Worth a thousand words: Announcing Jakob’s Legacy, a space for stories in pictures.

This is a photo of my grandma, Mary, my grandpa, Joe, and my dad, the tiny one they obviously adore. Don’t you just love their smiles, the way Mary seems to be glancing over at Joe, how they look like the quintessential 1940’s family? The sun is shining, the day must be tolerably warm by the looks of the clothes they’re wearing. And best of all, there’s joy…the joy of youth and marriage and parenting.
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If you haven’t heard by now, my new release, Then Sings My Soul, is about a 94-year-old man, Jakob, whose health and mentation are declining rapidly after the sudden loss of his wife. Jakob’s daughter, Nel, is 43 and trying to navigate her own life and losses while at the same time care for her father.

I’ve seen this scenario played out hundreds of times in hundreds of ways throughout my over two decades as a registered nurse. I never get over the stories behind the health care crises, the stories of the elderly patients and their kin.

As such, I wanted to do something special, something unique for readers of Then Sings My Soul. I wanted to create a space where folks could come and post pictures of their loved ones, tell their stories, comment and talk to each other about their experiences caring for family and/or friends in declining health.

And so, I created a page on Facebook called Jakob’s Legacy. Named after the main character in Then Sings My Soul, the page is a place for anyone to come post stories and photos and “talk.” Go ahead and click on over and take a look. I’ve posted the first couple of pictures. I hope you’ll post one soon, too.


Proverbs 20:29 (NLT) says, “The glory of the young is their strength;
the gray hair of experience is the splendor of the old.”

Young or old, the lives of our loved ones matter–even if they’ve forgotten much of the memories themselves. While dementia and Alzheimer’s can rob a person of much, it can’t take away the truth of who they are and the legacy of those who love them.

Here’s a photo of me and Grandpa Joe at my wedding in 1995. Grandma Mary had passed over a decade prior, but Joe talked about her like she was still his blushing bride until the day he died, on February 13, 2012. I like to say he wanted to get to Heaven for Valentine’s Day to kiss Grandma good!
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Come join in the hope of Jakob’s Legacy. Post your photos of loved ones. Be blessed by each other’s stories. Spread the word about the site. Spread the hope of the magic of story.

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bare footed on the sand. a poem.

My second novel, Then Sings My Soul, released in stores and online yesterday. The story is about a man at the end of his life and his daughter struggling to care for him, the two of them also struggling to make sense of the pain and shame in their lives. There’s a lot happening over on my Facebook page surrounding the release, including reviews and articles and such. So today, here on my blog, I thought I’d just share a few simple thoughts in a poem about the themes in this story, a story for anyone looking for hope in the midst of hard stuff, as well as wondering where is God in the midst of our stories.

On a related note, you might also want to catch might my new article in MTL Magazine about the plight of the aging and why it matters.

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What’s a life
anyway, besides a
skip, a stone smoothed
by the waters until
someone picks it up
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pebbles balanced
precarious on top of time
teetering against the tides that
come in and go out again and
we’re left
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squinting at the sunset wondering
where did the day go
how did evening settle
upon our bones
wearied without warning
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and finally we step bare
footed on the sand and realize we are
each of us
a grain
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mourning dove. a poem for the martyrs.

your cry cut through the empty
black morning, shuffling on
into another long day of wondering where
in the world is the hope?
surely even you had pounded your weary
wings against the hard cold, fleeing
from winter. but just when I wasn’t listening
i heard your lonely keen
a refrain I hardly realized I’d yearned for
until i heard you singing
again

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“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 8:38-39 ESV

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*dedicated to the Coptic Christians and martyrs everywhere, and that each of us would be so brave when our time to stand for The Cross Draws nigh*