Carry On

Lasting LoveI haven’t written for nearly two years. For an author, this admission is not a particularly good omen. Well on my way to a third publishing, a divine intervention was about to occur that would usher in an abrupt change of course. Banish book-writing, editing, and marketing. This was a higher calling, one that required writing to be placed on hold for as long as necessary. My new mission; to care for my sweet, aging parents. My commission; to help them finish well.

The next two-plus years were nothing short of blessed. Even though there was the normal fatigue, worry, and frustration that frequently accompanies caregiving, there was also a heavenly bounty of grace, mercy, love, and pure joy that proved immeasurable. I will never regret a single moment.

I’ve given my heart three months before attempting to compose a few sentences here and there, quite sure that my writing will reflect a very personal journey of the soul from time to time. My precious mother passed away in October 2017. Some days, it’s hard to breathe. The “firsts” still catch me off guard; Thanksgiving, Christmas, my birthday (and the traditional “Mama Cake”), New Year’s, and the cold, gray trip to the cemetery for the first time where I wept uncontrollably. Not far from me stood an elderly stranger, stooped over a granite grave marker who was doing the same. My heart hurt more so for him. Perhaps he reminded me of my sweet Dad who is now a resident at a nearby memory care facility, no longer able to live alone or with me because of the level of care required for advanced dementia. The sad difference is that the elderly man at the cemetery was grieving deeply – my precious Dad doesn’t remember my mother, his wife of seventy-two years. The combined loss of both parents, though different in nature, is immense.

Yesterday, I reluctantly left the house for a dental procedure that would no longer tolerate my procrastination. Three hours later, I stood up with numbness from my nose to my chin. The dentist congratulated me for being such a good patient and putting up with a long, and complicated procedure. He didn’t even chastise me for the procrastination. I suspect he knew I had suffered sufficiently. He smiled and left the room.

I put on my coat and picked up my purse. Out of the blue, the dental assistant shared with me that her father’s death was likely imminent and that she didn’t know how she would eventually deal with the loss and grief. The moments that followed felt surreal. I saw my hand reach for hers – and then heard the sound of my voice, “Honey, some days you’ll feel like you can’t breathe. The pain of loss will be great. Grief is the price we pay for loving someone with all of our heart.” She cried and reached out for comfort. “I know how you feel right now,” I assured her. “But, trust me, in time you will smile again.” Listen to me. Me, whose heart is still breaking from my own sense of loss. Comforting a hurting soul who is grieving someone who has not yet passed. But, grieving nonetheless. I told her that I would remember to pray for her and her family. Strangely, I turned and walked out the door with a lightness in my step that has long been absent. I can’t help but recall a familiar Scripture that talks about ‘bearing one another’s burdens.’ Isn’t that precisely what lightens our own?

Sweet Remembrances

CaptureCoveredBridgeHaving entered the autumn season of my life, I often sit in thoughtful solitude as golden memories drift through my mind like colorful falling leaves driven by a brisk wind. I ponder each and every one, drawn into the glorious fragrance of sweet remembrances. There is comfort in the simple things, a calm in the knowledge that everything will change. Having lived long enough to more fully understand the circle of life, the seasons now bring a certain kind of hope. ~ Deborah L. Norris

The Fragrance of Autumn

CaptureOldBarnAutumnIf I close my eyes I can still smell the wonderful aroma of my mother’s freshly baked banana bread, wafting through every room of the house, and intermingling with the nostalgic smell of the wood burning fireplace. The scent of fried cinnamon apples and spiced cider was the signal that cooler weather had arrived. Even handmade scarves and mittens had their own, distinct sweet smell that so richly complimented the fragrance of damp fallen leaves and the crisp air of the autumn morn.

The Kitchen Table

Country Cottage KitchenThe kitchen table.  In my family, it was here that important discussions had their genesis.  Opinions were readily expressed on religion, politics, family values, money matters, raising children, taking care of the elderly, education, social responsibility and death.  Typically, the children listened, and the adults talked.  That said, at a very young age I had a clear idea of the persuasions, perspectives and prejudices of those who sat around the kitchen table with their cups of strong, black coffee.  Occasionally, discussions were heated, and tempers flared.  For emphasis, there was an occasional smack of the hand on the table top.  But, at the end of the day these same strongly opinionated kinfolk showed their unending love and respect for each other with hugs, kisses and goodbyes – until the next spirited visit took place.

Never a Dull Moment

Victorian CornerAbout The House Guest, Tony Parsons writes: “A very well-written historical fiction novel. It was very easy for me to read/follow from start to finish with never a dull moment. There were lots of exciting scenarios, with several twists/turns and a great set of unique characters to keep track of. This would also make another great historical family fiction movie, or mini TV series. A very easy rating of 5 stars.”

Old Time Grace

Front Porch

REVIEW OF THE HOUSE GUEST

The House Guest by Deborah Norris is a relaxing novel with Maggie Davis as the protagonist; owner of a grand Victorian Manor turned to a bed and breakfast. Her daughter Jenna and her outspoken neighbour Lee are her two lifelines which keep her moving; along with a few newcomers who frequent this manor bringing with them tales of their own.

The quaint Tilden town, the conversations and discussions of the house guests around the kitchen table, and the screen door shutting at the back porch of Maggie’s home and the kitchen door swinging open; perfectly reflects old time grace. The story connects the readers to the importance of culture and to value family ties.

The author’s colorful writing style reflects actual events which occur in our lives someday or the other, engaging me till the end and I would highly recommend this book to all who enjoy nostalgia with a tint of humor and a bit of mystery as well.  ~ Pervin Bharucha, Amazon Reviewer

Days Gone By

CaptureSpringCabinWhere have all the days gone? My babies grew up, and my parents grew old. Seasons have come and gone many times over, like a spinning carousel. Everything seems as though it occurred just yesterday, but the mirror tells me otherwise. ~ Deborah L. Norris