Nifty Nancy’s Surprise Question #WednesdayWords #WeeklySmile #Inspiration

A photo of Abbie smiling in front of a white background. She has short brown hair which is cut short and frames her face. She is wearing a bright red shirt and a dark, flowy scarf swirled with hues of purple, pinks and blues.

One thing that always makes me smile is sharing memories of younger years. This is something I encouraged nursing home residents to do when I was  a registered music therapist. Now, I enjoy participating in such discussions through the ACB Community Calls, which I mentioned here last week.

On Friday, I attended a program called Nancy’s Nook. The facilitator, who calls herself Nifty Nancy, asked us to think of a surprising moment in our lives.

In January of 2005, I’d been carrying on a long-distance relationship with my late husband Bill. He was living in Fowler, Colorado, and I here in Sheridan, Wyoming. We met in 2003 through Newsreel, an audio magazine for the blind and visually impaired and had been corresponding by phone and email regularly. Twice in those two years, my father and I had stopped in Fowler, Colorado, to see Bill on our way to visit relatives in New Mexico.

On a Saturday night in January of 2005, I opened, for the first time, a Braille letter from Bill and couldn’t believe what I was reading. It said something like this. “Dear Abbie, I’m writing to ask you to consider giving me your hand in marriage.”

All this time, I thought he just wanted to be friends. Months later, I learned that he’d been giving me subtle hints, which I hadn’t registered, the most crucial one being at Christmas when Dad and I were visiting him and he suggested we kiss under the mistletoe. He apparently wasn’t joking.

Long story short, after a couple of months, I agreed to marry him. The selling point was that he wanted to move here. He was tired of living in Fowler, where there wasn’t much to do. You can read our story in My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds.

What made you smile this week? You can tell me in the comment field below or click here to participate in this week’s feature. Alternatively, if you can think of a surprising moment in your life, please feel free to share it below.

Speaking of shocking surprises, in my latest book, Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me, sixteen-year-old Natalie learns a surprising, shocking secret from her grandmother. Want to know what that is? Read the book.

 

New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

The cover of the book features an older woman sitting in a wicker chair facing a window. The world beyond the window is bright, and several plants are visible on the terrace. Behind the woman’s chair is another plant, with a tall stalk and wide rounded leaves. The woman has short, white hair, glasses, a red sweater, and tan pants. The border of the picture is a taupe color and reads "Why Grandma Doesn't Know Me" above the photo and "Abbie Johnson Taylor" below it.

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?

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I just Called to Say I Love You #Monday Musical Memories

I sang this song to my late husband a little over a month after receiving his marriage proposal, even though I wasn’t yet sure I loved him. When he proposed to me in January of 2005, he was living in Fowler, Colorado, and I was living here in Sheridan, Wyoming. We’d met a couple of years earlier through a magazine and had, for the most part, a long-distance friendship.

A month after I received his letter, asking me to consider marrying him, his house rental business started going belly-up. In his daily email messages, he kept saying how much he wanted to run into my arms, so I could hold and comfort him. His proposal had been such a shock, and I hadn’t made a decision about marrying him, but I felt sorry for him. Finally, on Valentine’s Day, I was inspired to call him and sing him this song.

He was surprised and delighted, and I was glad I could make his day. A month later, I knew for sure I loved and wanted to marry him. You can read our story in My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds. Now, I wish I could call him, wherever he is, just to tell him I love him.

By the way, My Ideal Partner and The Red Dress are now available on Smashwords as part of its sale to support those isolated by the coronavirus. This sale will run until the end of May. Please click here to visit my Smashwords author page and download these books. As always, thank you for reading.

 

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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About Love

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.Thanks to The Life and Death of Love for providing interesting answers to some questions about love. Now, here are my answers to those same questions.

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Define love in five words.

 

Love warms and comforts you.

 

Do you believe in love at first sight?

 

Since I’ve never experienced this, I don’t have an opinion. However, for my late husband Bill, who was totally blind, it was love at first sound. He was living in Fowler, Colorado, and I was living here in Sheridan, Wyoming. He heard my voice on an audio magazine for people with blindness or low vision and apparently fell in love with it.

 

Have you ever changed yourself to make someone love you?

 

Yes, at least I tried. It drove Bill nuts when I talked to myself. I did my best to kick that habit but never really could. Finally, after Bill suffered two strokes that paralyzed his left side and depended on me to do almost everything for him, he said he liked it when I talked to myself because he then knew where I was and what I was doing.

 

Love is like a box of chocolates. Discuss.

 

Chocolates and love are sweet and irresistible, but you have to be careful. If you eat too many chocolates, you’ll gain too much weight, which causes diabetes, heart trouble, and other complications. If you have unprotected sexual intercourse as a result of love, you could end up with an unplanned pregnancy and/or a sexually transmitted disease.

 

What’s the one thing about love that scares you?

 

It’s the commitment. After Bill sent me a letter, asking me to consider marrying him, I alternated between wanting to spend the rest of my life with him and not being sure I wanted to live with him for the rest of my life. It took me a couple of months to make a decision, and these were agonizing months for Bill because it had taken him six months to work up the courage to ask me to marry him.

 

Do you think you can be in love with two people?

 

Absolutely not! A married man who has an affair has apparently fallen out of love with his wife. That’s why it took me a couple of months to decide to marry Bill. I was thinking long-term, which is something people don’t do when considering marriage proposals.

 

How do you know when you love someone?

 

I don’t know how, but you just know. At least that’s the way it was for me. After Bill sent me his letter of proposal, he came to Sheridan to visit me for a week. We planned a dinner with family and friends at a local restaurant, where Bill would make his proposal official.

On the day of that dinner, I was still experiencing periods of doubt. The ring he’d brought was too small, and we were waiting for it to be re-sized. He used a necklace instead. When he placed it around my neck, I knew, and I said yes without thinking.

 

Do you believe love conquers all?

 

Absolutely! Three months after our wedding, Bill suffered the first of two strokes that left him unable to use his left arm and leg. Our love for each other got us through the uncertainty of not knowing what our lives would be like and the difficult times we endured while I was caring for him at home.

 

What do you hope to gain from love in the future?

 

Now that Bill is gone, I don’t think I can love another. I’m sure Bill wouldn’t mind if I did, but no man loved me before Bill and I doubt any man will love me again. Many women end up in abusive relationships or have husbands who cheat on them. I’m thankful to have never been in such situations and feel it’s better to be alone. If you’d like to learn more about me and Bill, read My Ideal Partner.

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Now, it’s your turn. Please feel free to answer any or all the above questions on your own blog or in the comment field below. I’d love to know what you think about love.

 

My Books

 

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

How to Build a better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

We Shall Overcome

My Other Links

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How Bill Got My Attention

Daily Inklings, a site providing prompts for bloggers, inspired this. In the post, bloggers are encouraged to write about how someone drew them into a conversation. In my case, the conversation wasn’t face to face.

On a Saturday evening in January of 2005, I was perusing the mail after a long day on the job at the nursing home where I worked. Among bills and junk, I found a braille letter from Bill Taylor, with whom I’d been corresponding for the past couple of years.

We’d communicated by email daily and phone occasionally, and he’d sent me cassettes of songs he’d downloaded from the Internet. He’d supported my writing endeavors by providing feedback on poems and stories I’d emailed him. Now, his words on the page jumped out at me. “Dear Abbie, I’m writing to ask for your hand in marriage.”

Stunned, I wondered how in the world I could marry this man. I’d only met him twice when my father and I drove from our home in Sheridan, Wyoming, to his home in Fowler, Colorado, on our way to visit relatives in New Mexico. I was under the impression he just wanted to be friends.

Because I worked in a nursing home, and his mother lived in one, we’d hit it off when we’d met a couple of years earlier through Newsreel, an audio magazine for people with blindness or low vision. We’d also discovered that we liked some of the same kinds of music and loved to read and that our favorite beverage was Dr. Pepper.

Did that mean I could just marry him? I was already in my mid-forties, and he was in his mid-sixties. We were both set in our ways. Could we make this work?

Long story short, six months later, I married him. He wanted to leave his home in Colorado, so we settled here in Wyoming.

Three months after our wedding, he suffered a stroke that paralyzed his left side. A year later, he suffered a second stroke, not as severe, but enough to hold him back so he never could walk. I cared for him at home until he passed in October of 2012. You can read our full story in My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds.

How about you? Can you think of a time when someone got your attention? Please tell me about it, either in the comment field or on your own blog with a pingback here. I look forward to hearing from you.

 

My Books

 

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

How to Build a better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

We Shall Overcome

My Other Links

Visit my website.

Like me on Facebook.

 

Song Lyric Sunday: True Love

This feature was created by Helen Vahdati. This week’s theme is “give/giving.” This song is about two people giving one another true love. It was included on a cassette tape of love songs my late husband Bill sent me on Valentine’s Day after proposing to me. You can learn more about this by reading My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds. I believe that Bill and I have a guardian angel who put us together so we could give each other true love and he’d have someone to care for him after he suffered two strokes.

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True Love by Grace Kelly and Bing Crosby

Lyrics Courtesy of Google

 

I give to you and you give to me

True love, true love

So on and on it will always be

True love, true love

For you and I have a guardian angel

On high, with nothing to do

But to give to you and to give to me

Love forever true

For you and I have a guardian angel

On high, with nothing to do

But to give to you and to give to me

Love forever true

Love forever true

Songwriters: Cole Porter

True Love lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

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