Hey everyone! Hope you are staying cool during these August days of summer.
Don’t know about your parents, but mine drilled The Golden Rule into my head from the time I could read. They reminded me of the biblical text whenever I acted selfishly or was jealous or you name it. Hence, I felt like the “Rule” had been ingrained into my psyche. As an adult, I try to live by that rule; unfortunately, I don’t always accomplish that goal. I’m no angel. I make mistakes. I have to fight normal negative emotions like everyone else.
Once upon a time, I was in love with a Vietnam Vet. He came into my life during a time when I was unemployed (due to company layoffs) and had just broken my foot a week before my official last day of work. I couldn’t drive and my kids helped me out when they could, but they were busy with their own lives. I felt very alone and vulnerable.
Here comes Bob to save the day! He was a sweet, magnanimous, and gentle soul, and I fell hard. Four months later, he asked me to marry him, and I accepted. We had a blast, traveling, and having the time of our lives. We scheduled the ceremony for six months down the road in April.
However, in February, Bob had a stroke. The damage to his brain left him without the three things he most loved to do—drive his snazzy black Corvette (which he had purchased before he met me), target practice at a shooting range (remember ex-Army), and enjoy his full-time job as a security guard at the CDC. The stroke also affected his short-term memory and gave him an extremely low pain threshold (if he bumped into something, or if someone touched him, he would scream in agony). We were devastated, but we intended to get married in April in spite of everything even planning a honeymoon in Costa Rica (another story for another time).
Some people advised me with well-intentioned words of comfort. Some said I should choose not to marry him. After all, he wasn’t the same. Did I really want to take care of a man who was now much older than his actual years? It might be for years and years, and I had only known him for eight months.
My mind focused on the Golden Rule – If the stroke had happened to me, would Bob still marry me, and sign up for a different future than we had planned? To this day, I think he would have done just that.
I did marry Bob. Unfortunately, the unacceptance of his fate consumed him, and his health digressed. My husband only lived for one year after the stroke. I’d like to say it was easy, but that would be a fairy tale. There were times when I almost gave up.
My point in revealing this true story is that one never knows what will happen when you treat other people as you wish to be treated. Most of the time, we never see the results. If I had left him to his own devices, to the care of a stranger or an unwilling family member, who knows what might have happened to him? During that year, I received many blessings. I met some wonderful people at the VA hospital, I saw the joy on Bob’s face when he met his baby grandson, and I started an online blog about Bob’s stroke that led me to engage with some lovely women who had dealt with much harder issues than me. I also became best friends with Bob’s sister, Gale, whom I will always love as a sister.
In life, we have little control, but we CAN choose to act or react. In my new manuscript, currently titled, Lies in the River, my protagonist (now named Millie Campbell), has to make soul-searching choices that affect others—in her job as well as her personal life. Her decisions do not always follow the Golden Rule, the takeaway proving to complicate her relationship with her family and boyfriend, in addition to the investigation into her sister’s disappearance.
Don’t forget to sign up on my website for the debut of Jody’s Journal, my quarterly newsletter debuting on August 26 – “The End of Summer edition” will contain
- A beach book mystery review of Murder on Edisto by C. Hope Clark, the first in a series of Edisto Island Mysteries
- An excerpt from my novel, Relative Consequences, and a Hot Beachy crossword puzzle, just for fun
- A request for suggestions about my new manuscript entitled Lies in the River
- A Labor Day recipe for a great end-of-summer salad
- A beach-themed crossword puzzle, just for fun.
- And more…
My novel, Relative Consequences is doing well! I’m so excited about the review I received from the online magazine, Readers’ Favorite. Here is the link: https://bit.ly/3SXJ9xB
Thank you for visiting and see you next month!! Jody