Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Joshua: lessons in strength and courage

Joshua. The next chapter in the history of the Israelites. Moses has died and their new leader, Joshua, must now lead the people into the Promise Land. Joshua was a man who must step into big shoes as he led the Israelites into battle and settle the Promised Land. As I read and studied Joshua, I realized that this book is about faithfulness to God, obedience to His calling despite our fears and reservations. There are many lessons and miracles, reminders and encouragements in the book of Joshua which can demonstrate this themes. Reminders to be strong and courageous are mentioned throughout the book of Joshua. Lessons that anyone can be used by God for His purpose when there is faith. And the conscious and sincere choice to serve God.

First, the phrase “be strong and courageous” repeats many times in Joshua. In Joshua 1:6-7, God is speaking to Joshua as he takes up his new role. “Be strong and courageous because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. Be strong and very courageous.” In His first instructions, God tells Joshua to be strong and courageous twice. God is telling Joshua to be strong and courageous because the Israelites had proven to be a difficult people to govern. Joshua needed to be a man of action. To be alert and prompt and ready to act when the occasion called for it. The phrase is repeated again in Joshua 1:18 and 10:25. The reminder to be strong and courageous served as a point to remember that the Israelites successes were not due to their own strength or their leader’s wise actions but their faithfulness. What lesson can God’s instructions to Joshua be for us? When God calls us for His purpose and wherever it may take us in the world, He calls us to be strong and courageous. To be alert, prompt and ready to act when it is needed. When we are faithful to God and in His promise to go before us, He will give us the strength and courage we need to get the job done.

Second, Rahab is only mentioned in the second chapter but her part in this story has a lasting impact. Joshua has sent two spies into Jericho. When they were there, they stayed at the house of Rahab, a prostitute. Rahab hid the men on her roof to save them from the king. When it is safe, Rahab pleads with the spies to spare her and her family when the Israelites destroy the city. She has heard of the Lord’s power. The men agree and gave her specific instructions to stay inside during the siege. After the Fall of Jericho (Joshua 6), Joshua spared Rahab and her family. This could be in the end of her story but it is not. She is mentioned again in Matthew 1:5 as the mother of Boaz, making her the great great grandmother of King David and an ancestor of Jesus Christ. She is also mentioned in Hebrews 11:31, as by her faith she welcomes the spies and spared her life. In fact, she is one of two women mentioned in Hebrews 11 Hall of Fame. She is considered righteous in James 2:25 as she demonstrated her faith by hiding the spies. One single action placed Rahab among the faithful and becomes an ancestor of two important men in two religious faiths: King David in Judaism and Jesus Christ in Christianity. God remembered her because of her faith and not her profession. Even the lowest people of society can be chosen by God to do great things.

Lastly, Joshua 24:15 is a powerful verse. It is a verse which states that everyone has a choice. The verse is: “But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Chapter 24 is Joshua’s last instructions to the Israelites. His final words for the people. In verse 15, he is firm: make a choice. Everyone must choose. Everyone comes face to face with the decision to serve and follow God. We do not have the power to compel anyone to worship and follow God. Service to God should be sincere, free and a willing allegiance of the heart. Joshua pledges that he and his household will remain faithful. As a follower of God, I take this to heart as I will teach my children about God and His glorious presence, His power and majesty. I hope that through my instructions and my life, my children will follow the Lord as well. But it is a choice they will have to make themselves as well. Following God is a deeply personal commitment which cannot and should not be dictated by another. You aren’t born a Christian. You may have been raised in a Christian home. However, you must make the conscious choice to follow Him.

In conclusion, the book of Joshua is the story of the Israelites as they take possession of the Promised Land. They finally made it but they had work to do. It is a book about strength and courage when our fears tells us to run. But by faith, God will prove the way to get the job done. With the story of Rahab, we see a great faith in God. She trusted God to keep her and her family from the destruction of Jericho. He rewards her faithfulness by making her an ancestor of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. What can God accomplish in our lives if we have the faith of Rahab? The book of Joshua is also a reminder that fellowship with God is a conscious choice. It is an active relationship in which God wants us to interact with Him. By faith, we can have strength and courage from a loving relationship with the Creator of the Universe. How cool is that? 

Monday, June 27, 2016

Missing, Presumed: a mystery which will leave you guessing until the end!

Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner is a mystery surrounding the disappearance of a young woman. While the police the searching for clues of her whereabouts, a new mystery arises. Are the two cases related? Edith Hinds is the only daughter of Sir Ian Hinds and his wife, Miriam. They discover she is missing when her boyfriend, Will, comes home to find the front door open and Edith is gone. Detective Sargent Manon Bradshaw and Detective Constable Davy Walker are assigned to investigate. Due to the high profile of the Edith’s family, the detectives are meant with rumors, innuendoes and a media frenzy. When the body of a young man is found, the search for Edith takes an unexpected turn. Is Edith alive? Who took her? Does her disappearance have any connection to a young man’s death?

I received an advance copy for the purpose of my review. I thoroughly enjoyed Missing, Presumed. It is a different take on a disappearance mystery. It is an interesting book with lots of twists and turns. It has an ending which will shock you and eager to fit the remaining pieces of the puzzle. I wish I could write about my favorite parts but due to their place in the story, I do not want to spoil the book for those who wish to read it. It is a fast pace, page turning mystery. I highly recommend Missing, Presumed.

Missing, Presumed
Is available for sale tomorrow, June 28th
Hardcover $27.00 and Kindle/Nook $12.99

On Amazon and Barnes and Noble

Saturday, June 25, 2016

By Helen's Hand: a new twist on a classic story

By Helen’s Hand by Amalia Carosella is the second book in the Helen of Sparta series. The series is a retelling of the famous story of Helen of Troy and the Trojan War. The story opens with Paris dreaming of glory, the protector of men. The reader first sees Helen as she reaches the home of her sister, Clytemnestra, and her husband, Agamemnon. Her husband, Theseus, is missing and Helen is afraid for her life as Menelaus seeks to gain, what he feels is rightfully his, Helen. Under the protection of her brothers, Pollux and Castor, Helen soon returns safely to her beloved Sparta where she must find her husband before it’s too late. For she dreams of war, pain and death. Will she be able to find her husband? Can she stop the tides of war?

As I had not read the first book in this series, I found By Helen’s Hand very confusing. I didn’t realize that this book was second in a series and it’s obvious that the book picks up immediately when the first left off. So these books must be read in order. However, I like that Ms. Carosella takes a classic story and weaves drama and mystery with a modern flair. The who’s who of Greek mythology are featured in this story. If you enjoy Greek mythology and classic stories with a new twist, I recommend this series. However, make sure to start with book 1, Helen of Sparta.

The Helen of Sparta series
Is available on Amazon
In paperback $14.95
And KindleUnlimited
Barnes and Noble
In paperback for $14.95

And Audiobook for $9.99

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Deliver Her: when a mother's plan goes horribly wrong

Deliver Her by Patricia Perry Donovan is a story about one mother’s desperate decision to help her teenage daughter. When the decision leads to her daughter missing and the desperate search to get her back. Meg Carmody’s 16 year old daughter, Alex, has been in a downward spiral since her best friend died in a car accident after her Sweet Sixteen birthday party. Desperate to put her back on track, Meg contacts The Birches a behavior facility which helps troubled teens. She arranges for a transport service to take Alex to the school. Carl and his friend, Carolyn, pick up Alex and they are on their way. But during a rain storm, Carl loses control of the car and when he regains consciousness, Alex is missing. The search is on. While at home, awaiting on news of Alex, Meg begins to discover the truth behind the car accident which killed Alex’s best friend. Will Meg be able to find Alex in time? Will Alex learn the truth about the accident? Will she be able to get her life back on track?

Deliver Her is a fast-paced, heart wrenching story about a mother’s desperate attempt to help her daughter and her daughter’s inner turmoil about her life after a tragic accident. I was hooked from page one as I read Meg’s desperation and fighting against all odds in order to get her daughter back. The book was fast paced and with very new revelation, a new twist in the tragic story which led Alex down this path. I highly recommend Deliver Her.

Deliver Her
is available on Amazon
in paperback for $14.95

and with KindleUnlimited

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Saving Abby: a story of a woman's determination to do anything for her child

Saving Abby by Steena Holmes is the story of one woman’s desperate fight to have the child she’s always dreamed of. She must fight her husband, her friends, and her family to make her dream come true. Claire Turner has dreamed of having children since she was a little girl. When she married her husband, Josh, they dreamed together. After seven years of marriage, the dream of children has been unfulfilled. Until one day, after they returned from a cruise vacation, Claire isn’t feeling well. She’s been having severe headaches and constantly sleeping. At the request of her husband, Claire sees their friend and doctor, Abby Cox. The exam reveals that Claire is finally pregnant. As the good news spreads, Claire seems to be getting more and more tired and the headaches getting worse. After several tests, the doctors reveal something is seriously wrong. Claire’s only thought is to her unborn child. Her family and friends say she is being foolish. Can Claire save the life of her child? Will her choice put her own life at risk?

Saving Abby is an emotional story of a woman’s journey to motherhood when she’s faced with an impossible choice. The story gives no indication at the ending of the story. The reader may be expecting one ending or another; however, the end will leave the reader shocked and sadden. I recommend Saving Abby as an emotional story which leaves the readers with a question, what would have been our choice?

Saving Abby
is available on
Amazon in paperback $14.95
and with KindleUnimlited
as well as 
with Barnes and Noble

in paperback for $14.95

Sunday, June 19, 2016

First Comes Love: a story of life, love and sisters

First Comes Love by Emily Giffin is the story of two sisters who are trying to live their lives with the memory of the tragic death of their brother. As the anniversary of his death approaches, these women must confront their role in the accident and in the events which followed. The story is told alternating between the sister’s perspectives. Josie is a first grade teacher who is confronted with her life as the daughter of her ex-fiancĂ© is in her new class. Meredith is married to Nolan for 7 years and mother of 4 year old, Harper. Josie feels something is missing from her life and she realizes that she desperately wants a child. She considers a sperm donor to the dismay of Meredith. Meredith comes to terms that her choices in her life, her marriage and where to go in the future. Will the sisters be able to come together and discuss the night their brother died? Will Josie and Meredith be able to find what is missing in their lives?

I have mixed feelings about First Comes Love. First, I enjoyed the dramatic story. How one tragic event shaped the lives of those left behind. However, I feel it’s a bit clichĂ© that the family is torn about by the loss of a family member. When I’ve seen in my personal life, some families pulled tighter together after a tragedy. Second, there is a joke made by a character about gluten-free individuals. As an individual who is gluten free and struggles with the diet every day, I am sick and tired of the jokes. If you never have had to live with the diet, knowing that everything you eats needs to be checked and rechecked to make sure it’s safe, you can’t joke about it! You don’t see jokes about people with diabetes or lactose intolerance or any other food allergy! Why is gluten free individuals fair game? Third, there is a line in the book which I can relate to completely. Meredith sees a counselor, who tells her “Grief is a mystery to be lived through, not a problem to be solved.” I love this because grief becomes a part of life which has no solution, it has no end. You learn to live with it and move on but grief will always be there. Overall, if you are a fan of Emily Giffin, you will most likely enjoy First Comes Love. However, if you haven’t read Ms. Giffin’s books, I recommend you skip First Comes Love.

First Comes Love
will be available June 28, 2016
at major book retailers
hardcover $28
Nook/Kindle $13.99

audiobook $45

Friday, June 17, 2016

Meantime Girl: a woman's desire to be something more

Meantime Girl by Sindhu S is a story about a young woman who thought she had her relationship all figured out. Until she learned that the relationship was not what she wanted in life. Anjali is a writer in India who has a relationship with a married man, Siddharth “Sid.” Despite her friends’ objections, she carries on their hidden love affair. She has convinced herself that she didn’t want a commitment, she wanted to be as sexually free as men were. As Anjali travels through India, writing her book and visiting various temples, she begins to grow increasingly aware that something is just not right. Will she be able to end her relationship with Sid? Will she continue the relationship, knowing she will always be the meantime girl?

Meantime Girl is an interesting story. A story about love and modern relationships. A story about the confusion and turmoil over a relationship that should not be. A story of a man who seduces a woman into the thrill of a secret relationship. I loved Anjali as she is a strong, independent and modern woman who thought she wanted a no-strings attached relationship until she realizes that there is a pattern of behavior she wasn’t aware of. I recommend Meantime Girl as a modern love story with a twist.

Meantime Girl
Is available for free

with KindleUnlimited

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Mercer Girls: an excellent story about a little known piece of history

Mercer Girls by Libbie Hawker is a fictionalized story about a little known events of our history. In 1864, Asa Mercer traveled to the East Coast, recruiting single women to come to the Washington Territory. The story focuses on three woman: Josephine Carey, Doreen “Dovey” Mason and Sophronia Brandt. All three woman have their secrets and reasons for joining Mr. Mercer on the trip to Washington.

The story opens in March 1864, the city of Lowell, Massachusetts has been hit hard by the Civil War. Josephine Carey is on a race against time to see Mr. Mercer. She is determined to join the group of women. Dovey Mason joins the group as a runaway from home. Her father is forcing her to marry in order to restore the family’s wealth. Josephine first meets Dovey, she knows there is something more than the young girl is saying but doesn’t pry. Instead, she takes her under her wing. Sophronia joins the group as a missionary to bring God to the lawless town of Seattle. The women set off to New York City where they board a ship which will sail to Panama. From Panama, they will sail again to San Francisco before continuing on to Seattle. Once they arrive in Seattle, the women settle into their new lives with new jobs and possibly new beaus. But the lives they left behind seem to follow them and threaten to undo the new lives they have built.

I loved Mercer Girls as it is a great story with drama and adventure. It is a piece of history that I knew nothing about and I loved to read about the pioneering women who left all they knew for an unknown life in a new territory. I also enjoyed the chapter on the author’s notes and remarks about the book. Ms. Hawker wrote that many descendants of the Mercer Girls still live in Seattle and protect their memories and legacy very closely. I feel that Ms. Hawker gave the Mercer girls a worthy story of their brave resolve to find new and better lives. If I were in their position, I don’t know if I would have the some bravery and courage to head into the unknown like they did. Then again, maybe I would. I highly recommend Mercer Girls.

Mercer Girls
is available in paperback for $14.95
free with KindleUnilimited

and on Audiobook for $14.99

Monday, June 13, 2016

Promise of the Black Monks: turning points in European history

Promise of the Black Monks by Robert E. Hirsch is a first book in the Tristan de Saint Germain saga. Set in the Middle Ages following William the Conqueror’s successful invasion of England, Europe is in the turmoil as nations take shape and the Church.

The story opens with a short narration discussing the events which led to William of Normandy’s invasion of England. On a French estate, Lady Asta de Germain is awaiting the birth of her first child. Tristan is born with a dark omen hanging over him. Seven years later, his father has been executed for treason against King William. Lady Asta, in desperation, sends Tristan and his little brother Guillaume to the Cluny monastery in Burgundy where the Black Monks will educate the boys. Lady Asta, in turns, marries her brother-in-law Lord DuLac and joins him at his new estate in England. Tristan and Guillaume settle into life at the monastery where they are met with hostility from one boy. Tristan excels at his studies and proves himself valuable to the monks. While Lady Asta is living in the middle of the ever present hostilities between the Saxons and the Normans. Will Tristan and his brother ever escape the shadow of their father’s crimes? Will Lady Asta be reunited with her sons? And what impact could one boy have on the course of European history?

I enjoyed Promise of the Black Monks. I enjoyed the in depth historical context that the author presents with the actions of the story. It is an amazing story about a turbulent time in European history which was set on its course with the 1066 invasion. The political, culture and religious upheavals as men set upon their course for power. I plan to get the remaining books in this saga as I want to see the impact Tristan has on the landscape that becomes Europe. If you enjoy historical political drama, this is the book for you. I highly recommend Promise of the Black Monks.

Promise of the Black Monks

is available in paperback for $19.99

Saturday, June 11, 2016

My Father & Attticus Finch: a story of a real fight for justice in 1930s Alabama

My Father and Atticus Finch by Joseph Madison Beck is a memoir about his father, Foster Beck, and the similarities he shares with Atticus Finch from Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. Ever since I read To Kill a Mockingbird in junior high, it has been one of my favorite books. So I was intrigued by the possibilities of similarities between Atticus Finch and Mr. Beck.

The case is a young white woman, Elizabeth Liger, accused a black man, Charles White, of rape in 1938. After the Scottsboro decisions, W.L. Parks, the judge proceeding over the case, wanted Mr. White to have “first class representation.” Foster Beck is reluctant to take on the case but is persuaded to take the case. Mr. Beck poured every effort into his representation of Mr. White and insurance that he receive a fair trial. Just as in the case in To Kill a Mockingbird, this case had many holes and doubts about the defendant’s guilty. However, given the social and political injustice of the time, the case was really over before it began.

I enjoyed My Father and Atticus Finch. It is a great memoir of a lawyer who believed in his client, despite his race, and defended him to the best of his ability. The parallels between Foster Beck and Atticus Finch are striking. Mr. Joseph Beck said that he wrote to Ms. Lee about his father’s case and she claims to have never heard of it. I wonder if she simply refused to acknowledge that she was influenced by the case or had forgotten that she had heard about the case. Either way, I enjoyed reading about a man who was a living, breathing Atticus Finch. A man who didn’t see race as much as he saw injustice upon his fellow man. I highly recommend My Father and Atticus Finch.

My Father and Atticus Finch
will be available on June 21, 2016
on Amazon in hardcover $25.95

and on the Kindle for $13.49

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Black Widow: a mystery thriller which leave you guessing until the very end!

Black Widow by Christopher Brookmyre is a mystery thriller told in three parts. The narration is divided between Dr. Diana Jager, the defendant, and Jack Parlabane, a journalist who is covering the story. The story opens with Dr. Diana Jager is on trial for the suspicious death of her husband, Peter. Diana is a surgeon who gained infamy when her anonymous blog was exposed. She wrote scathing commentaries about anyone and anything that crossed her. As time went on, she met and married Peter, an IT tech at the hospital where she worked. Suddenly after six months of marriage, Peter is missing. His car is found in a river and he is presumed dead. Evidence is pointing to Diana. Jack Parlabane is a reporter who is put on Diana’s trail by her sister-in-law, Lucy Elphinstone, who suspects Diana of killing her brother. As Jack uncovers clues to the relationship between Diana and Peter and Diana’s past and as Diana reveals the secrets she is unwilling to share to the police, a picture is painted of what happened that night. Where is Peter? Is he dead and did Diana kill him? Will Jack ever uncover the truth?

I LOVED Black Widow. I stayed up late until 1 am because I HAD to finish. I had to know if Diana killed Peter and what happened to him. The book reminds me of Gone Girl but oh so much better. This book had so many twists and turns that you think you have it figured out and another twist!!!! I can’t talk too much about the major points of the book because it would give away huge plot points. However, I can say that the book will keep in on your toes. I highly recommend Black Widow. It is one of the best done and excellent books I’ve read in a long time!!!! I'm eager to read other books by Christopher Brookmyre! 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

All the Missing Girls: a mystery told in a unique style

All the Missing Girls by Meghan Miranda is a chilling tale of one woman’s return home where the case of a missing girl still hangs in the air ten years later. When another girl goes missing, the past becomes more present than ever before.

The story is told in three parts. In Part 1, Nicolette “Nic” Farrell is on her way home to North Carolina where she is helping get her childhood home ready for the market. As she drives home, she remembers the events of the night when her high school best friend, Corinne, went missing. Nic is unsettled to be in the house again where the ghosts of the past are felt. Part 2 is the interesting part. The story is told backward from Day 15 to Day 1. Nic is trying to fit the pieces of the recent disappearance of Annaliese and the connection to her friend’s disappearance ten years ago. Will she find out who is behind Annaliese’s disappearance? Does her father know more than his feeble mind will let him say? Part 3 is the aftermath of the events in Part 2. Will they find Annaliese? Will they discover what happened to Corrine?

All the Missing Girls is a fascinating read. The reverse storytelling is brilliant. I read more closely, wrote down any clue and had aha moments when pieces were starting to connect. The ending is brilliantly done and quite surprising when the events are finally pieced together. I can’t give too many details away because it will spoil the story. But I will say this book did not disappoint. The twists and turns will leave you guessing until the very end! If you enjoyed The Girl on the Train, you will definitely enjoy All the Missing Girls! I highly recommend it!!!

All the Missing Girls
Is available on Amazon
In hardback $25
Kindle $12.99
On Barnes and
In hardback $25
Audiobook $12.99

Sunday, June 5, 2016

In the Light of What We see: a story of drama, mystery and danger

In the Light of what We see by Sarah Painter is a story of two women from two different times and their fight for their lives. The narrative alternates between the two women’s stories. The story begins with Mina. She sees birds that aren’t really there. She is dating a handsome doctor, Mark, and she is avoiding her aunt and uncle. One day, Mina is in a car accident and wakes up in the hospital with little memory about the accident or anything about her life. As she struggles to recover physically and mentally, she begins to see more than just birds. She begins to see the ghost of a young woman. Enter Grace. In August 1938, she is sent to work in a hospital under strict guidelines and rules. As she struggles to learn her new routine and life as a nurse, she must also deal with the unwelcome advances of the new handsome doctor. As Mina recover bits and pieces of her memory, she realizes that Mark isn’t all he seems to be. Is the ghost who visits her room trying to tell her something? Will Mina be able to recover her memory in time?

In the Light of what We see is an interesting story with twists and turns. Although I failed to see the connection between Mina’s story and Grace’s story other than the hospital that Grace worked in and Mina is now a patient. I feel as if the stories could have been separate books. Mina’s story was more dramatic and I didn’t see how Grace’s story fit. Maybe I missed something in the story that linked the two better. Despite my confusion, I did enjoy the story and I found myself urging Mina to open her eyes and see the danger in front of her. I was eager to see if Grace was able to live her life better despite her current circumstance. I recommend In the Light of what We see for its dramatic story and its mysterious elements.

In the Light of what We see
Is available on Amazon
In paperback for $15.95
Free with Kindle Unlimited
Available on Barnes and
In paperback for $15.95

And Audiobook $9.99

Friday, June 3, 2016

While You were Mine: life changes with the end of WWII

While You were Mine by Ann Howard Creel is a story of one woman’s world coming to an end with the end of World War II.

The story opens in August 1945, Gwen Mullen is a nurse in New York City when she hears the news of the Japanese surrender. At her door is the one man who will tear her world apart. A man who has come for his daughter. Gwen had become the adoptive mother of Mary whose mother, Alice, left when she was a few months old and her father, John, is presumed dead in Europe. With the help of her German neighbors, Lisen and Geoff, and her new roommate, Dot, Gwen takes care of the baby. John learns that Alice has left the baby with Gwen and he is determined to find her. When he can’t, he returns to New York determined to raise his daughter. Gwen agrees to help John learn how to take care of Mary and ease himself into Mary’s life. Soon, the two become close and plan a future together until Alice returns. Will Gwen have to say goodbye to Mary and John for good? Will she be able to walk away?

While You were Mine is a great story filled with drama and twists and turns. I loved the realistic depiction of life for the returning soldiers. The memories, the nightmares, the difficulties returning to civilian life are portrayed honestly and realistically. The characters are real and relatable. You feel the heartache for some, feel anger for others and you begin to understand the hard transition of life after war. I recommend While You were Mine. It’s a great story of life, love and starting over.

While You were Mine
is available on Amazon
in paperback $14.95
Kindle Unlimited
on Barnes and
in hardcover $24.95
in paperback $14.95

and Audiobook $14.99

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Remembering Grandma Ruby on her birthday

Today is June 1st and it holds a special place in my heart. Today is my Cousin Jody’s 19th birthday (Happy Birthday, Jody!). Today also would have been my Grandma Ruby’s 94th birthday. My grandma has been on my mind lately. Since her death in 2005, I’ve learned that I wished I knew her better, talked to her more. I’ve have so many questions now. One of my most treasured items from my grandma was actually mine to begin with. It’s only a few inches tall, plush and insignificant to someone else. But to me, it is most precious and here’s why.

This item is a tiny plush Eeyore with magnetic hands which allows it to be wrapped around something. My favorite Winnie-the-Pooh character has been Eeyore since high school. I’m not sure why. I suppose because Eeyore is a gloomy character and I can relate to that. Even though I am generally a positive person, I sometimes feel as if I am insignificant in the grand schemes of this big wide world. I bought this particular Eeyore at Disneyland many, many years ago. I placed it around the gearshift of my 1987 Toyota Camry. And there it stayed for many months until one day it was gone. I couldn’t figure out how I lost it but it was gone. I thought about getting a new one but never got around to getting one. It wasn’t until after my grandma’s passing, as the family was cleaning out her dresser drawers, was it found.

Something you need to know about my grandma. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. It was very hard to see this beautiful woman, who cared deeply for her children and grandchildren, slowly forget who she was or where she was. Sometimes I could see the recognition in her eyes, even though I knew she could not remember my name. Eventually it came to a point she was not safe home alone and my aunt was able to find a Senior Day Care she could attend during the day. I would often pick her up and bring her home. As I can figure, one day when I brought her home, she reached over and took the Eeyore as I moved to her side of the car to help her out. Why would she take it? Did she like it? Did she see it and think of me? Maybe she took it without really any thought.

I wish Grandma Ruby can see me now. Happily married to a wonderful husband and father. Mother to an amazing little girl who I marvel at every day. I wish she was there when I lost my daughter, Ziva. I wish I could have asked her how she moved on after losing her own son. Although I can guess her answer. Because she had to. A woman who lived through the Great Depression, the loss of a sister so young, losing her boyfriend in World War II and to lose her firstborn child. There is a reason her generation is called The Greatest Generation. She wasn’t perfect. She made her share of mistakes but she loved her family fiercely and did her best to make sure her family had what they needed. I grew up watching her devotion to my grandfather. I saw them bicker but they always came together for a kiss. It’s something I emulate today with my husband.

So, this tiny Eeyore has become very dear to me. When I got the Eeyore back, I didn’t put it back in my car. No, I put it in my room where it had a special spot. Even today, Eeyore still hangs around my bedroom lamp on my dresser among my other treasures. It may not seem like a very special place but it is. I see it every day and think of my grandma. It’s a little dirty but it makes me smile. It’s the little things that can remind us of our loved ones. A song, a scent, and a simple little knickknack.

My Grandma Ruby’s obituary from the Orange County Register