Breath of Heaven #Monday Musical Memories

I first heard this song in December of 2005, two months after my late husband Bill and I were married. It captivated me, and for some reason, I couldn’t get it out of my head, even after Christmas.

Then in January of 2006, Bill suffered the first of two strokes. I could now identify with the feelings the Virgin Mary expresses in this song. Why me? Did I have to bear this burden alone? Our future was uncertain.

I have since realized that like the Virgin Mary, I was chosen. Unlike the Virgin Mary, I had a choice. I could have said no to Bill’s marriage proposal, but I didn’t. I could have walked away after he suffered his first stroke, but I never considered that as an option.

If Bill and I hadn’t been married, no doubt he would have been alone in January of 2006 in Fowler, Colorado, when he had that stroke. He would have spent the rest of his life in a nursing home because his family would have been unable to care for him. His quality and quantity of life would have been affected. You can read our full story in My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds.

The song I’m singing today, “Breath of Heaven,” inspired me to write the following poem, which was published in the fall/winter 2018-2019 issue of Magnets and Ladders. If you click on the title, you’ll hear me recite the poem and sing the song.

 

THE POOR BLESSED VIRGIN

 

She stands, alone, cold, weary

after traveling many days and nights.

Why was she chosen to bear this Holy Child?

Must she do it alone?

Will Heaven help her?

 

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

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You Light Up My Life #Monday Musical Memories

After my family moved to Sheridan, Wyoming, in the 1970’s, I entered a talent contest every year. The Stars of Tomorrow show was usually held in February. Prizes in first, second, and third place were awarded in three age groups: elementary, junior high, and high school. When I performed, I accompanied myself on the piano.

⠠⠔ 1974 when I was in the sixth grade, I sang “El Condor Pasa” by Simon and Garfunkel. I didn’t win but didn’t let that keep me from entering every year after that until my sophomore year when I sang “You Light Up My Life” and won first place. Since there were only two other contestants in that division besides me, I figured I would win something, but I never expected to win first place.

I still remember that night. They always announced the third and second-place winners first. After the other two contestants received their third and second-place trophies, the realization hit me. It was all I could do to contain myself. When my name was finally called, despite my limited vision, I sprinted across the stage to receive my prize.

I was then entitled to enter the state competition, held that year in Powell, a five-hour drive across the mountains. This contest only had two divisions, representing each of two parts of the state, with three prizes awarded in each division. My division had a lot more than three contestants, and the competition was stiff. I didn’t win, but like all other contestants, I received a trophy for participating. I still felt like a star.

The song, “You Light Up My Life,” played an important role in my adulthood as well. One year, after my late husband Bill suffered two paralyzing strokes, and I became his caregiver, I gave him a special Valentine gift. It was a doll wearing a red dress. When her hand was squeezed, she sang “You Light Up My Life.” I should have played the piano and sung him the song instead, and I eventually did. But every night before we went to bed, I would squeeze the doll’s hand, and as she sang the song, we would embrace and kiss. It was our nightly routine for a long time.

Bill did light up my life, and I didn’t realize it until after he was gone. Even when he could no longer use his left side, he lit up my days. Although he couldn’t sing, he filled my nights with song. I was drifting at sea until he told me he loved me and pulled me to shore.

Sometimes, you don’t know a good thing until it comes along, then leaves you. Bill was that good thing. Now, I’ll sing the song the way I did the night I won first place in the Stars of Tomorrow contest.

you light up my life

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

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Novel Delivers Powerful Messages about Domestic Violence #Thursday Book Feature

The Oysterville Sewing Circle

by Susan Wiggs

Copyright 2019.

 

Caroline is a successful fashion designer living in New York. She discovers that her boss stole one of her designs. Then, a close friend, a model with two children and victim of domestic violence, dies of a drug overdose. With the children, Caroline retreats to her hometown of Oysterville, Washington, where her family runs a restaurant.

There, she forms a support group for victims of domestic violence and starts her own clothing design and manufacturing business. She also becomes re-acquainted with her best friend and re-kindles a relationship with a boy she loved in high school.

This book is a romance, in a way, but its main theme is domestic violence. Its messages are clear and powerful. If you’re a victim, you should never be afraid to speak out. If you’re an abuser, you should get what you deserve. On this, the last day of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I can recommend no better work of fiction on the subject than The Oysterville Sewing Circle.

 

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

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On Love, Marriage, and Sex #TMI Tuesday

You have been separated from your significant other for six months. An attractive, attentive neighbor has paid you flattering attention. It is obvious he/she wishes to take the relationship further. Do you:

Dismiss him/her, you’re in a committed relationship.

Continue to flirt, but go no further.

Fantasize about him/her, but take care of your sexual needs solo.

Let the affair become physical.

Answer: Although I’m not religious, I believe in the sanctity of marriage. An abusive relationship or one in which your significant other cheats is one thing, but if you find yourself falling out of love for no reason after getting married, you may never have even been in love with that person. I wouldn’t have married my late husband Bill if I hadn’t loved him. Like any couple, we had our bumps in the road, but we worked them out because we loved each other. Our relationship never got to the separation stage until he passed.

A male co-worker whom you have heard is great in bed and very well endowed has been flirting with you a lot. He obviously wishes to start a relationship. Do you:

(This question is for women AND men).

Make it clear to him you’re not interested.

Flirt with him but go no further

Mentally undress him and wonder what he’d be like in bed.

Let the relationship become sexual.

Answer: This would depend on if I had any feelings for the guy. If not, I would tell him so politely but firmly. If he persisted, I would file a sexual harassment complaint.

Your significant other is impotent most of the time, showing little interest in you and little interest in being sexual. Do you:

Resign yourself to no sex.

Satisfy your needs with masturbation

Find someone who can satisfy you sexually but remain with your significant other

Leave him or her

Answer: Bill actually was impotent, but that didn’t matter. I was in my forties, and he was nineteen years older. We weren’t interested in having children, so sex wasn’t necessary. We had a wonderful seven-year relationship before he passed.

The last time you and your mate had sex, were you:

Concentrating mostly on him/her, and you didn’t even orgasm

Thinking about your pleasure and theirs.

Concentrating mainly on your own pleasure.

Used his/her body as a tool to reach your own orgasm.

Answer: The first and only time Bill and I tried intercourse, it didn’t work. But as I said earlier, it didn’t matter. I strongly believe that you don’t need sex to have a good marriage, and my relationship with Bill is living proof.

What kind of partner do you prefer while making love or having sex?

Tender, loving, slow and sweet

I don’t care, just do me; it’s been a while

Tough, take-charge, I like it a little rough

Any lovin’ is good lovin’

Answer: I doubt I’ll be making love or having sex anytime soon. But if I do, I would probably prefer tender, slow, and sweet because that’s the way Bill was. Then again, I’m not sure I ever want to be with another man.

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If you’d like to participate in this blog feature, click here. You can learn more about my life with Bill by reading My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds.

 

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

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My Heart Will Go On #Monday Musical Memories

I saw the movie, Titanic, years ago before I met my late husband Bill. At the time, I hadn’t yet learned the true meaning of love. So, the theme song didn’t have much significance then. Now that he’s gone, after hearing the song recently, I realized that although my husband wasn’t lost at sea after The Titanic went down, he’ll always be safe in my heart. As of Wednesday, October 30th, he will have been gone seven years. You can learn more about us by reading My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds.

I don’t know if Bill ever saw Titanic, but he was always interested in ships. If I’d thought of it, I would have sung him this song before he passed. I certainly can’t sing it now. So, here’s Celine Dion to perform it for us. If you’re also mourning the loss of a loved one, be sure to have plenty of tissues handy before clicking the Play button.

 

 

 

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

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TMI Tuesday October 22nd, 2019

I’m trying a new feature. The TMI Tuesday Blog offers weekly questions for bloggers to answer and post on Tuesdays. My answers to this week’s questions are below.

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Can you handle the truth?

Yes.

A couple of October holidays are coming up. Do you participate in Halloween or Dia de los Muertos? How?

Not being of Mexican or Spanish descent, I’ve never participated in Dia de los Muertos. I no longer observe Halloween.

When my late husband Bill was alive, he enjoyed watching me hand out treats to children who came to our door. After two strokes partially paralyzed him, he could no longer do this himself. So, every year, I bought a huge bag of Halloween candy. At most, we got four kids, so he ate the rest of the candy. Now that he’s gone, since I’m not a candy fan, I no longer bother.

Do your parents/parent like your significant other?

Both my parents and significant other are gone. By the time Bill and I met, my mother had passed. But Dad loved Bill from the start. When I told him about Bill’s marriage proposal, he said, “Well, I’ll be damned. You should think about this, honey. He’s a fine fellow.”

Right now! What do you need most love or validation?

It would be nice to have both, but there are worse things than not having either.

You are singing in the shower. What song do you want to belt out?

I rarely sing in the shower, but when I do, I practice songs I’ll perform later, either with my group or on my own, at nursing homes and other venues.

Bonus: What’s your damage?

Now that’s an awfully broad question. I could write pages and pages about the damage Bill received as a result of his strokes, the damage to my lap top computer after I accidentally dropped it, the weather damage to my roof, etc. But I’ve already mentioned that in past posts. So, I see no reason to re-hash it.

***

If you’d like to participate in TMI Tuesday, click here. You can learn more about Bill and me by reading My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds.

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

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WebsiteImage contains: Abbie, smiling.

Wind Beneath My Wings #Monday Musical Memories

Last Friday, October 18th, my late husband Bill would have been 76 years old. He was my hero, the wind beneath my wings. If not for him, I might not have quit my day job and started writing full-time. Without his love, encouragement, and feedback, I might not have published my first two books. Without his inspiration, I might not have five books under my belt with a sixth on the way. He made me who I am today.

After his strokes, I often sang him this song. He always cried when I got to the part about walking a step behind. That was how we always walked together before the strokes, so my white cane wouldn’t hit him, as I arced it back and forth along the sidewalk. He placed one hand on my shoulder and the other on his support cane. You can read more of our story in My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds.

Now, six years after his passing, I still can’t sing this song without losing it. I’ve tried, but I can’t do it justice, at least not yet. So, I’ve given Bette Midler the honor of performing it for us today.

 

 

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

My Books

My Amazon Author Page

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WebsiteImage contains: Abbie, smiling.