didn't keep us from sharing them. Today I have to tell you about the book I just finished reading. And how it is helping me to process the grief I am feeling about your death. The name of the book is Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult. A 'chick book' is what you would call it. It centers around a young girl that is trying to find out what happened to her mother who had mysteriously disappeared 10 years earlier. Her mother was a scientist who studied elephants. I learned so much about elephants reading this work of fiction. Alice studied the behavior of grieving elephants who had lost a child or a family member or a spouse. One particular passage that thunders in my ears is the man Thomas telling Alice (the mother) about his father's death. He says, "I think grief is like a really ugly couch. It never goes away. You can decorate around it; you can slap a doily on top of it; you can push it to the corner of the room-but eventually, you learn to live with it."

So you see, my love, that is what I am doing. I am learning to live with it. Another quote that I will end with is this: "If you think about someone you've loved and lost, you are already with them. The rest is just details.
I love you Richard. I am always with you.

Forever, Paula


Throughout her blockbuster career, #1 New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult has seamlessly blended nuanced characters, riveting plots, and rich prose, brilliantly creating stories that “not only provoke the mind but touch the flawed souls in all of us” (The Boston Globe). Now, in her highly anticipated new book, she has delivered her most affecting novel yet—and one unlike anything she’s written before.

For more than a decade, Jenna Metcalf has never stopped thinking about her mother, Alice, who mysteriously disappeared in the wake of a tragic accident. Refusing to believe that she would be abandoned as a young child, Jenna searches for her mother regularly online and pores over the pages of Alice’s old journals. A scientist who studied grief among elephants, Alice wrote mostly of her research among the animals she loved, yet Jenna hopes the entries will provide a clue to her mother’s whereabouts.
I loved this book. Not only did I learn a lot about elephants but a lot about grieving and what it can do to those who are left behind and those that leave. You should read this book. It is beautiful!

Thursday, October 23, 2014


This is part of my 31 Day Five Minute Free Writes challenge within a challenge. I will be linking up with 31 Day Challenge at The Nester's as well as at Heading Home. For a list of all my letters you can go here.

My dear Richard:

This was a tough week. I passed the 3 month anniversary mark. And I survived. You knew that I would didn't you? You've always known that I'd be alright. It's just me that has to come to that conclusion now, isn't it?

Do you remember so many years ago when we first became a couple? It's almost funny how it came to be. You dared to stop by my house one night on your drive home from work. You didn't yet know that I was getting a divorce. And I didn't know that you had left your wife. Not that it would have mattered to were my boss and so much older. I surely wasn't interested in you that way. But I was now a single mom with two little boys. You first asked if you could take them to McDonald's. Remember? They were so excited. Nothing like a Happy Meal to win over a little boy. The next time you stopped by it was with tickets to the circus. And what a nice evening I had at home alone while you bought peanuts, cotton candy, balloons and entertained two wide-eyed kids who looked up to you like the hero that you were. You dropped by with little souveneirs from your business trips. And they loved you! You stopped by with cookies that you were given at work and couldn't eat them all. And then that time that you dared to stop by and ask if the boys wanted to go to a basketball game and you said, "maybe momma would like to come with us this time." I can't believe how brave you were. You told me many times that you was sure I would say NO. But I didn't. I dared to take that chance and find out 'who was this man that had won the hearts' of my two little guys. You took care of us. You helped us. You won me over. I'm so glad that you dared to stop by and win my heart through the hearts of my sons. 

I'm so thankful we took the dare.

All my love,


#Throwback Thursday

Don't we all love Throwback Thursday? And it's almost Halloween so what better time to show this picture. This is my siblings and me in about 1959. Mom made all the costumes, as was the trend back then. I don't think I ever can remember a store bought costume. I am the Witch (still am, some would say) and that is a mop on my head. I can remember really wanting to be the princess but, alas, being the younger sister I never won those battles. Cool picture, don't you think?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


This is part of my 31 Day Five Minute Free Writes challenge within a challenge. I will be linking up with 31 Day Challenge at The Nester's as well as at Heading Home. For a list of all my letters you can go here.

Dear Richard:

I remember that day so many years ago when we found our home. We were out for a drive. This neighborhood was always one of your favorites. We had driven through it before. The houses are near, but not too close. The trees are huge and beautiful. Lots of cottonwood, elms, maples, and oaks. Close to town yet not right in the middle of things. Close to the country. But not isolated. We saw the house with a tiny 'for sale' sign. You thought it looked empty so you pulled into the driveway. "Couldn't hurt to take a look." you said. We walked around the outside and peeked into the windows. I dismissed it immediately because I only found one bathroom. No way could we move into a house with only one bathroom. And besides the duplex we are living in is perfect. We have everything we need.
Our house October 2008

Coming down the street towards our house...
(see our house down there at the end??)
Going around the curve
But you didn't give up. You called me the next day and said you had called the number on the 'for sale' sign and the house has "3 bathrooms" so we had an appointment to see it. We walked though, you fell in love with it and we bought it that week. Here is where we spent the last 26 years of our lives. You were so proud of our home. And you have left a big empty space. One that is filled with years of memories....Didn't hurt at all to just take a look.



Tuesday, October 21, 2014


This is part of my 31 Day Five Minute Free Writes challenge within a challenge. I will be linking up with 31 Day Challenge at The Nester's as well as at Heading Home. For a list of all my letters you can go here.

My dearest Richard:

Do you remember what today is? That's right, it is Justin's birthday. Your son, you would say. And even though he doesn't share your biology he is your son. Has been from the very beginning. Just a wee lad of three. He doesn't remember living with his dad at all. The biological dad, that is. You've always been DAD to him. I remember how I loved to see him grab hold of your index finger and walk along beside you. How proud you've always been of him. How you used to brag about his football years and then when he became a cop. How your buttons almost burst when you talked about his cop exploits. Someone that you used to work with at Eaton recently told me that it was years before they knew we had two was Justin they heard about all the time.

His cake at age 12
(I'm sure you bought this one)

You baked their birthday cakes for them. And when that stopped you went to Dairy Queen and bought them an ice cream cake. That is our tradition. We had an Oreo Ice Cream cake this past
Saturday..39 now!
Saturday for his birthday. And we all thought of you. He misses you as much as I do. And his grief is just as painful. You were very lucky to be so loved. And we were very lucky that you loved us.



Happy 39th Birthday are the best son a mother could ever ask for. 

You've Done Some of These...Haven't You?

I found this on Facebook recently. It brought back so many memories that I thought I would share this here and see if there are any of you who did the same things. Heck, I was letting my kids and MY grandkids pee in the yard for years. When we had a pool in the backyard there was no way they were going to go dripping in the house just to pee. So they'd climb the ladder, run to a hidden corner and pee. Big deal! I still play the quiet game when we are in the car. Teens love it too! I was so bad that I used to tell my boys that a monster lived in the hallway so that they wouldn't come out of their bedrooms during nap time. Didn't work so great when they got bigger. But kept those little ones nicely in their beds when they were toddlers. And, yes, 18 and 19 I have said more times than I care to count. And now they are saying it to their kids. How 'bout you? Did you do any of these things? Or other things you'd like to add to the list.....

Monday, October 20, 2014


This is part of my 31 Day Five Minute Free Writes challenge within a challenge. I will be linking up with 31 Day Challenge at The Nester's as well as at Heading Home. For a list of all my letters you can go here.

 Dearest Richard:

Today is October 21. Three months since you died. I cannot believe it has been only three months. It seems like it was just yesterday. Yesterday when you last squeezed my fingers. Yesterday when I last saw that tiny smile and those twinkling eyes. Will it ever get any easier? I feel so empty. I miss you so much. There is a pain in my chest that won't go away. It is the pain of a broken heart. I wonder if that pain will end. I wonder if the crack in my heart will mend. Will I always feel this way?

Three months. At times it feels like 3 years. Or 30 years. Or even 300 years. I struggle to hear your voice. I strain to see your face. I know that you are right here near me and I hold you close. In my heart. I touch the things that you touched. And remember. I don't want to move on. I just want to stand here in this very spot where you last were. I need a second. Or a minute. Another hour with you would be so nice. I want to hear you laugh. See you smile. Hear you call my name. Know that you will always be right there. I just need to see you, hear you, feel you for a second.

You can see how confused I am about time. It only seems a second, yet it seems so long ago. 

Love forever,