Forever Valentine

Valentine 2021 Journey,

I began this blog as the first “anniversary” of John Michael’s passing was approaching – it literally saved my life.  As the first “anniversary” of Skip’s passing approaches, I will continue to blog as my journey continues…… while trying to put life into perspective, many thoughts raced through my mind, but most of all was the thought that on any given day, some are celebrating their happiest day while others are celebrating what they deem as their unhappiest.  Not to be frivolous in any way, I think what happens to us is relative to us only.  The purpose of this blog is to never make someone feel sad, but to give hope to those whose journey may take a path like mine. So, with that precursor, here’s my Valentine’s blog for 2021.

Dear John Michael,

Sorry for moving in on my blog for you, but, blame it on Dad, as he’s at fault, so to speak.

Dear Skip Gore,

It won’t surprise you for me to call you, “Skip Gore” because my favorite thing to call you was “Skip Gore” – and, you would always answer, “yes, my lover,” no matter what my tone was!  How I miss that ever calming voice of yours – never out of whack, well…. maybe, there could be a little bit of “what now” tone, but always, calmness!   I’ve been thinking aloud to myself that you had a lot of nerve leaving me alone like this, but, then, every time I do, strange happenings occur….. Such as, last summer as I was standing by the big maple tree and uttered “you have a lot of nerve leaving me with this big place to keep up,” when suddenly, a Red-headed Woodpecker began to make a commotion – right above me in the maple tree! Oh my gosh, my thoughts racing in my head, he’s telling me to quit my griping!  A few months later as I was thinking, “Skip Gore you have a lot of nerve – leaving me to do these Christmas lights” – suddenly, I heard a noise and this most beautiful cardinal was staring in the glass door at me – seemingly, a reminder again?  Then, one night last week, I had the most vivid dream – you had come to see me, and I was asking you why you had to leave me so soon….. And, typical Skip Gore, in your calm, but slightly stern voice – “why are you worried – we are going to spend eternity together.”  Typical you…… always the right answer. How fortunate I was for this late night visit…… as it allowed me to work on my perspective a little more…… and, to remember the wonderful blessings in the midst of such a sad year for all of our family…..

  • for Babies…… how you loved babies and looked forward to new arrivals from the nieces and nephews …. Sweet Riverlyn who you were able to hold, Sweet Baby Jane, and, most recently, Sweet Wyatt Paul
  • for Ryder who was brave enough to be the first to stay two weeks with me last summer – what fun riding in the jeep, learning the art of burning (sorry, Val!)
  • for Ben who was here the next two weeks – and, became my traveling partner to Virginia – what fun we had at the land auction, learning to drive a stick shift, and then traveling cross country
  • for Hayley, who became my traveling partner for over three weeks – visiting college campuses all over the South, swimming with Dr. Debi and Anna Kate, exploring Southern Alabama, nightly fires in the firepit, fireworks at the Council House, lots of jeep rides, and Chinese lanterns above Hurd Creek…
  • for the Virginia Blairs, John, Heidi, Hayley and Ben, spending 12 days at Thanksgiving – the kids learning how you skin and quarter a deer, great memories, and then putting up with me for a week at Christmas – shopping, Busch Gardens, shopping, movie nights, and more shopping
  • for Valerie, Kelly, Knox, Ryder, Jack and Cassidy – the King and Country concert last fall, all the Opryland Hotel winter fun… for bestie Debi and sweet Anna Kate for joining us
  • for Blair, Shawnda, Riverlyn and the boys….. Always making me smile
  • for Adam, Sara Jane and Baby Jane…. So pleasant you always when you see my to do list  –  how comforting to see Skip’s truck when you pull up
  • for Jessi and Kyle who have given us the sweetest gift for 2021 – Baby Wyatt – and, Kyle, taking on “plumbing duties” at mother’s when you visit
  • And, last but not least, Karen and Dusty, who not only “feed” mother every night, but will show up with dinner for me, and encourage me as I attempt to finish all your outside projects – and, just smile as I add to them

I must mention one of the greatest blessings was to take your class this year…. How they love you…. We planted your tree – their “prayer” tree.  It has been a great year of healing for them and me both.

So, in this Winter of Discontent, I find solace in wonderful family and friends, and remember on my saddest day, it is a joyous day for many.  We never allowed sadness to dwell long; I will continue to do the same without you – focusing on that eternity that I will spend with you and John Michael, my forever Valentines.

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4 Responses to Forever Valentine

  1. Tammy Pierce says:

    Marsha, as I cry tears of sadness for your profound loss, I can’t help but smile as I read all of the happy experiences you created this year. You will forever be an inspiration to me. Your zest for life and faith in everlasting eternity is resolute. Your ability to live, laugh, live, oh, and speak the truth, lol, embolden others to do the same.

    I miss our talks, friend! Big hugs to you!


  2. Ann Machtolff Rivard says:

    Oh Marsha, what a lovely post. You are blest indeed with your loved ones. Sending love, friendship and happy memories spent with you, Skip & John Michael. Take good care of yourself. Love, Ann 💗

  3. Cindy Buchanan says:

    Praying for you to continue your journey. I’m glad I got the pleasure to work with Skip. When I go by your house and see Skip’s truck it always takes my breath for a second or two.

  4. Layne says:

    I love reading these Marsha ❣️

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