After the Marriage Proposal #SixSentenceStoryThursdayLinkUp #Excerpt #Memoir

Abbie wears a blue and white V-neck top with different shades of blue from sky to navy that swirl together with the white. She has short, brown hair and rosy cheeks and smiles at the camera against a black background.Photo Courtesy of Tess Anderson Photography

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Two Pentacles Publishing.

 

 

 

Welcome to another edition of Six Sentence Story Thursday Link Up. This week’s word is “knot.” My contribution is an excerpt from My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds. After proposing to me in 2005, my late husband Bill has just arrived in Sheridan, Wyoming, where I live, after traveling all night on the bus from his home in Fowler, Colorado. The scene opens as we are eating breakfast with my father in a restaurant near the bus station.

***

We both ordered pancakes and sausages. My stomach was so tied up in knots. I didn’t think I could get anything down, but when we were ready to leave, my plate was empty except for one sausage, which I offered to Bill and he accepted.

He spent the next week with me in my apartment. At first, he slept on the living room couch, but after a couple of days, I found myself asking him to sleep in my double bed with me, thinking he would be more comfortable. When I worked, he stayed in the apartment and listened to talking books or went out with Dad to look at houses.

***

Thanks to Girlie on the Edge for inspiring the above excerpt with this week’s six-sentence story prompt. You can click here to participate in this week’s hop and read other bloggers’ responses.

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If you haven’t already done so, please subscribe to my email list to receive my twice-yearly newsletter and other announcements. This is a one-way announcements list, meaning the only messages you’ll receive will come from me. So, you can rest assured that this list is low-traffic. Send a blank email to:  newsfrommycorner+subscribe@groups.io  You’ll receive a confirmation email. Reply to that with another blank message, and you should be good to go.

***

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.

Photo Resize and Description by

Two Pentacles Publishing.

 

 

 

 

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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A Moving Memoir #WednesdayWords #BookReviews #Memoir

Abbie wears a blue and white V-neck top with different shades of blue from sky to navy that swirl together with the white. She has short, brown hair and rosy cheeks and smiles at the camera against a black background.Photo Courtesy of Tess Anderson Photography

Photo Resize and Description by

Two Pentacles Publishing.

 

Today, I’m pleased to share another review of one of my books by fellow author Carrie Hooper. If you missed her review of How to Build a Better Mousetrap, you can click here to read it. Now, here she is to talk about My Ideal Partner.

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A Moving Memoir

by Carrie Hooper

What happens when reality shatters the dream of wedded bliss? How does a person cope when everyday activities become challenging chores? Abbie Johnson Taylor explores these topics and much more in her 2016 book, My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds, published by DLD Books.

In My Ideal Partner, Abbie tells about her life with Bill Taylor, whom she met in 2005 through Newsreel, an audio magazine for the blind and visually impaired. (Bill was blind, and Abbie is partially sighted.) The book opens with Abbie receiving a braille marriage proposal from Bill. Stunned, she considers the reasons not to marry him. He’s nineteen years older, and they’ve only met twice. He lives in Fowler, Colorado; she lives in Sheridan, Wyoming. Marrying Bill would mean a move to unfamiliar territory. The shock and stress of Bill’s letter literally make Abbie sick for three weeks.

Eventually, however, with her father’s encouragement and another visit with Bill, who agrees to move to Sheridan, Abbie says a resounding, “Yes!” She goes on to describe the outdoor wedding in September of 2005 in her grandmother’s backyard, which includes music by a string duo and, of course, lots of good food. After their wedding, Bill and Abbie make a life together in Sheridan. With Bill’s support, Abbie quits her job as activities assistant at a nursing home in Sheridan to write full time. Bill works on his computer, stays in touch with friends, and listens to Colorado Rockies baseball games. But life throws an unexpected curve ball in January of 2006 when Bill suffers a stroke that paralyzes his left side. After a hospital stay and therapy in a nursing home, Bill comes home, unable to walk or tend to his basic needs. Another stroke in 2007 dashes any hope of him walking again. Thus, Abbie becomes his caregiver who must dress him and help him in the bathroom. Although she experiences moments of frustration, she presses on, and with the assistance of a therapist and other home health aides, learns to help Bill with tasks most people perform without a second thought. In addition, Abbie learns to cook two of Bill’s favorite meals: oatmeal and meatloaf. For six years, Abbie cares for Bill until he becomes too weak to remain at home. She doesn’t consider him a burden. She loves him, and he loves her, as evidenced by their many love words to each other and their frequent snuggling.

These difficult years have their share of positive moments. Abbie attends writers’ conferences and visits her brother in New Mexico. Bill works on his computer, reads books outside in nice weather, and continues to follow his Rockies. Some of Abbie’s relatives come for Thanksgiving.

Abbie’s book captivated me from the beginning. I laughed and cried as I read her story. If anyone is looking for a love story in the truest sense, then read My Ideal Partner.

***

Thanks to Carrie for another wonderful review. Reviews are important to authors because they can boost sales. If you’ve read one of my books, please leave a review where you purchased it. Alternatively, you can use the contact form here to email me your review, and I’ll be glad to post it here and on my website. Thank you.

***

If you haven’t already done so, please subscribe to my email list to receive my twice-yearly newsletter and other announcements. This is a one-way announcements list, meaning the only messages you’ll receive will come from me. So, you can rest assured that this list is low-traffic. Send a blank email to:  newsfrommycorner+subscribe@groups.io  You’ll receive a confirmation email. Reply to that with another blank message, and you should be good to go.

***

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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At Eventide #TuesdayTidbit #Poetry #Inspiration

Abbie wears a blue and white V-neck top with different shades of blue from sky to navy that swirl together with the white. She has short, brown hair and rosy cheeks and smiles at the camera against a black background.

Photo Courtesy of Tess Anderson Photography

Photo Resize and Description by

Two Pentacles Publishing.

 

I just got off the phone with a friend who’s in Minnesota with her dying brother, now in hospice care. He has been drifting in and out of consciousness as a result of pain medications, and he’s stopped eating and drinking. So, it shouldn’t be too much longer.

This reminded me of my late husband’s last few days, when he, too, stopped eating and drinking and wasn’t aware of what was going around him. So, I’m sharing with you a poem from My Ideal Partner, which expresses my feelings during this time. You can click the link below the poem to hear me read it.

 

AT EVENTIDE

By Abbie Johnson Taylor

Copyright 2016.

Here you lie

after suffering two strokes,

unable to walk.

For six years, I cared for you.

We were happy.

 

Now after giving up on life,

you’re breathing your last.

Here I sit, holding your hand,

talking to you,

singing your favorite songs,

wishing you’d respond,

tell me you love me,

squeeze my hand.

I shouldn’t be here.

 

At Eventide

 

If you haven’t already done so, please subscribe to my email list to receive my twice-yearly newsletter and other announcements. This is a one-way announcements list, meaning the only messages you’ll receive will come from me. So, you can rest assured that this list is low-traffic. Send a blank email to:  newsfrommycorner+subscribe@groups.io  You’ll receive a confirmation email. Reply to that with another blank message, and you should be good to go.

***

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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My Man Bill #TuesdayTidbit #Jottings #Inspiration

A photo of Abbie smiling in front of a white background. Her brown hair 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.

My late husband was the bravest person I ever knew. He was tall with gray hair and often wore sunglasses. A soft-spoken, gentle soul, he rarely got mad. When he did, it wasn’t for long. He endured so much hardship in his life, yet remained positive.

At an early age, he lost some of his vision as a result of rheumatoid arthritis, which also affected his legs. Through surgery, he was able to walk, but he lost the rest of his eyesight twenty years later. As an adult, he had one or two more operations to fuse limbs that were giving him trouble.

In 2003, we met through a magazine. A few months after we started corresponding, he contracted the West Nile virus. It took him several months to make a full recovery, but he got back on his feet.

In January of 2006, three months after we were married, he suffered the first of two strokes that paralyzed his left side. After spending nine months in a nursing facility, he returned home, and I became his caregiver.

We hoped that through outpatient physical therapy, he would be able to walk again. But in January of 2007, almost a month after his first stroke, he had a second one, not as severe, but enough to set him back to the point where he would never walk again.

With the use of only one arm and leg, he could do little for himself. I dressed him, prepared his meals, and helped him with various devices he enjoyed using for email and listening to audiobooks and ball games. All the while, he was stoic and loving. Whenever I felt the pressure, all I had to do was hold him and be reassured by the touch of his arm around me and the feel of his body against mine.

But in the summer of 2012, his appetite decreased. As a result, he lost strength, making it harder for me to lift him. In September, we consulted a physical therapist, who told us it was no longer safe for Bill to remain at home. He reluctantly agreed to move to a nursing home permanently.

Over the next month, he continued to decline, eventually getting to the point where he couldn’t eat without help. All the while, he remained alert and upbeat until he finally got to the point where he was no longer aware of what was going on around him.

One day, while an aide tried to feed him lunch, the food just dribbled out of his mouth. He apparently couldn’t or wouldn’t swallow. He also started having trouble breathing. I signed end of life papers, and he was put on oxygen.

But even then, although he could no longer talk, and I didn’t know if he could understand what we were saying, he hung on. After three days of watching him in this state, I realized I needed to give him permission to go, which I did. On October 30th, 2012, he finally left this world. I’ll always love him and admire him for his courage in the face of all the adversity in his otherwise good life.

You can read our full story in My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds, which is available free from Smashwords this month. See below for details. I was inspired to write the above while taking a memoir writing class from fellow author Glenda Beall, who blogs here.

How about you? Who’s the bravest person you know? Please tell me about it in the comment field below. Alternatively, you can post about it on your own blog with a link to this post.

And now, I’m pleased to announce that until the end of the month, all my books can be downloaded from Smashwords ABSOLUTELY FREE as part of its summer/winter sale. You can click here to visit my author page and download these books. Happy reading!

 

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 Want to Know What Love Is #MusicalMonday #Inspiration

 

This past weekend, while participating in ACB Community Karaoke, I heard someone sing the song I’m featuring today. I heard this song many times during my younger years, but at that moment, something occurred to me.

After my late husband Bill proposed to me in 2005, I learned that he was in a couple of relationships before meeting me, and upon proposing to these other women, he was rejected. That, on top of losing his vision and ability to walk at an early age due to rheumatoid arthritis, having various surgeries in childhood and adulthood to correct physical issues, contracting West Nile virus as an adult, and finally, the two paralyzing strokes he suffered after marrying me, created a lot of pain and heartache in his life. Despite the good things that happened, by the time he proposed to me, he’d come so far and wanted to end his loneliness.

Here I was, never having been in a relationship, not having any idea of what romantic love was like. After his proposal, Bill gave me a cassette of love songs he downloaded from the Internet. If he’d included this song, I might have more clearly understood him. I want to believe now that during our seven years of marriage, I showed him what love is, though I didn’t really know. He definitely showed me. 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.

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?

***

Facebook

Website

A photo of Abbie smiling in front of a white background. Her brown hair 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.