The Final Goodbye (A #MemorialDay Story)

Hey guys! In honor of Memorial Day, I decided to write a little story. As many of you know, I have very strong feelings about our armed services and those who serve. With the story, I included songs that I felt conveyed the sentiments of each moment. I hope you guys appreciate this small tribute to those we’ve lost who have guarded our freedom with vigilance.

He stood alone. As he gazed out at the white crosses that covered the beautifully manicured lawn he felt the weight of his 48 years drag his shoulders down in a way he never had before. It had been a long time since he’d been back to this place, and he’d hoped to never return.

“A parent should never outlive his child.” Grief scratching at his throat.

He blinked back tears that stubbornly refused to fall. Part of him clung to the image he had in his mind’s eye. Full of laughter and vitality, that precious dark head bent over to kiss his young wife’s distended belly, before he turned around to say goodbye. David promised to come home soon.

He shook his head as the pain threatened to suffocate him. Not like this. This had to be a bad dream. He just needed to wake up and everything would be okay again.

Unfortunately, the folded triangle of fabric pressed tightly to his chest told him everything was all too real. His bowed his head, fingers digging into the precious flag. Alone with his grief he dropped to his knees and cried out to the only person who could hear him.

“God, if you’re listening…this is too much. Almost more pain than I can bear! My boy was a good son, a great husband. He was going to be a great father. He loved you. Loved this country. He wanted so badly to follow in his grandpa’s footsteps. Did you really have to take him?”

The hand on his shoulder felt familiar. It had been decades since he’d experienced that touch. He looked up to find his father standing beside him. He wore the same dress blues he’d been buried in 40 years ago and he hadn’t aged a day.

“Dad…” he choked out, blinking, sure this was some sort of hallucination.

There was a wealth of understanding and regret in his father’s eyes.

“Hello, son.”

“I’m finally losing it, right? Hallucinating? A psychotic break caused by grief and stress?”

“No, son. You’re not. God heard you…. So did I. We’ve never been far away. When you called out, I asked him to let me go to you.”

Although none of this seemed real, he decided to go with it. Maybe he was dreaming. What harm could it do?

“It’s all so damned unfair, Dad!” he railed. “First you, then my son? Don’t get me wrong. I’m proud of him. Proud of you… But did the price have to be so high?”

His father wrapped strong arms around him, something he’d missed most of his life. He soaked in the comfort, gaining some strength before he let go. With a bolstering breath, he straightened his spine, threw his shoulders back and raised his head.

“I’m proud of you, you know.” His father looked at him with the same piercing blue eyes as his son. “I’ve watched you grow into a strong, honorable man. I know it wasn’t easy for you to let David join the service. After the way you lost me, it would have been all too easy to encourage him to go a different direction.”

“It wouldn’t have been right. Being a soldier was all he ever wanted.” He shrugged, his smile, bittersweet. “To be a hero, just like his Grandpa.”

“It may have served you better not to paint me with such a heroic brush,” his father laughed. “I appreciate that, by the way. The way you kept me alive in your heart. The way you shared me with your family. It meant everything to me.”

The man shook his head. “I didn’t do anything all that special.”

“Yes, you did,” his father smiled. “It may seem like nothing to you, but it’s what gave your son the courage to chase his dream. He knew the danger, but he also saw your gift. When his number was called, he didn’t worry. His son and wife are in good hands with you. He knows you’ll keep his memory alive, just like you did for me.”

“You’ve seen my David?”

Tears finally flowed, unchecked.

His father nodded. “Of course. You didn’t think I’d let your son get to heaven without a welcome party, did you?”

“He’s okay? My boy. You’ll look out for him, Dad?”

“Of course,” his father nodded his head. “He’ll be loved. Surrounded by family, both military and kin.”

With one more shuddering breath, he clasped his father’s hand and squeezed.

“Tell him, Dad.” He bit his lip as his voice broke. “Tell him I’ll watch over his family down here. I know he’ll be watching out for them with you. And please, tell him I’m so proud of him.”

“I will.” His father smiled one last time before fading away.

As he stood gazing out at all the soldiers that came before, he could have sworn he heard David whisper on the gentle breeze.

“I love you, Dad.”

Squeezing the flag to his chest, he nodded.

“I love you, too, son. I’m proud of you.”

Excited About Everything E!

There’s been this fun game going around involving letters of the alphabet. I’ve been fighting myself from asking to join in, but as you can tell by this post…it was a losing battle. How could I resist when people like Myndi Shafer came up with Bodacious B-words…that don’t end in itch. I couldn’t resist…I’ve always wanted to use the word Bodacious! Then there’s Kathy Owen who had R, and another favorite, Natalie Hartford and her very cool ideas of what makes J so loveable. Then, on Jenny Hanson’s blog yesterday I discovered Marcia Richards‘ ‘L’ words along with Jansen Schmitd‘s D’s!

So with Jenny’s Tantalizing Thoughts on T, I finally asked for a letter….and received E. At first I thought, crap! This is going to be tough…and then I found that I kept coming up with more and more words or things that started with E that I absolutely loved. Not wanting to leave anything out, I found a way to categorize my top ten ‘E’ words to share all my favorite things.

Here goes nothing!

Eggs- My favorite meal of the day has been, and I expect, always will be…breakfast. And I like eggs…done any way from scrambled to fried to boiled or poached. But I also like lots of foods that start with the word egg…like Eggrolls (Filipino style) or Egg drop soup or Egg noodles or Egg salad sandwich. (unfortunately I’m not a huge fan of Eggplant or Egg foo young).

Exotic Locales- I couldn’t make my mind if I wanted to put Egypt down (would love to visit the pyramids) or Europe which includes England (where my gram is from) and Estonia or Ecuador or El Salvador, so I found a way to incorporate them all!

Eleanors- Strange, right? But my heroes are women like Eleanor of Aquitaine & Eleanor Roosevelt. Women who know what it means to be strong way before equal rights became cool. They also knew that a sense of humor about life in general was important. My best friend in Jr High also happens to share the name, though we just called her Norie.

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A Blogger’s Choose Your Own Adventure?

So a few weeks ago I’d brought up the thought of playing a story game much like one I’d done in high school.  Several of you expressed an interest in playing.  Through the comments it became clear that we’d need to come up with a way to do this successfully and to make it as people friendly as possible.  We didn’t want the chance that two writers may be simultaneously coming up with the next part of the story and one person might not get included or both would get posted and simply confuse the storyline.

So I’ve been chewing on this thought trying to figure out how we could do this story game without such craziness.  Here’s what I’ve come up with so far.  I’d kick it off by writing the first paragraph or two.  Next, what we could do is this…make it kind of like choose your own adventure.  Each participant could post the first sentence or two on my page then link back to their own blog to write their part of the story.  This way, readers would have a choice as to which path they want to go with the story!  From there, the same rules would apply.  Anyone from your blog group that would like to participate would just put in their first sentence or two and link back to their blog with their part of the story and so on and so forth.

Gosh, I hope that’s clear.  As I’m thinking it it makes sense…but I don’t know if it’s making sense to you, the readers/potential participants.  The cool part of being able to do it this way is that it can go in any direction you want to take it.  You want romance…it can go there.  You want racy…it can go there.  You want suspense…there’s room for that, too!  And our readers can join in the fun…and maybe find new and interesting blogs along the way!

So what do you guys think?  Could this work?  Does it make sense?  Do we need more rules?

Creative Lyrics and Word Games

I’m one of those people.  You know.  Those people who look for the fun or game in everything?  So way back in the day, this song caught my eye.  Why?  Because as I listened to the song I found a cleverness to the lyrics.  Other song titles had been embedded into it.  The songwriters were very cool about how they did it.  And it flowed so naturally.  Lover of music and poetry that I am, it stuck.

So I started counting to see how many titles I could find.  Am I the only person that does that sort of thing?  How many titles do you hear?  Isn’t it such a sweet sad song?  (Yes, I’m also a sap!)  Are there songs that you feel that way about?  What are they?

And speaking of games…there used to be a game a couple of friends and I used to play to get ourselves through gym class back in the day.  One of us would start a story.  The next person would add a part.  Followed by the next person.  You get my drift.  So I’ve been kicking around the idea in my head of playing a similar game on here.  Would there be any takers?  I’d kick it off, then you guys could just add a paragraph through comments…  We could make it as silly or as serious as we wanted, but we’d all have to feed off of each other.  Stuff like this can get very good or very funny…and we’d all just get to go with the flow.  Just a thought…


When life gets hard
As it sometimes will,
And the roads you travel
Seem all uphill.
Reach for me
I won’t be far.
Hold out your hand,
I’m where you are.

You don’t always
Have to be strong.
Lean on me.
You won’t go wrong.
Don’t hide from me;
Don’t pretend.
Be my partner,
My lover, my friend.

Our wishes can
Be dreams come true
Cling to me,
I’ll hold to you.
We’ll move together
A two-way street
Face this life
And make it sweet.

“All About The Wordplay”

Isn’t that how the Jason Mraz song goes?  Feeling a little playful, I started thinking.  Isn’t it interesting how one word, either misused or misspelled, can change the whole dynamic of a sentence?  Think about it.  Isn’t that why Their, there and they’re drive most of us so crazy?  Or why to, too and two can be so frustrating?

So I decided to have a little fun interchanging right and write.  Afterall, isn’t writing the passion that guides many of us here in the first place?  Let’s see how some of these common sentences or phrases change when we interchange the words.

“You’ve got the write stuff”- New Kids On The Block  song (for those of you who don’t know)

Doing the write thing

Finding the write words to say

Write about now

You get what I’m saying.  Oddly enough, changing out the words sometimes not only changed the meaning of the phrase or sentence, but became a little inspirational to the writer in me.  Maybe that’s why I chose that particular word!

What about you?  Any phrases come to your mind that you’d care to share?

And if you were looking for a serious post from me tonight, you’re probably sorely disappointed!  😉  Hope everyone is enjoying their holiday weekend!


Look, I Did It!

The lovely Up and Comer Mae Clair has tagged me to take part in the “LOOK” challenge. Mae’s story revolves around a marine archaeologist and a woman 10 years his senior and a treasure hunt. Intrigued? So am I! She has submitted her WIP to her publisher for consideration, so my fingers are crossed for her.

So how does the LOOK challenge work? ‘Tis fairly simple and a lot of fun!

  1. Find the first usage of the word ‘look’ in your WIP and paste the surrounding paragraph into your blog.
  2. Tag as many people as you want to take part in the challenge with you.

My current WIP is still as sketch and has not yet been given a title.

My first use of the word look appears in the first page. My heroine, Fiona Barrett, had just boarded a redeye after a very long day of missed flights and being stranded in airports. She’s tired, cranky and wants to get home. So, of course, that means it’s time to introduce her to the hero. This is from her POV. :


It had been several minutes since the gate attendant had made the final boarding announcement and the flight crew appeared to be making their final arrangements. She looked back toward the main cabin and was glad to see that everyone appeared to have settled in. Grateful she’d had the forethought to pull out her iPad in advance, she figured she’d be sitting solo on this flight. She had just crossed her legs, the swirling pattern on her teal and white cotton skirt riding up to mid-thigh when a man’s voice, like smoke and crushed velvet said, “Beggin’ your pardon, ma’am, but I’m gonna need to slide past you in just a moment.”


Yes, the hero is from the south and comes with a delicious accent. There’s nothing more delicious than a southern voice calling me “Darlin'”…except maybe an Aussie voice. Aussies can say whatever they want, and they’re pretty much guaranteed I’ll find it sexy. It’s my Kryptonite!

Like I said above, this is just a sketch. It’s not yet a full story, nor is it fleshed out. Feedback is always appreciated! Feel free to leave a comment.

According to the rules I can tag anyone I want, but the problem is, I’m new to this particular blog and don’t know very many people yet. The only person I probably would’ve known to tag is Mae Clair, and she tagged me!

So I’m not officially tagging anyone, however, if you’re intrigued or enjoy these challenges, or simply feeling daring…go for it and come back and let me know you did it!

Rainy Nights


The gentle pitter patter of the rain against my window pane tonight calls to mind sweet memories; wet kisses in the rain, long conversations in the dark. Such love and nostalgia surround my memories of the rain, so I looked for a picture to suit my mood.

The young lady in the picture found it in an old photo box. These are her memories:
As young lovers we snuck out in the rain to meet and…

I close my eyes and see you,
The soulmate of my youth
Sweet, sexy conversation
Soft sighs, low moans
Cocooned in darkness
Naked, laid out on a bed of grass
Rain cascade down our bodies,
The gentle,
Cool caress of nature
Slide over me.
You surround me,
Arms hold me tight
Keep me safe
Your hard heat throbbing inside
My other half
Making me whole,
Filling me with your love.