Wednesday, November 15, 2017


My travels have taken a long detour since my last post, which was in August. That was the month my eclipse anthology, DAY OF THE DARK, came out. Also the actual eclipse, which happened in my own back yard. All our kids came here to see it, which was a wonderful thing, considering what happened next.

I’d been looking for a place for my husband to stay for quite a few months. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s 4 years ago and Parkinson’s 3 years ago. It was especially cruel for him to have diseases that attacked both his brain and his body. However, he handled everything with incredible bravery and grace. His attitude was, it is what it is and we’ll deal with it. He was never angry. I was angry enough for both of us. Through everything he struggled to do everything he possibly could and never gave up on anything.

By July or so, his care had gotten to be too much for me, even with home health aides a few hours a day. The middle of August, he moved into a nice, small, residential facility. They took very good care of him there, but he continued to decline, more rapidly than before. After only a month in the home, he passed away, on September 21st, a day that will be etched in my mind forever.

I had a September deadline for my next novel, the first in the Vintage Sweets series. I contacted my agent in July or so and told her I knew I wouldn’t be able to meet that deadline. In fact, I stopped being able to write at all in August. August, September, and October, I was consumed by his dying and then by the aftermath.

I know many other women, and men, too, have gone through losing a long-time spouse. We were married for 50 years in June. I draw hope from the strength of the people I know who have been through this, and bless every single one of them who have contacted and supported me. I hope to pass this on in the future, as they have done.

My husband’s niece sent me this anonymous poem that spoke to me, almost out loud. I’ve posted it here in case it can give anyone else comfort and some measure of making sense of everything.

Also, I have been able, this month, to start writing again and hope to finish my first draft by the end of the year. It’ll be tight, but I’m working hard, so I may not post every week here. But I’ll get back to my blog eventually on a regular basis.

One or the other must leave,
One or the other must stay.
One or the other must grieve,
That is forever the way.
That is the vow that was sworn,
Faithful 'til death do us part.
Braving what had to be borne,
Hiding the ache in the heart.
One, howsoever adored,
First must be summoned away.
That is the will of the Lord
One or the other must stay.    ~Anonymous

photos from photobucket


  1. Hugs, Kaye. YOu seem to have handled the last four years with grace. May it stay with you during this difficult readjustment.

  2. cj Sez: Prayers for comfort in memories of a love that outlasts all.

  3. One day at a time; one foot in front of the other = one step forward as much as possible. Take care, friend.

  4. Thanks, Judy. I'm trying.

    cj, that's a beautiful sentiment. Thank you.

    Debra, you're right, one step at time. Thanks.

  5. I think about you and your journey every day...and especially how Cliff liked having Christmas lights on an outdoor tree year 'round. Take care

  6. Margaret, it's an inside tree in the living room! One by one, the strands have burned out and the last strand burned out about 3 days ago. Now I have to decide what to do with it. Put more lights on it? Maybe. Thanks for everything.

  7. What a beautiful poem, Kaye (Judy). I can't even imagine the pain and sorrow you are going through. So glad you got more time on a new series, and may the routine and creativity of writing help you through the hard times. I'm sure you will find ways to channel your feelings (on various levels) into your writing by and by.

    My love and hugs go out to you.

  8. Thanks so very much, my eloquent friend. I was so touched by that poem and hate that it's anonymous!

  9. A beautiful poem about a hard truth. Love and prayers.

  10. It IS a hard truth, Kathy, and one that I'm having a lot of trouble accepting. Thanks.

  11. Kaye, may I tell you that I've watched your journey for the last while since we met at Malice, and I've learned a great deal from it. Your love and devotion, good humor, and sheer grace in the face of the sad decline of your husband has inspired me, and my admiration.

    I've been thinking a lot about pathways lately, and it seems to me that your road, bump and all, is a good metaphor for your way forward.

  12. I am sorry for your loss, Kaye. 50 years together is a gift, but a peaceful ending is the wish we all have for how our marriages and lives close out.

  13. Karen and Ramona, thanks, both of you, for your thoughts and for posting them here. I appreciate them so much.

  14. Hugs, Kaye.

    I wish I could be eloquent or inspirational, but even five years after the loss of my mom, all I can summon are hugs.

  15. Hugs are good, Valerie. I'll collect in person some day.

  16. I’m so sorry! Losing your husband is so much more than a bump in the road. You’ve written an eloquent farewell to him. It’s always been clear you loved and admired him so much, and I’m sure he felt the same about his caring, brilliant wife.
    I love the poem, it has a ring of folk wisdom, but it is both reassuring and heartbreaking at once.

  17. You're right. It's a life-changing event and nothing will ever be the same again. Thanks for this, DOA!