I Still Look For You - PART 1

There is a song by Bon Jovi titled, "ALWAYS" This is my always. It will appear here in chapters or sections as my heart allows it to be released.

update: since this Hub seems to be the current favorite of what I've written so far, I'm continuing this and have now linked each part to the next. Thank you to all who read and reading in order is the only way you will understand the whole of this.





There's no reason I should be thinking of you tonight ... or any night. It's been too many years. We made our choices, or rather life made them for us. Another time as they say - oh God, another time.

I met a young man at a time in my life when literally everything I did was for someone else; my children, my husband, my job, aging parents. My marriage was as bad as they get. The abuse from an empty souled alcoholic was physical occasionally but constantly psychological and I now believed there was no way out. Maybe I didn't deserve what I got but it was what I had and surviving each day spent what energy I had left.

He came to my office with a social worker, to find housing for himself and his two brothers that he was raising though he was barely a man himself. His mother, in rehab for the fifth time, had lost custody of the boys and the courts had seen fit to entrust their care to this man whose eyes told the story of way too much and never enough. I was able to get them into an apartment with a government subsidy that took into account his part time job as the sole income and made a note to myself to check on them after a few days to make sure they were settling in and to give him the extra set of keys he had requested.

An hour after he had greeted me with a smile and an offer of freshly made coffee I noticed the time and my stomach twisted with anxiety. I would not arrive home in time to have supper ready when my husband got home and I would be late picking up the kids from the babysitter. I said a hasty goodbye and told Bobby, my new tenant, that if he had any questions or needed anything to stop by the office. I doubted he would as he seemed to know more about parenting than I and his worker had put him in touch with a few agencies that might be able to offer some household items and badly need furniture. He had apologized as he had served our coffee on an end table and offered me a spot on the carpet, complete with a chair cushion.

A couple of weeks later I was at my weekly Al-Anon meeting where I escaped as much to have time for myself as I did the serenity the program offered the families of alcoholics. I had arrived a little late, slipped into the first empty seat and focused my attention on the person speaking. I didn't have anything I felt like sharing that week certainly nothing uplifting for the other members and was content to follow the line to the coffee pot when we took a break. "You take it black," a hand extended a cup toward me. I looked up into those eyes again, those electric blue seeing clear into my soul eyes. "Bobby?, I truly never thought of him attending these meetings although it made perfect sense. He laughed and told me not to be embarrassed about being there as anonymous was the key word. Before we could say anything else a pretty girl whom I'd seen at the meetings a few times came up and introduced herself to him and started a conversation. I moved away and saw him look as I took my seat again.

Soon enough the Serenity Prayer said and well wishes for the coming week being shared gave me opportunity to slip out unnoticed. I literally jumped when he knocked softly on my car window as I was letting the car warm up. It was a huge favor to ask for a ride home he had said and almost too quickly, too willingly, I'd agreed that it was in fact very cold. As we drove the short distance to his apartment he told me he had found a job that offered more hours and a little more pay. He had a Parent Teacher Conference that next week and would have to miss a couple of hours on a new job and expressed concern. We discussed the kids, his - mine and laughed at the similarity in the challenges we faced with them. At his apartment I parked and our conversation continued as easily as that of two friends of many years. I had left the car running meaning to drop him off and go home although both of the kids were spending the night with friends and I knew what awaited me. After awhile I had shut off the engine to make sure I didn't run out of gas. An involuntary shiver shook me and Bobby had his jacket off and over my shoulders. "Oh, a gentleman too," I'd quipped and his laugh warmed me far more than his thin jacket.

On the drive home I remembered the feel of his arms around me after asking if he could give me an Al-Anon hug. It was a friendly gesture, a thank-you for the conversation, the ride home. I laughed in the quiet of the car remembering our conversation and realized I had done a lot of laughing that evening. It had felt good, an almost forgotten expression, but then my laughter wasn’t encouraged at home. I didn’t have conversations with my husband any longer. I replied in agreement when he spoke to me and he belittled my comments and never missed an occasion to point out to the kids “how crazy Mom is.” My mistakes were magnified and any successes were treated as obligations, nothing more.

Our sex life, once passionate and loving, had become a ritual of punishment and humiliation. So drunk he couldn’t perform, I was the fat disgusting whore that prevented his satisfaction. His hate grew for me during these failed attempts and more often than not left me with bruises to my flesh and, far more damaging, my self image. I knew on a conscience level that I wasn’t the vile names he called me and I certainly knew I had never been unfaithful as he constantly accused. But after years of having my dignity stripped away one layer at a time I felt that somehow I had become disgusting and repulsive.

I saw that his car was not in the driveway as I turned the corner and thanked God out loud for this chance to get into bed and fain sleep when he did come home. I had grown to hate his touch, his kisses that left my face and my body slopped with his foul smelling saliva. On the nights he left me alone and fell into bed,unconscious and snoring within seconds, I was assaulted with the smell of the woman he had just left. I used to cry silently, as I had learned to do, but lately even my tear ducts had no more to give.

As the weeks passed, Bobby and I spent more time together by design or accident we would meet and share our lives with each other. Being new in town he hadn’t made that many friends and neither had his brothers so I suggested them joining my kids at the skating rink one Saturday. We dropped them off and drove in silence for a couple of minutes then both let out a huge satisfied sigh. “Freedom! Three whole hours of not having to referee those two,” Bobby clutched his chest. “What do you want to do? I usually get groceries and maybe go to the library,” I said, feeling ignorant the moment the words came out of my mouth. He asked if I was up for a little drive and asked me to pull into a gas station when I agreed. He had me pull up to the pump and jumped out as soon as the car stopped. “I got my check yesterday and had a little overtime on it … my treat today!” he smiled that wonderful relaxed smile at me as he returned from paying for the gas with two sodas … a Pepsi for him and a Coke for me – our only disagreement to date. I had slid over into the passenger seat and nodded for him to drive.

Fall in the Midwest is a magical time when everything is transformed to a spectrum of color. The trees, of course, bursting orange then gold – a burnished red and royal purple appeared to compete for your gaze. Even the fields, just full of dark green corn stalks higher than a grown man now displayed its golden harvest dried and ready for relentless farmers and their John Deere’s. The sky is not blue – its azure as blue as the ocean appears in travel catalogs and the clouds puffy and proud with their whiteness. We drove, singing to the radio, two kids playing hooky. The leaves crunched beneath the tires as Bobby drove into a little parkway along the river. I had been to this spot alone many times just to sit and watch the water and soak in the calming but I didn’t let on. He had presented his find to me as a present, a bouquet brought from behind his back and I accepted it with surprise and true delight. We got out and walked down the rocky slope until he proclaimed the perfect spot, a river worn fallen tree that had settled half in half out of the water. He pulled off his shoes and socks and held his hand out to me, daring sparkled in his eyes. I followed, kicking off my shoes like a three year old ready to splash in a puddle but took his hand none the less. We sat sipping our sodas, making them last as we did with this time of complete liberty. “Look!,” he pointed into the sky just as a flock of ducks flew silently above us. As I lowered my head his arm went around my waist and his lips came to mine at first tender then almost fierce from the waiting of this to happen. We sat, the sun warming us, the breeze, with just a hint of weather to come, blew across our faces. Neither of us spoke, neither had to or could.

Comments 58 comments

leni sands profile image

leni sands 6 years ago from UK

I look forward to reading the next chapter. It is written the best way I know how - from the heart. Keep writing like this and you'll do just fine. Keep it honest, clear, concise, sincere...well structured, grammatically correct and spelling error free.


Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 6 years ago from On the edge Author

Thank-you so much for stopping by leni and for assurance that I'm not just rambling. Sometimes emotions and correct grammar and sentence structure just do not flow from these fingers at the same time I really appreciate your feedback!


maggs224 profile image

maggs224 6 years ago from Sunny Spain

Like leni I look forward to reading the next chapter. You have a nice writing style very easy to read. Welcome to Hubpages I think that you will enjoy being part of this online family. This is an excellent hub well done.


Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 6 years ago from On the edge Author

maggs - I like the sound of that - "online family." Thank you for reading my hub and for the encouragement! I've read some of your work and am reading more. You are one very amazing lady!


Karen Wodke profile image

Karen Wodke 6 years ago from Midwest

This is so engaging! I can't wait to find out what happens next.


qwark profile image

qwark 6 years ago

Granma:

Wow! That was a wonderfully written "hub!"

I felt the pain, the intimacy, the emotion and the honesty!...POWERFUL!

I love a good read, this "hub" qualifies!

Thank you for sharing!

And, thank your for becoming a follower!

Qwark :-)


Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 6 years ago from On the edge Author

Thank you, Karen for taking the time to read this. I am at a loss right now to tell you when I'll write more on this. I'm finding pieces of myself that need to be put together as you would a puzzle. I am trying to work on some sort of order before I publish more and totally confuse my readers but being anxious to "hub" that may be the case for a while. I'll try to get back to this one soon. Thank you so much.

Qwark - Very high praise coming from you. I am actually astounded that you consider this style of writing a good read. I am truly appreciative of your comments, thank-you!


qwark profile image

qwark 6 years ago

Pooh: YW

I am an eclectic at heart.

Your style is fine. a good read is a good read!

Keep writing!

Qwark


Muse 6 years ago

Your story is beautifully told. I am very much looking forward to the next chapter because the story touched my heart.


ralwus 6 years ago

It's always a pleasure to read another good writer. Welcome to HP green eyes. I will be watching for the continuation of this story. Charlie


Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 6 years ago from On the edge Author

Thanks Charlie - means a lot coming from you.


LaurieDawn profile image

LaurieDawn 6 years ago

I look forward to reading the next chapter. Very well written, I like your writing style and I found it to be catching, and insightful. Captured my attention.

Blessings,

Laurie


MFB III profile image

MFB III 6 years ago from United States

The greatest stories ever told are true, and often sad, and joyous at the same time. One feels for you and this struggling young man, and abhors the drunken sot who uses you like a kleenex, superb write, write on, and capture many readers,~~~MFB III


Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 6 years ago from On the edge Author

LaurieDawn, I thank you. You encourage me and who doesn't need that to keep putting themselves out in the open?

MFB lll, I woke and read your comment and you have made my day, probably my week. Such high praise coming from you and I am truly humbled. It is scary sharing this but it has lived inside of me for so long, needing to be written.

Since this seems to be a favorite right now, I'm breaking scheduled plans and adding more, as of today. I hope it will continue to engage and be worthy.


SomewayOuttaHere profile image

SomewayOuttaHere 6 years ago from TheGreatGigInTheSky

...excellent....you capture your memories so well....


Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 6 years ago from On the edge Author

SOH thanks so much for stopping in and following me now. Some memories are just that clear, aren't they, when written on your heart.

I just read all that you have published. I'm so happy for you that you have come into this new chapter of your life and even in saying goodbye to your friend you will do it with grace and celebration. Your journey with your daughter was often almost too painful to read, let alone experience, yet you draw your readers through it with so much tenderness and beauty one has to read on. I will be watching for more from you.


jessica.written. profile image

jessica.written. 6 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

that was really engaging. i could really tell what it was like, almost like i was there. beautiful.


Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 6 years ago from On the edge Author

Your very kind words, jessica, help it stay real. Thank-you for reading and coming by!


Scarlett My Dear profile image

Scarlett My Dear 6 years ago from Missouri

Dear Pooh,

Beautiful! Your story is one of MUCH dignity! Well written, soul-stirring ~ I can feel the tension, that must be strangling the very spirit out of you, in your writing. I am here for more! God grant you the serenity, the courage and the wisdom to continue.

Peace. Scarlett


Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 6 years ago from On the edge Author

It felt that way at the time, yes. I said in the beginning of the first HUB, or maybe in my bio, that I feel this saved my life - the entire experience of being treated with love and respect.

I so appreciate your comments and that you are following me. You seem to "get" me - which could be a good thing or could mean you need professional help - not of the writing kind!


Scarlett My Dear profile image

Scarlett My Dear 6 years ago from Missouri

Yes, well, we could all use a little professional help sometimes, can't we.


Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 6 years ago from On the edge Author

About every six weeks or so, yes......LOL


Maria Cecilia profile image

Maria Cecilia 6 years ago from Philippines

sigh.....love is sometimes very magical..... I guess that's the kind of magic I am looking for....wish to see more of it maybe...good luck to you and like you I also like this "onl line family thing"


Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 6 years ago from On the edge Author

It always amazes me when some of this site's very best writers find something I've written and appreciate it. I have just read one of your Hubs on Compartments and will read all that you have offered. In your fan mail, bless you, you said you'd like to be part of my online family - well welcome - it's yours for the asking!

Magic, like beauty in the eye of the beholder, makes for memories so clear they almost tell themselves if you decide to share them. Thanks to the wonderful supportive people here, I've become more comfortable introducing myself to the family through the "who I am" process of sharing my life. It is so much truer than a picture or any other introduction. There are people here who already know me better than lifelong acquaintances. Welcome to part of me and I look forward to getting to know you too!


QudsiaP1 profile image

QudsiaP1 6 years ago

Such an amazing hub, I actually discovered this just today, while hub hopping I came across Part 4 and I just HAD to read it all from the beginning.

Poohgranma: All great writings come from the heart, whilst we may fool ourselves to believe most are fiction, there is always some truth to every fiction.

I love your particular style, there is no need for you to worry as in this hub, no where do you ramble and at no point do we feel like rolling our eyes and closing the hub. Very engaging, very well written... Going to part 2 now. :)


Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 6 years ago from On the edge Author

I am so pleased to get your feedback. One always wonders if they are saying too much or too little, leaving the readers confused or dis-satisfied. Thank-you and I am so glad you stumbled across my hub!


AngRose profile image

AngRose 6 years ago

What a wonderful writing style you have Granma! I can picture the car driving through the leaves, picture the water shimmering in the sunlight, and picture the two of you as your stolen moment takes place. I can tell your writing comes directly from your heart. I'm so sorry you had to go through the pain of an alcoholic husband. I too had one, and you've described it perfectly. The pretending to sleep was one of my tricks as well, just to avoid his touch. I am looking forward to continue reading the story of your life.


Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 6 years ago from On the edge Author

AngRose, thank you so much for reading my story, becoming a follower and for your kind words.

I am sorry to hear that you too know the disgust you can feel for the touch of someone who you were once in love with. Welcome to my life ... or at least the parts of it I am attempting to share.


Nicky Bantham profile image

Nicky Bantham 5 years ago

Poohgranma, I applaud you!!What an honour of the highest kind to have made your acquaintance! Thank you firstly, for your comments to my hubs, and acknowledging there what I already believe and know!I hate pretension,as I can tell about you! Many people cannot relate to the level of emotional pain you draw your readers into so eloquently in this memoir.I read it, re-read, and was overcome with emotion,not because of your painful journey,but the degree of your depth.Your sense of detail is astounding(insert infinite 'such-type' adjectives here:-)and as one who can certainly identify with what you articulate,would like to say that I think you are amazing!You are certainly(no disrespect to any of the other talented writers in here)an inspiration to me and hopefully will 'MENTOR' my writing process through your pieces!Thank you for sharing the 'core' of who you are with those who may feel they are alone in their struggle(and trust me there are many).

May writing this memoir bring you the most personal fulfilment and healing!Can't wait to read the rest!


Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 5 years ago from On the edge Author

Oh, my dear lady, your talent to express is so far above mine I truly blush at your comments. You have the vocabulary I could only bring by studying Roget's Thesaurus for years on end. I struggle for words that seem to just flow from your fingers!

You are right on about pretension though. I've tried it on a time or too and it is an ill fit that screams at me to remove it immediately and get back into my blue jeans and t-shirts, whether I get invited to The Ball or don't. My tongue needs to be tamed at times though. If the lashes are mine I take them accordingly, but if leveled at the innocent, I am compelled to step out front and cry UNJUST! That said, I am delighted to make your acquaintance and I feel we will be chatting more and I look forward to that! Thank-you!


Nicky Bantham profile image

Nicky Bantham 5 years ago

I've read your responses to everyones' comments to this hub, and wish that in time, you could embrace your TALENT, as you have your TRUTHS,HONESTY AND EXPERIENCE. So far, the piece is rich in imagery, with plausible and relevant settings, many readers can relate to, who may have been in some type of abusive relationship. Your use of metaphorical&literary elements, makes your read a life comparative for many who may not know how to use their voice. You really DO NOT need to be validated by anyone.Especially those whose field of vision extends only to THEIR level of comprehension based on THEIR life experience. Voting up!


Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 5 years ago from On the edge Author

well...when you put it that way ...LOL

Thank-you Nicky!


stars439 profile image

stars439 5 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

Your work is with percission and very beautiful. You write so very well. There are sweet guys, and then there are cruds. Sometimes a man can become bitter like an old worn out dragon. When this happens, the best thing is a kick in the butt, and a slam of the screen door. Love your wonderful work. You write with magic. My mother was the dominant figure when we grew up. Once she almost shot dad with a forty five revolver. GBY.


Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 5 years ago from On the edge Author

Stars, thanks for your sweet words and comments. Wow, it does sound like your Mom was the dominant figure, mine was too.


saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 5 years ago

This is a wonderfully written hub, it caught my interest from the first paragraph, very articulated and the story line weaves along brilliantly.

Some of this reminds me of events in my family with AA and Alanon and my mother's protectiveness for her children and being with a drunk of a man she detested over time, yet stuck it through for the sake of the children.

This story is unfolding and I can't wait to read the next chapter. Well done rated UP


Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 5 years ago from On the edge Author

saddlerider, what a surprise and honor to see you dropping by, reading my work and leaving such positive comments. Your feedback means a great deal to me!


saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 5 years ago

Your welcome, I will commence reading your other hubs with anticipation. You are an excellent writer and with lots of life experiences like myself, we share some common ground I see:0) Comments will be left as I plod along with my reads, excitement ahead I can feel it in my soul. Thanks again my friend.


Ghost32 5 years ago

This hub triggered an "I still look for you" flash of my own, albeit involving a somewhat different relationship--with a daughter, now in her forties, who has been estranged to me since her early childhood. The water did it, I think. Skipping stones out over the Spokane River....

Voted up, awesome, beautiful.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota

I am so glad I found you hub hopping. I can't wait to continue reading your following chapters. Your writing is very clear, engaging and I can tell it comes from deep down in your heart. True stories written here are the most powerful. God Bless and you have a BIG FAN.


Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 5 years ago from On the edge Author

Ghost32 - I'm so sorry I didn't reply ... I didn't see that there had been a comment. My sorrow for your estrangement with your daughter can't be expressed in mere words. My husband and his daughter went through this when he divorced her mother. She had her brother give her away at her wedding,and that tore it for him too so he quit trying. They so speak occasionally but it is superficial and so very sad. Thank you for you the votes and your lovely comments.

Minetonka Twin - I am thrilled to have you following and reading. You have a LOT of reading to do...lol, this is long and it's not even finished yet. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!


Just Life 5 years ago

Very profound. I will be glad to read the next chapter.


Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 5 years ago from On the edge Author

Just Life - I am busy reading all of your writes and welcome to Hub Pages! I am a new follower of yours and thank you for becoming one of mine. You have lots of reading to do if you follow these chapters and I really need to get back to this and try to tie up loose ends. My interests scatter almost as often as my mind ... ha ha


Healing Touch profile image

Healing Touch 5 years ago from Minnetonka, MN

Poohgranma

Your an amazing writer. My sis and I are sitting in our livingroom reading. Your life in this hub was so much like mine. I know just by knowing you now it is over. So is mine and I will never go back. Sometimes it feels like it was a dream. I still have to see my ex and he is charming, good looking and a fraud. It is so wierd. I can't wait to read more.


Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 5 years ago from On the edge Author

Yes, Bill was very charming and I was made out to be the real biotch. There were so many people that absolutely refused to believe the Dr. Jekyll/Mr Hyde personality that he had. And when that happens, you doubt yourself even more!


nighthag profile image

nighthag 5 years ago from Australia

a fascinating story that had me spell bound with every line, thank you so much for sharing your story in such a beautiful and truthful manner, I too look forward to reading more


Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 5 years ago from On the edge Author

Oh thank YOU for reading and commenting. There is no better feeling then when what you pen is read and appreciated!


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 5 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

Poohgranna, a thoroughly enjoyable read and I can feel the truth in your words . The nice and easy flow of words kept me engaged till the end.

Personal narration of such events is not easy to put into words and I think you have done a great job. I need to read all the successive parts to this real life story.


Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 5 years ago from On the edge Author

rajan jolly - I was so surprised to see someone had read this story after the many months it has lay idle. I re-read some of it too and the feelings are still as alive today as they were when it all happened and when I wrote this. Thanks so much for your attention to my writing and for your encouraging comments! I hope you enjoy all of it.


Lola1929 profile image

Lola1929 5 years ago from Oregon

Hi Pooh... isn't it neat the people we draw into our lives?

I want to see where this goes (I have a feeling I know, but I've been wrong before). I love Bobby for his kindness. I hope he stays that way.

Love from Lola


Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 5 years ago from On the edge Author

Ah Lola, you have the keen eye I did not at the time. But any Hell I went through with this was much better than the Hell I had been in! And I learned so much from this young man, most of all how to see value in myself.


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

Dear Pooh,

I thoroughly enjoyed this. Your writing captured me from beginning to end making me want more. This was an awesome first hub. Thank you for sharing!

Sharyn


Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 4 years ago from On the edge Author

Thanks so much Sharyn's Slant. Revisiting my first hub was interesting for me and I'm glad you suggested it. It's odd how I can't remember where I've placed my glasses but these memories are crystal clear in my cloudy old mind.


Levertis Steele profile image

Levertis Steele 4 years ago from Southern Clime

I know the pain of an abusive alcoholic, the tell-tale signs of the other women, the loneliness, and the waiting for something wonderful to happen, the disappointments, and finally, a facsimile of something wonderful, but forbidden. "It is sweet in the mouth but bitter in the stomach." It is irresistible sugared-down gaul! But poor loved-starved victims are too weak to fight it, too weak to think sensibly because it, too, is like alcohol numbing the senses. Just like the love we could not resist, our alcohlic could not resist just another drink that kept him trapped. Yet, we do not have to continue to be his victim. I know this situation, and I know the moments that should not have been. As pleasant as this kindis, it, too, will end in heartache, just a different kind.


Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 4 years ago from On the edge Author

Perhaps, but perhaps not. Only the reading will tell. Thanks Levertis.


ImKarn23 profile image

ImKarn23 4 years ago

to be honest, Pooh - i am often intimidated to read long stories..(and to write them...)

Somehow this pulled me in immediately and i was hooked - every word!

You soo deserve this wonderful man - and i hope the next installment tells me that you took life by the horns and began a new loving family with him - combining all your kids and everyone lives happily ever after!

If your ex murders you - i'll kill the sob!

Very impressive cliffhanger, P!


Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 4 years ago from On the edge Author

What an honor to have you read and your praise makes my heart sing. This really is my most important story and I am working on revising it so I can get it to a publisher. I can expand where it won't edited by HP rules and delete the parts that drag.

Your second to last sentence still has me laughing. Thanks so much!


AudraLeigh 4 years ago

I have become friends with you more and more on FB than here the lst few months. I am so glad we have become great friends here! As I read your words, I see where you came from. I love theway you wrote so freely! You brought me in to this place I am not familiar. Well, except for the bad tratment he put on you. 2 years ago or so, I knew what that was.

I will keep on reading...

Wonderful words so deep


Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 4 years ago from On the edge Author

I'm sorry to know that you experienced the bad treatment. You deserve only gentle loving people in your life! You have a very strong spirit and a wonder for life. I'm so very proud to call you friend! Thank you for reading and commenting, Audra.

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