One Last Time

I wrote the following on 8/7/2021 and saved the draft until I was ready to share it with the world.

Right around Thanksgiving last year I got a call letting me know that my older sister – the middle child of 5 children and the middle born sister – had been diagnosed with cancer of the gall bladder. She was told her odds of beating it were good, but not great. In April things were still going well and she was through chemo and was scheduled for surgery to finally remove her gall bladder and part of her liver. When they went in, they found tumors where that had not been found before. Nothing was removed and biopsies where taken. They did some more testing and she was accepted into another therapy program with okay odds. Then last month she went into the hospital again after become very ill. They thought it was the new form of therapy causing the issue. It was not. It was the beginning of the end.

Carol and I took a trip together before Covid hit in February of 2020. After she dropped me off from the trip, because of COVID and the cancer, I did not see her again until last Sunday, the 1st of August. Sure, we talked on the phone from time to time, but not face to face.

So Sunday afternoon I went to the hospital to say goodbye. I did not say the actual word ‘Goodbye”, but we both knew “I love you” meant so much more. I promised her some things, things I will spend the rest of my life doing for her.

Today, not one week later, she is gone. The decline was rapid, and I am thankful that her suffering is over. She is rejoicing in being Home with her Savior and is reunited with our mom.

Last Saturday evening, when I knew what was coming the next day, I tried to gather my thoughts “on paper” so I would be prepared to tell her what needed to be said. The poem I’m sharing below just flowed out of me. (My mom was the poet in the family. I’ve never done much with trying to write this kind of thing, because it always felt forced.) I’ve tinkered a very little with it, but this is a peek into my heart, as raw as it can be.

July 31st, 2021

One Last Time

How do you say goodbye to a sister? Where do the words come from that can even begin to express the love you have in your heart? 

Tomorrow I go and see my sister for probably the very last time. Sure, I’ll try, and I know I will cry, but the words won’t be enough. 

I’ve had one of these conversations before, when my mom was failing. It was so hard. I didn’t say enough then. How could anyone ever say enough? 

Maybe it’s the tears that speak. They are a liquid testament to the emotions of pain, loss, sorrow, and grief. Maybe.

It’s just too soon. Much too soon. We were supposed to have more years to call and talk to each other on the phone. We needed to take another trip together. We needed more time to just be sisters.

I know someday we will see each other again and we will have an eternity with our Father in glory. I just wanted more time here in this earthly home.

But tomorrow will have to do, because that is what is granted to my sister and me. I will take this gift, of one more time, to say what I can say. I wasn’t sure I would have the chance to say goodbye. But I do.

All I can do is try. 

And cry. 

And tell my sister that I love her. 

One last time.


I’m still alive and looking for a little help…

It’s been a few months.

Since then I was given a large enough Christmas bonus to replace my laptop that I constantly wanted to throw through a window. I once again have a MacBook and I’m much happier.

Letters is still with my editors. They have lives too and theirs decided they was much more important than mine there for a while. Work still continues and I hope to have a book ready soon.

Writing on Patience is a Virtue continues as well. The new laptop means there are no more excuses and I’ve started to set goals several days a week to keep me going. I had a major case of writers block that I am doing my best to bust through with the writing goals. SO far so good. I now have roughly 38,000 words typed in and things are progressing. Lady Catherine is a revelation and I think you will enjoy how she is turning out. I admit I have a soft spot for the haridan, and she just keeps proving she has unexpected depth.

As you have probably heard, plagiarism is a huge issue in our fandom right now. I have struggled with what to do about it and have decided to leave all of the stories completed before 2013 free online for the foreseeable future. Most have been there for years and I really do not want to take them down just to publish. To me they are a gift repaying those who went before me.

I’m to the point where I am writing to publish. Ive said that before. I need to pay for my son’s car insurance!

However, there is another expense that is more pressing and if you have enjoyed my writing over the years and would like to help, it would be appreciated.

I’ve talked about my son over the years. He is a talented trumpet player with a passion for the marching arts. He’s a sophomore at Arizona State University majoring in Music Education. It is a very prestigious program for his degree and very difficult to get into, especially on trumpet. Additionally, he has 2 years of eligibility left in Drum Corps International (marching band on Steroids). For him, drum corps is more than a love of performing, it’s also an internship and as well resume building for his future career as a music educator. He earned a spot with the 17 time world champion Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps for the 2016 season. He will spend three months rehearsing, traveling and performing all over the US with the corps. This takes money – over $3400.00 worth for him. If you would be willing become a sponsor for him, either leave me a comment or email me and I will give you information on how you can do so. Every little bit helps. If we pay in full by February 28th, we even get a $400 discount.

Thanks for your consideration and your continued patience with my sometimes MIA muse!



More of Letters – Part 34 is posted

My son starts his second band camp at Arizona State tomorrow. This is their 100th anniversary of the marching band so it should be an interesting season. To kick things off, how about a new section of Letters? Yes, I think that will work.

Our couple is in the middle of almost 2 months without seeing each other. Will Elizabeth be able to hold out with her vow of widowhood much longer? We are getting close to the answer!

Go to Part 34.


I could not be more proud

Today was a big day. A REALLY big day for my one and only son. Today he was officially accepted as a member of the 2014 Army All American Marching Band. He is one of only 125 high school seniors in the USA who were chosen for this elite group. Thousands applied and only a handful made it through the audition process. As I said, I couldn’t be prouder.

You can catch the US Army All American band preform live online at They will march their show during halftime of the US Army All American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas on January 4th, 2014. We’ll be there cheering him on.

You’ve worked so hard for so many years. Congratulations, son!


Life is settling down

The Progeny is off to drum corps for the summer and my muse is starting to awake! Meawhile, if you are interested in seeing what the hubbub is all about you can see a show in the air conditioned comfort of a movie theater. Click on this banner and check out the info. Go Cavaliers!


It’s already April?

Oh my, the first 3 months of 2012 are gone! I’m still trying to figure out where they went.

I’m alive, as you can see. Life has been full.

The Progeny has won a spot with The Cavaliers to march this summer in Drum Corp International. That was a huge surprise to us as we thought he would need one more year with The Academy before he was ready musically to make a top-three corp. Obviously, we couldn’t be more proud of him. Needless to say, it has been an emotionally draining time.

I’m also coaching track and field right now. This year they are even paying me for it!

All this to explain why absolutely no writing has occurred since I last posted an installment of Letters. I’ve been reading in my spare time to help me through the stress and as a way to get some studying in. I do learn a lot by reading and feeling what works and what does not. And yes, I would rather be writing!


One last plea – and a new posting in Letters

I’ll post another bit of letters in the morning after I have a good night’s rest to edit it. Before then, I would like to ask you to do one last thing. There have been some issues with people’s votes getting registered if they were using Google Chrome. And Academy has also seen people who have “liked” Academy, but not actually voted. So if you would take just 30 seconds more and follow this link to The Academy’s Chase Community Giving page. If you voted, you should see in green letting “Thanks for your vote” and a green checkmark in a green box next tot he total number of votes. If you do not see that, and instead see a green box that says Vote, you haven’t voted or your vote did not register.

Finally, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, if you haven’t voted, do so. If you have, and you have someone else in your household who has a Facebook account, have them vote. This is a really big deal to The Academy and it will set them on a solid financial footing for the next 6-10 years! The food truck desperately needs renovation. And you get a double bang for your buck because this truck is “on call” for use by the American Red Cross, Arizona chapter, for disaster relief duty should it be needed in The Academy’s off season. So far it hasn’t been called to that duty, but it could be at any time.

And if you wish, you can unlike Chase Community Giving. Just wait until after the contest is over.