The Letter That Changed My Life #Book Excerpt


Image contains: Abbie, smiling.
According to Your Daily Poem, this past Sunday was World Letter Writing Day. These days, who writes a letter with pen and paper, puts it in an envelope with a stamp, and deposits it in a mailbox? Well, in 2005 before we were married, my late husband Bill did just that. At the time, he was living in Fowler, Colorado, and I was living here in Sheridan, Wyoming. The letter he sent me was quite a shock, as you’ll see in the excerpt from My Ideal Partner below.

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“Dear Abbie, I’m writing to ask for your hand in marriage,” the letter stated.

“Oh, no,” I said, as the index finger of my right hand scanned the Braille words on the page.

It was a Saturday evening in January 2005. This was all a bad dream, I thought, as I sat in the living room of my apartment. Any minute, my alarm clock would ring. I would wake up, and everything would be as it was before. Instead, the talking clock in the bedroom announced that it was 8:30.

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How about you? Do you still write letters the old-fashioned way?

 

 

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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I Want to Spend My Lifetime Loving You #Monday Musical Memories

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

In February of 2005, a month after my late husband Bill, living in Fowler, Colorado, proposed to me, living here in Sheridan, Wyoming, he sent me a care package. This included, among the obligatory chocolates and other items, a cassette of love songs he’d downloaded from the Internet. This song was one of them.

I was amazed that a man wanted to spend his lifetime loving me. After Bill suffered his first stroke, the song inspired me to write a poem, which appears at the end of My Ideal Partner. You’ll find it below the video link and can click on the title to hear me read it.

This song would be easy for me to sing. But even now, almost seven years after his death, I tear up when I hear it. So, I’m not even going to try. But I think you’ll be moved, as I was, by this stunning duet performance. Although Bill is no longer with me, I’ll spend the rest of my life loving him. By the way, My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds is still available free from Smashwords through Wednesday.

 

I WANT TO SPEND MY LIFETIME LOVING YOU – TINA ARENA DUET WITH MARC ANTHONY (YouTube)

THE RISE AND FALL OF MY ZORRO

 

With cape, hat, mask, rapier,
he rode out of the darkness.
“Take my hand. Dance with me,” he said,
“I want to spend my lifetime loving you,”
but happily–ever–after was not to be.
My hero fell and rose many times.
I felt the glory
until he fell for the last time.
Where there’s love, life begins again.
When life dies, love goes on.

 

***

How about you? Did your spouse have to convince you to marry? If you were the one proposing, how did you convince your spouse to marry you?

 

My Books

 

New! The Red Dress: A Novel

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

Click to purchase My Ideal Partner from Smashwords absolutely free!

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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Like me on Facebook.

 

 

La Grippe #Monday Musical Memories

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

I have a cold. So, I won’t be singing this time. However, in the musical, Guys and Dolls, Adelaide,, despite having a cold, sings about how you can get a cold by wondering whether the man you love will marry you. For me, it was just the opposite.

In 2005, after I received Bill’s unexpected marriage proposal, I was in such shock that I developed a cold that lasted for at least three weeks. It’s a wonder Bill didn’t get a cold from waiting to see if I would accept his proposal.

If you want to know more, I suggest you read My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds. If you haven’t read this book yet, or if you know someone who would appreciate it as a gift, from now until July 31st, you can click here and redeem the coupon provided to receive this book absolutely free!

Now, here’s Adelaide, singing about her own predicament. Enjoy!

 

La Grippe–Guys and Dolls

How about you? Have you ever felt so stressed out about something that you got a cold? How long did it last?

 

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.

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Clock Dance #Thursday Book Feature

Clock DanceImage contains: Abbie, smiling.

by Ann Tyler

Copyright 2018

 

Willa has as normal a childhood as can be expected, growing up in Pennsylvania with a theatrical mother and  mild-mannered father. She graduates from high school, goes to college, and marries a boy she meets there. They move to California, where they have two sons. During the boys’ teen years, Willa’s husband is killed in a car accident. That’s the first part of this book.

The second part opens years later. The boys are grown and leading separate lives. Willa has married another man and moved to Arizona. After receiving a phone call from a stranger, for no fathomable reason, she finds herself flying across the country to Baltimore, Maryland, to care for a mother and child she doesn’t know. There, she enters a new world and is content for the first time in years.

I’ve enjoyed many of Ann Tyler’s books because of their mix of straight-laced and unpredictable characters and the humorous situations in which they find themselves. This book didn’t disappoint me. I liked the ending.

 

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.

 

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

Visit my website.

Like me on Facebook.

 

 

Re-Blog: The Owl and the Pussycat: A Poem by Edward Lear

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.Via Poem: “The Owl and the Pussycat” by Edward Lear

 

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: Listen to Your Heart

Image contains: me, smiling.This feature was created by Helen Vahdati. This week’s theme is “listen.” I featured this song a while back, but it’s worth repeating because it relates to my personal story.

When my late husband proposed to me, I wasn’t sure I wanted to marry him. A couple of months later, I listened to my heart and did not tell him good-bye, and I’m glad I did. You can learn more by reading My Ideal Partner.
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Roxette—Listen to your Heart

 

I know there’s something in the wake of your smile
I get a notion from the look in your eyes, yea
You’ve built a love but that love falls apart
Your little piece of heaven turns too dark
Listen to your heart when he’s calling for you
Listen to your heart there’s nothing else you can do
I don’t know where you’re going and I don’t know why,
But listen to your heart before you tell him goodbye
Sometimes you wonder if this fight is worthwhile
The precious moments are all lost in the tide, yea
They’re swept away and nothing is what is seems,
The feeling of belonging to your dreams
Listen to your heart when he’s calling for you
Listen to your heart there’s nothing else you can do
I don’t know where you’re going and I don’t know why,
But listen to your heart before you tell him goodbye
And there are voices that want to be heard
So much to mention but you can’t find the words
The sense of magic, the beauty that’s been
When love was wilder than the wind
Listen to your heart when he’s calling for you
Listen to your heart there’s nothing else you can do
I don’t know where you’re going and I don’t know why,
But listen to your heart before you tell him goodbye
Listen to your heart when he’s calling for you
Listen to your heart there’s nothing else you can do
I don’t know where you’re going and I don’t know why,
But listen to your heart before you tell him goodbye
Songwriters: Rolf Letekro / Tony Harnell
Listen to Your Heart lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Universal Music Publishing Group

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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

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My Other Links

Visit my website.

Like me on Facebook.