Through what has been the worst year of my life – I still struggle to find my way out of the pit. Whilst reading books (and talking with others) on healing the broken heart, I learned that finding reasons for gratitude helps re-wire the brain and pulls us out of the mire of deep despair.

This Thanksgiving, I’m grateful for the many kind comments left here at this website.

During my darkest hours (and there have been many), I lie down in a quiet place and verbally recite the names of those who are praying for me. I also just go into empty churches and sit in the darkened sanctuary and ask God to show me the way back to some semblance of normality and/or peace.

It’s become clear to me that prayers are the highest expression of love that we humans can share with one another.

The last couple of weeks, I was in Carlinville, Alton and Champaign, spending time with friends and family, and my friend Linda shared this image with me which touched me to tears. She asked, “What is your first impression?”

I replied, “Look at how much effort the man from Samaria is exerting to save the stranger.”

Linda said, “That was my first impression, too. Saving someone who’s been given up for dead is hard work.”

My soul feels dead in so many ways, but as my daughter says, “Focus on the love in your life. If you focus on anything else, you’re not going to survive this.”

To every one who has said they’re praying for me, please know that it’s your love that is my focus through these holy days.

“Nothing tends more to cement the hearts of Christians than praying together. Never do they love one another so well as when they witness the outpouring of each other’s hearts in prayer.” – Charles Finney


Vincent Van Gogh - The Good Samaritan. Vincent Van Gogh was staying in an institution for the mentally ill (following a psychotic break) when he painted this work, in May 1890.



  1. Karen Marmaras

    Rosemary, you are a beautiful, beautiful person.

    I continue to keep you close in prayer and feel confident you will find a way to walk through and with the darkness.

  2. denise pelczarski

    Dear Rosemary:

    I am so glad to read your words again. I know, too well, how painful loss is to go through.

    I will still keep you in my prayers and send good thoughts your way.

    It’s hard to imagine life will get better, but it does just in a new and different way. Your path has changed and it will lead you on a journey that only you can embrace.

    With much love, Denise

  3. Deirdre

    Rosemary, I’m glad you can feel how many people are thinking about you and praying for you.

    It will continue and we will continue to miss you.

    Peace, Deirdre

  4. Bette Dickenson

    It is not easy. I know how hard it is. I’m walking the same path following the loss of my husband of 44 yrs, who died this year also.

    I find that I get through each day, but with him never far from my thoughts.

    I think that is how it is suppose to be when we are lucky enough to find the perfect person for us. With great love, is great loss.

    Now we must find a new way of living. I will and I pray you will too.

  5. Lisa Lapp

    Rosemary, I am so touched by your post. I have been thinking of you often over these past months.

    I pray for your healing heart, and for your safe return to the light of this world. This earth is a challenging, brutal, ludicrous, logical, and beautiful place. You don’t have to leave your sadness behind; it’s okay to bring it along with all else that you are.

    For what it’s worth — I don’t know if this will speak to you, but just in case — here is a song that encouraged me during a dark and difficult passage in my life.

    This link goes to the whole album, which streams for free; the song I want to share with you is on track #3, called “Ode.”

    Sending you hope,


  6. Lynda Shadwick

    While I never posted a comment during your times of deep sadness and grief, I was praying for you.

    I don’t have any wise words to offer, but I will continue to pray.


  7. Edward  'Ed' Latson

    We have good days, some bad days. I’m learning to look at bad times, or even pretty good times, on an hourly basis.

    It’s like this: How was your day yesterday? OK–which is more than acceptable at times–and the late afternoon was darn tough, but the morning was better than some.

    I guess it’s just baby steps. My Bride of 42 years died here at home in April-the 22nd. She died quietly and peacefully—just as she had hoped–and I was the only one with her…again, her wish.

    I was her only caregiver (‘informal caregiver’ in the world of the professionals) for the past 7 of our 42 years. She trusted only me. Every time I would hire or bring a real professional caregiver into the house–they were summarily dismissed…by the Bride.

    I think we had one VNA nurse who miraculously survived here for 5 days….and then asked to not come back…by the Bride.

    ‘Caregiving’ is a full time job for over 50,000,000 of us souls here in the US, and growing.

    I have tried grief counseling and therapy—no luck. I have been blessed to have serendipitously entered something called ‘caregiver counseling’ in June of 2015–and I continue so each and every week.

    I have no answers for you Rosemary…only prayers and more tears. Sometimes I think I’m lucky to have chubby cheeks because they absorb tears so beautifully.
    I think anyone who has had the honor, the pleasure, the joys, the dings and dents, the love and the excitement of knowing, living with, sharing a long career with and playing with a real soulmate is so incredibly blessed.

    Somehow we can go on…inch by inch sometimes, other times the walls slam into our face.

    I sit here in my little home and I marvel at the fury of the wind buffeting the walls of the house, the snow blowing sideways and the steel grey sky pressing down on me…and just as I write this…..the wind has died down; the clouds are breaking and here comes the sun–sneaking a peek–but the sun returns.

    I have no answers at all…but EVERY storm does come to an end. Baby steps, baby steps as I continue thanking God for my beloved –my Bride.

    Be well Rosemary.

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