- Books, Literature, and Writing
Rubies - Escaping the Curse - Saying Goodbye
Rubies is based on the true story of Kaja Johnson
A story so bittersweet
Isn’t it actually an oxymoron when we say we just purchased a new antique chair? But then again we have to think about the stories from the past that the chair could probably tell should it be able to speak. Have you looked around the room of a 200 year old house and stared at the wall's, knowing those walls held the secrets of the ages; secrets in such abundance they would overwhelm the human mind.
I have never had the pleasure of visiting Europe or Asia or seeing age-old architecture and tombs or castles of kings. Still I cannot but be in awe of the hundreds of memories these structures enfold and the chorus of voices that echo throughout their walls.
I have a dream --yes those words are well-known but they didn't just pertain to one man and one time; they pertain to all of us. We all have a dream . . . We all have a future.
Many years ago I met my Aunt Mary for the first time. She was a tiny Norwegian lady with knotted fingers and toes, a curse from the arthritis that racked her body. Her spirit was not encumbered by her physical pain. She was just one of the children left behind by my grandmother, Kaja when she came to America. She too had a dream. It was for a better life; it was a dream that never fully came to fruition.
Those of you that follow my blog know the story of Rubies – Escaping the Curse and how a tiny Norwegian lady much like her daughter Mary, came to find a better life and lost the dearest part of her heart. Yes, she started a new family, but she felt it was one that was cursed because of her own sin of disobedience. Yes, she was a real person and that’s what makes her story so poignant. Of course, the story in books two, three and four is embellished with fictional characters and fictional events; but none of that can erase the real story of Kaja and her own personal agony.
The actual cemetery where Kaja in buried in North Dakota
About Saying Goodbye
The most difficult thing we ever have to do is to say goodbye to our loved ones for that final time. We are blessed if we know in our hearts that the goodbye is only temporary and Heaven awaits a joyous reunion. Still the goodbye is fraught with “what ifs” or “should haves”; those little innuendoes that creep into our minds and burden our hearts until the day that we leave this earth. We are always plagued by the thoughts of how much better we could or should have done; yet, had we the means to live it over, our choices would probably be exactly the same.
Gary Walker is a great part of Stacey's Secret
Book Four Excerpt - The Present 1992
Gregg Phillips is working late when he receives a frantic call his patient, Stacey Walker. He rushes to her home hoping to finally unveil the secret she has been hiding since the beginning of her therapy.
He jumped out of the car and stared at the ominous looking three-story monstrosity. The house was intimidating, even for him. He ran the bell several times before he saw the curtains move and the door opened.
Stacey was still sobbing hysterically as she fell into his arms.
He guided her to the sofa. "I'm here now, Stacey. I promise no one is going to hurt you." He opened his medical bag.
"No! No drugs! Screaming, she pushed him away. "I have to be in control!"
Phillips grabbed her hands in his and pulled her to him.
"Stacey, look at me. I promise I won't leave you. I'll stay here all night if that's what it takes."
She shook her head vigorously. "You don't understand!"
He cupped her tear-streaked face in his hand. "Stacey, I do understand. I need you to trust me. This is the only way."
"I'm afraid," she whispered.
"I know you're afraid. But you trusted me enough to call me. Now trust me enough to let me help you."
Pursing her lips to muffle her sobs, she nodded her head in agreement.
"Good," Phillips said, taking her hand and leading her to the sofa.
"Now just lay back and relax." He pulled out a syringe from his bag.
Moaning, she took a long breath. "I shouldn't have called but you said you --.”
"I said I'd be here for you day or night." Phillips finished her sentence and pulled up a chair next to the sofa. "And I always keep my promises."
Phillips spoke softly. "Now, Stacey, I want you to concentrate on my voice. It is the only thing you can hear. Each word I say will bring you further and further into a deep relaxation.”
She was beginning to relax. The drug was working. Her eyelids fluttered and closed.
He had no doubt who has triggered this hysteria but he had to tread carefully or even under the influence of the drug, she could erect a wall between them.
"Stacey, you’re feeling very relaxed now. Can you hear my voice?”
A teardrop escaped from her eye and rolled down her face. "Make him go away forever."
She turned her head as if she were looking directly at him. "You know, don't you doctor?"
"Yes, I believe I do, Stacey. But I need you to tell me."
Her eyes were tightly closed. "Everyone always leaves me. Promise you won't leave me."
Phillips reached over and took her hand. "Promise."
She turned her head, releasing a slow trembling breath; one word passed through her lips. "Gary."
Phillips continued speaking softly, each word bringing her further and further into total relaxation, closer and closer to the truth.
The Four Women of Rubies
Book Four Excerpt
Two sisters share a special time together not long before they must say goodbye.
Chapter Fourteen May 1989 - Duluth Minnesota
When they'd finished lunch, they strolled along the wooded shoreline, trying to prepare their stomachs for dessert before heading back to the car. They continued on the Scenic Drive towards Two Harbors and stopped for gas; then proceeded on their journey to Betty's Pies.
Katherine looked around the tiny roadside diner and reminisced about the many times they'd stood impatiently in a long line, waiting to grab the first available enameled table. The new owners had taken away some of the atmosphere by removing the wooden spoons and metal spatulas from the cedar walls. But jars of cookies and pedestal cake plates, filled with sumptuous carrot cake and brownies, still lined the counters. The white square memo board, listing the pies of the day, still hung by the door, accompanied by Betty's picture. They secretly hoped it was the one decoration that would never change.
May was early in the tourist season so they quickly nabbed a table.
Katherine eyed the memo board. "Looks like lemon angel is on the menu. They even have banana cream, Stace."
They ordered pie and coffee, chattering endlessly while gorging themselves on the sweet concoctions. By the time they left the pie shop and drove to Gooseberry Falls, the afternoon sun had begun to warm the crisp Duluth air.
Katherine got out of the car with her jacket tied around her waist. The two stood on the bridge overlooking the falls, staring down at the patchwork rocks and rushing waterfall. Katherine leaned on the railing, thoughtfully resting her chin in her hands. "I think this is my favorite place in the whole world, Stace."
Stacey sighed, smiling serenely. "Me too."
"You know, Stace, I think when I die, you should sprinkle my ashes all over these rocks. Then I'll be happy forever."
Stacey's tranquil smile faded. "Don't say that, Katy. I would hate to think of you burning to ashes like Daddy."
“Well it’s probably pretty hot where he is anyway,” Katherine quipped before breaking out in robust laughter.
"Don't look so crushed, Stace. I was only kidding."
She slid closer to Stacey and whispered in her ear. "Just don't ever bury me next to Edward in the family plot in Boston. I'd roll over in my grave spending eternity that close to the old bat."
"Stop it, Katy!" Stacey's eyes' moistened.
"Lighten up, kiddo." Katherine gave Stacey a quick hug. "Hey, do you remember the year Aunt Ginny drove us to Thunder Bay?"
"How could I forget it?" Stacey answered, smiling. "Momma was so nervous that the Canadian border guards wouldn't let us back into the United States that she insisted we all send for our birth certificates."
"That's right. And remember how we all roared when Momma received hers and realized she was never legally adopted by Christian. She was actually Martha Berglund and had married Daddy illegally as Martha Johnson."
Stacey nodded. "And Momma laughed until tears rolled down her face when she thought how Daddy had fought for a divorce when he could have just had the marriage annulled."
"Old Sonny tried for so many years to get his damned divorce and he had the perfect out."
Katherine was laughing so hard, she was almost to tears.
"Katy!" Stacey suddenly sobered. "Does that make us all bastards?"
"I think Ronny is the only bastard among us," Katherine joked.
Two sisters are forced to say goodbye
Finding Unconditional Love
It was not long after the tender moment of sharing between the two sisters that life took a downward slide for them. Never again would they share such a moment of love and companionship. Too many secrets and too little honesty would eventually cause them to say goodbye to their life together.
The most important lesson learned by the four women in the Rubies Saga is the momentous occasion of discovering the true meaning of unconditional love and how it equates to each one of us as we pass through life. To find that unconditional love is a gift from God that so many desire and so few attain. If I could pass along one thing from writing this series it would be the gift of how to find that unconditional love and to discover its meaning in your life.