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If you’re reading this blog, chances are you’re aware that my first novel was released in February (2009). I wrote Audrey’s story, Tender Grace, to answer a question that has been nagging me—“How do we go on when someone so dear to us dies?”

I’ve been watching my parents, 92 and 84. They’ve been together 63 years, and when I’m home, it’s almost palpable—how will we bear being without each other? I feel like there’s a perpetual leave taking going on, one I participate in myself every time I leave them—hugging them and kissing them and saying how much I love them.

Yes, how do we go on? I don’t mean, how do we keep breathing; I mean how do we go on, embracing, appreciating and enjoying the life that’s left?


“My heart hurts.” I’ve been using that phrase off and on since my daughter Stacey coined the phrase when she graduated from high school and realized several meaningful things would never come again.

My aging parents aren’t doing too well these days. My 84-year-old mother is home bound, not able to do much at all. My 92-year-old dad is her tender caregiver. We’re going home in a few days. Dad says he’s anticipating our visit.


Tony and I just got back from Muskogee, Oklahoma, our hometown. We spent sweet time with our families, time that included a Stark reunion, and I’m happy to say I made it back to Missouri tonight with my purse.

Anyone who knows me well knows that one of the things I do with my life is lose things, especially purses. Naturally, and it makes sense, one of the many times I have lost my purse was on the way home from that wretchedly hot and tiring vacation at Disney World (which I carried on about last week).