I’m No Champion

The other night, I accidentally stumbled across a bunch of unread Facebook messages from twenty-two months ago. From when my son died. Most were well-wishes, prayers, a bunch of I-can’t-image-this-happening-to-my-family. One wrote, “You’re experiencing my worst nightmare right now.” Yeah, honey, mine too. Actually, that’s not even true, because I never, ever, ever thought something like this would happen to my family.

A few called for me to step up and be a champion for the anti-bullying brigade.

But I can’t be their champion. First and foremost, I’m not that person who feels a sense of closure or inner peace or whatever from talking about or even thinking about my son. I envy people like that, who can take their tragedy and turn it into a movement or a way to benefit others.

I can’t do it. It may happen someday; who knows. But that day certainly isn’t today, and it was most definitely not in the days immediately following his death. Hell, I was still waiting for him to walk through the door at that point. And for many months after, to be honest.

In addition, these people wanted me to be their champion because they assumed his suicide was a result of bullying. Fair assumption, given bullying is a huge issue in our schools.

But that wasn’t the case, at least, there wasn’t any evidence to suggest that was the cause. There was (post-suicide) evidence of mental illness, though. Although I’m not sure how I could champion the mental illness awareness movement either, since we were completely oblivious to his inner demons until it was far, far too late. Mental illness is most definitely a silent sickness, especially among children and teens, who don’t remotely understand what is going on in their heads and have a hard time talking to adults at all, let alone about these demons that aren’t supposed to be there. And if adults sometimes can’t fight those demons, how the hell does a thirteen year old?

About the only thing I think I might be able to champion—if I had to champion something—is the support network for survivors. The ones left behind when someone dies unexpectedly. But I’m not even sure I could do that very well. Even though I’ve been through it, all I know how to do is say “I’m sorry” and offer hugs and cry with other survivors.

All I can tell you is not to hope and wait for your life to go back to normal, because it won’t. That normal died with your loved one. And like the one you lost, it won’t come back. It can’t, because that normal, that life you had, existed because your loved one was in it. Your best bet is to actively work toward figuring out a new normal and embracing it.

In those first few months after my son’s death, we deliberately did things, chose activities, even dined at restaurants that were different from what we used to do when he was alive. Because every time we did something that was similar to our previous lives, it tore me up inside, reopened those wounds that hadn’t even truly begun to heal. Each moment of my day that followed in a footstep I’d made when my son was alive was a painful, stark reminder of what I’d lost. And when what we did was different, I was able to forget, or at least put it out of my mind. For a little while, anyway.

My other piece of advice: Try like hell not to feel guilty when you realize you’re actually smiling and enjoying life. Although rest assured, those smiles come with a price. At some point your lips will waver and something will trigger a memory or a reminder, and it will hit you that you’re having fun without that loved one and gee, it would be so much better if they were here, enjoying life with the rest of us. You might even let your mind wander down that terrible, terrible path; no, not “what if” but the other one … What Would Life Be Like If My Loved One Were Still Here.

Yeah, that one. It’s a terrible road to travel; I recommend trying like hell to avoid it, even though I know damn well you won’t be able to. It’s okay, just make sure you have tissues nearby. My advice in this situation is to seek out a distraction. Anything, but preferably something funny. Because no good comes of wishing for what cannot ever, ever be.

Trust me.

But here’s the thing: You’re still alive. You’re hurting, grieving, wishing for what you can’t ever get back (I know, despite my advice not to think about it, you will), but you’re still living too. And it’s inevitable that somewhere along the line, somehow, you’re gonna enjoy some aspect of that life. And then you’re going to enjoy a little bit more, and more, and more. And one day, you’re going to think, hey, I’ve gone X number of days without crying. And then you’ll cry, because you feel guilty, because damn it, why should you have fun when your loved one is gone, gone, gone?

You should have fun because you’re still alive, and life is supposed to be fun. It’s also short, as losing a loved one has taught us, so why not carve out whatever enjoyment you can?

Go ahead. You deserve it.

Flannel Sheets & Memories

I changed the sheets today. Not a particularly exciting task, except that as I dug around in the linen cupboard I realized both sets of flannel sheets that fit my bed were in the wash, and the temperature isn’t due to shift above 10 degrees Fahrenheit until some time next year. And yeah, I realize that’s less than a week away but that’s still another five days of frigid weather and me with plain old—cold—linen sheets. And no, I’m not going to change them again once I wash the flannels. Not until the requisite week is up.

I hate changing the sheets.

As if this discovery weren’t bad enough to ruin my evening, I also did something else whilst sifting through the over-stuffed linen cupboard. I pulled out all the twin bed sheet sets and packed them away. Which turned into an act of nostalgia I wasn’t quite prepared for.

You see, my daughter got a new bed for Christmas. She’s been in her twin bed since she was three, and now she’s twelve—and almost five-and-a-half feet tall. She’s not a kid anymore, at least not in stature. And she shares that tiny bed with the dog, who sleeps a lot like I do—stretched from edge to edge with no concern for the other occupant of her sleeping space.

A bigger bed was long overdue.

Which means we no longer have a need for twin sheets. As soon as we haul hers off to Salvation Army, there will be no more twin beds in my household. One more piece of my children’s childhood, gone.

It’s been a while since I’ve had to pack away ‘baby’ stuff. A couple years ago, my daughter went through her room herself and donated all the dolls and various other kiddie stuff to charity. She kept her Legos, the stuffed animals, books, and only a few other playsets. And then last year, a few months after my son died, she and my husband went through the basement and piled all those toys into his truck and handed them over to charity.

So, like I said, this small, seemingly meaningless task hit me harder than expected. Somehow, over the course of my kids’ childhood, we’d managed to procure some pretty darn cute sheets. Flannel, ironically. (But I don’t sleep in a twin bed, so no, they wouldn’t have worked for my purposes.) And they remind me of happy times, when my babies were, well, babies, and flannel sheets with snowmen on them were fun. Back when they liked to snuggle, and I liked to sneak into their bedrooms and watch them sleep.

Back when we believed they both had their whole lives ahead of them.

Now, I only have one, and she’s outgrown these adorable flannel sheets. Hell, she doesn’t like flannel sheets at all, let alone those with cute characters dancing across them.

Tonight, I tucked away another piece of my life, my past, my memories.

~Tami

Ode to a Best Friend

 

It all started in college.

If I recall correctly, we met, or at least spoke, for the first time at a basketball game, our sophomore year at Centenary College of Louisiana. From there, she became my go-to girl, my wingman, my shoulder to cry on, my compatriot to get drunk and laugh with. She has always given the best advice, and insisted upon meeting my husband prior to giving me permission to get serious with him because she knew damn well how lousy I was at picking guys.

She was my roommate. We were each other’s maids of honor. She was my son’s godmother, and the first person I called after he died. When she got the call, she was at a conference in Indianapolis. The next day, she flew home to Dallas, repacked her bag, got back onto a flight to Detroit, all in one day, and was one of the last to leave when all the funeral insanity was over.

This past weekend, she flew back to Detroit and helped me clean out the room. All the way across the country to clean out a thirteen year old’s dusty, unused bedroom. And we did it. We got through it.

I couldn’t have without her. If she hadn’t come up this weekend, the door would still be closed, the room still untouched. Possibly until my own death, or if we ever decided to move. I mean, there are only three of us now, and we have a basement, which is where guests stay when they visit overnight. We certainly don’t need the space.

But it’s done now. Well, not quite. We still have a few small trinkets to determine whether to keep or throw away, and a pile of computer stuff to figure out whether to sell, donate, or recycle. But the clothes, the bed, the book bag, the old toys and books, the random bits of memorabilia; it’s all gone. The room is mostly empty. And the door now stands open, allowing the sunlight to stream into the otherwise dark, interior hall. This was, in truth, my driving force for cleaning it out in the first place. To have sunlight in a dark place.

It was hard, but not as hard as I expected, at least until we got to that top shelf in the closet. The one where he’d stored his newborn baby blanket in a box, intending to give to his own child someday. He was only six when he made that decision.

That shelf was also where I’d stored the boxes of baby memorabilia, including one my bestie had made for me when he was born. And a journal my mom had been keeping, when she babysat him when he was an infant. Literally, day by day notes of his life.

A life gone far too soon.

There was a “Big Brother” T-shirt up there, too. And a teddy bear that was signed by everyone who’d attended my baby shower. I didn’t even open the box full of homemade gifts from daycare and early elementary school. Seeing, touching the blanket was bad enough.

One more milestone, conquered. Yet another I wished I didn’t have to get through; never dreamed I’d have to.

That was the first day of a four-day weekend. After dropping off a truckload of supplies to the local Salvation Army, we put on pajamas and chilled the wine and relaxed with my husband and daughter; let the sadness slowly recede while we enjoyed excellent food, wine, and company. Especially the company.

And then we spent the rest of the weekend playing. My bestie got to see my daughter’s basketball team win. My parents and in-laws got to see my bestie. My daughter spent the night at a friend’s, so we got to “adult” on Saturday evening, which involved a lot of wine and a few other good friends. Before the night was over, we’d concocted a plan for our next get-together.

On Sunday I took her into the city; she’d never been to Detroit before. We negotiated with a parking attendant, ate at a cool, hip restaurant, visited the riverfront, and took pictures with Canada in the background.

And Monday, before I had to take her to the airport and let her return to her own life, we did one of our favorite “together” activities: we had afternoon tea.

While the purpose for the visit was depressing as hell, it was truly one of the best weekends of my life. And it was all because I have such an amazing best friend.

bffs

A Grieving Mother Dreads Christmas Traditions

Today my daughter asked whether we would hang my son’s stocking for Christmas this year. Our first year without him.

My honest answer is, “I don’t want to.” I don’t want the reminder. I do better without the reminders, which makes me feel guilty. But then again, practically everything seems to cause Mom Guilt, so why should it be any different after the kid has died?

I’m dreading Christmas this year. A holiday I normally look forward to with child-like excitement. Of course, all the reasons I once looked forward to it are the exact reasons I dread it now. The decision about the stocking. All those homemade ornaments and decorations. I saved every single one, and once upon a time, it was like, well, Christmas when we pulled the storage bins out of the basement and eagerly sorted through, recalling the when, why, how of each one.

And then there are the ornaments I’ve been collecting for my children since they were born. A new one every year. I wrote their initials and the year it was purchased on the bottom. The plan was to give them each their own ornaments when they got married, so they’d already have a solid start on their first Christmas tree decorations (not my idea – I give my aunt full credit for this ingenious plan).

Now what do I do with the thirteen ornaments with the initials “BCL?” Maybe I’ll offer them to my daughter when she’s an adult, living on her own, with her own tree to decorate. Unlike me, she craves the reminders, the small items that used to be his. She’s clinging to the memories, whereas I just … can’t. They make me cry, and I’m so damn tired of crying. I’m not even sure I can put them on the tree this year. I guess we’ll see, next month. Most likely, I’ll follow her lead on this one. So far, when it comes to this whole grieving process, she’s been so much wiser than me.

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(This year’s ornament – totally perfect for my daughter!)

Let’s not forget the personalized family ornaments. We have a few from before my daughter was born, when our family was three. Most, of course, are noting a family of four. And now we’re back to three. It’s the same as the family portrait dilemma: We haven’t had one done since 2012, yet it doesn’t feel right to ask a professional to snap pics of us now, because someone’s missing. I imagine I’ll skip the personalized family ornament this year.

In an effort to maintain my own sanity, I’ve discovered “new” traditions are the way to go. Every time we do something just like we always have, it makes me sad. When we do new things, try new adventures, I’m able to forget my reality, if only for a short while. I prefer it that way. The hardest part of this, though, is Christmas. It’s such a traditional holiday. And we created those traditions as a family, for a reason, and the idea of giving them up hurts my heart as much as reliving them minus one. I don’t know the right answer. So far, we’ve gone with the flow, let our daughter’s suggestions lead us.

For his birthday a few weeks ago, per her request, we invited the aunts and uncles, cousins, and grandparents, and we all met out at his gravesite. We brought balloons—fourteen blue balloons (his favorite color and the age he would have—should have—been), and we all sang “Happy Birthday” before releasing the balloons. Then everybody headed to our house where we ate and drank and were merry. It was nice. Peaceful, oddly cathartic. Truly, the best option, given the situation.

Despite my emotional state over them, there are a few traditions I cannot let go. This past summer was one of them. Gathering my dad, my siblings and their kids, and all of us spending a week hanging out at the lake. It was hard, because that was arguably my son’s favorite week all year, but it wasn’t fair to everyone else to try to change this tradition. Not to mention, it’s my happy place, too, even without my son.

The other is the annual Christmas morning family picture, although last year, it changed to Christmas Eve evening, because I’m vain and I don’t look pretty in the mornings anymore. Every year since we’ve been married, my husband and I have taken a pic together in front of the Christmas tree, wearing the pajamas Santa always manages to deliver early, on Christmas Eve. Every. Single. Year. Seventeen years. I can’t give that up, and I don’t think my daughter would want me to.

So we’ll do it this year. We’ll go to Christmas Eve church service and we’ll return home, and somehow Santa will have stopped by while we were away, leaving a gift for each of us. Always pajamas. And then we’ll change, put on the new jammies. My husband will start a fire. And we’ll take that pic. We will. There may be tears; they’ll no doubt be mine. But I’ll get through it.

And then we’ll cuddle together on the couch, flip on the television, and we’ll watch Christmas shows. Traditional ones, like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman. How the Grinch Stole Christmas. A Charlie Brown Christmas. Oh, and Santa Claus is Coming to Town.

Then we’ll tuck our daughter into bed, tell her we love her, make sure she and the dog are settled for the night. And when we’re certain she’s asleep, we’ll whip out the presents, stuff the stockings, and … there will probably be more tears.

And then we’ll go to bed and we’ll wake up on Christmas morning, and we’ll revel in her joy, her excitement, all the love and fun that comes with that day, despite the trauma that happened in our lives. Because we’re still here, we’re still alive, and we deserve to carve a bit of happiness out of this life.

Awards & Sexy Shoes

So I won an award. Well, my book, Undercover Heat, won an award. But I had a little something to do with it, so I’m gonna take at least a bit of credit.

Undercover Heat_Cover

Over the course of a long weekend in early October, I attended the InD’Scribe Conference in Burbank, California, which culminated with the awards ceremony and my one, glowing moment in the spotlight.

I’m not gonna lie; it was pretty cool.

I also learned a few things, and I figured I’d share them here, in case you find yourself in a similar situation, and in need of a bit of advice. So here we go…

  1. Shoes are important. Even if you don’t splurge on a ball gown (I didn’t), it’s entirely okay so long as you have a killer pair of red heels. And be sure to call them out on stage. Bonus points if someone special (like your husband) bought them for you.14657304_10154677516811579_1235431519620716481_n
  2. Wine is also important. And expensive, if you buy it at a hotel bar. I recommend finding the nearest liquor store and stowing a few (not mini) bottles in your hotel room. And then hide the wine glasses you stole from the hotel bar in the mini fridge, so the housekeeper doesn’t snag them.
  3. Sleep is important, especially when you’ve travelled through multiple time zones to get to the event. Take one evening off – just not the one of the awards ceremony.
  4. Impromptu speeches are sometimes the best speeches.

This was my first awards ceremony, but not my first conference. I went anticipating meeting new friends, learning new stuff, and generally expecting to have a good time. The awards ceremony wasn’t even on my radar until I was dressing in my little black dress and super sexy red heels. Even then, I felt like I was going to cheer on my friends as they won their awards.

When they announced my name, I was so shocked, everyone laughed at me. (That’s okay, I like it when people laugh.) When I stood in front of the microphone on that stage with three other gorgeous ladies wearing sparkly dresses and great shoes, blinded by a spotlight and realizing I now had to speak, it went something like this…

 

14522990_10154677516896579_4388079647996108205_n“Ohmigod, I can’t believe I’m up here! Is my lipstick okay?”

And then I went on to thank my editor, who had a huge hand in justifying the award for this book. The hero, Quinn, from Undercover Heat was a broken man at the beginning of the book, and after the first round of edits, my editor informed me that he hadn’t grown quite enough to satisfy her need for a happily ever after with two characters who have gone through hell and back to get to each other. It was one of the hardest edits I’ve gone through, which says something because my editor puts me through the wringer every damn time I give her another book.

After a bit of blood, sweat, tears, and a lot of wine, Quinn and Kyra morphed into what they are today–the hero and heroine from an award-winning book–and I give my editor ridiculous amounts of credit.

After profusely expressing that particular gratitude, I went on to thank… everyone. True confession: This event is put on by InD’Tale Magazine, but the conference is called the InD’Scribe. When I turned around to thank TJ, the founder of InD’Tale, I wasn’t sure whether to say “InD’Tale” or “InD’Scribe,” and I was standing in front of an audience with a spotlight in my face… So I panicked and said, “Thank you everyone,” and swept my arm to encompass the entire room. Crisis averted.

And then I ended my off-the-cuff speech with, “Lastly, I’d like to thank my husband for picking out these fabulous red heels.”

That’s right, the hubs got a little kudos, because yeah, he’s got good taste in shoes. A few years ago, we were on our way to who knows where, when I said, “Hey, let’s stop and look for shoes. I need a pair of sensible navy pumps.”

My husband heard, “shoe store.” And while I was off in the corner searching out the boring but necessary shoes, he headed off to the “fun” section. A few moments later, he walked up to me and said, “You should get these.”

I said, “But those aren’t navy. Or sensible.”

“Yeah, but they’re sexy.”

Hard to argue with that logic. So we bought the heels. And if I do say so myself, they go rather nicely with the Rone Award for my contemporary romance, Undercover Heat.

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Who Cries Over Middle School?

It took me a few moments to realize why I was crying on the second day of school. Who cries on the second day of middle school? Hell, most parents don’t cry on the first. Kindergarten, yes. But middle school?

Unfortunately, this situation is anything but normal.

You see, on March 15, 2016, the last time I would ever speak to my son while he was alive, I drove him to school. Middle school. We were in a rush, because he had to be there by 7:15 for jazz band practice, and I was running behind. I pulled up in front of the school and slid the gear into park and said, “Don’t forget to turn in your math homework.”

“Okay.”

“Have a good day. I love you.”

“Love you, too. Bye.”

It was our final goodbye, although I didn’t know it at the time. I cannot tell you how many times since that day I have felt grateful that we weren’t sniping at each other; that I wasn’t upset about something he’d said or done, that he wasn’t mad at me for some parenting thing or another. It had been a normal day, like any other. Until it wasn’t.

Fast-forward five months to today, and we’re rushing to get out the door (largely because my daughter is not and never has been a morning person, one aspect that is 180 degrees different from her brother). As we’re driving down the road, heading to school, she is rearranging the supplies in her backpack while I’m trying to coax her into eating the Pop-Tarts she snagged on the way out the door. I know her; if she doesn’t eat she gets hangry, and they don’t do mid-morning snacks in middle school.

And then we’re at the school, and I’ve pulled up in front and dropped the gear into park. “Have a great day,” I say. “I love you. See you after work.”

“Love you, too. Bye.”

And she’s off, heading toward the building, determined to get to her first class on time. I shift the car into drive and cruise through the parking lot toward the road, and I’m waiting for traffic to clear so I can turn, when the tears start. “Why am I crying?” I say out loud as I dig a tissue out of the console.

That’s when the memory of that day in March hits me.

Other than the first day of school every year, I’ve never driven my daughter to school. She has always taken the bus. I didn’t start driving my son to school until halfway through seventh grade, just a few months before it all ended. He didn’t like his bus driver, and I literally drove past his school every day, so it wasn’t an inconvenience, other than his school started a bit later, so he usually had to wait outside the doors until they would let the students in, because I had to get to work. He insisted he didn’t mind.

Now, my daughter is in a new school, and while it is slightly out of my way to drop her off before heading to work, it’s only a mile or so, and her school starts early, so it works out to be exactly when I would leave for work anyway.

So I get to relive that horrible day in March, every school day, for the foreseeable future. I haven’t told my daughter this, and I don’t plan to (luckily, she doesn’t read my blogs). She doesn’t like it when I cry, so I do my best to hide it from her. My therapist says I shouldn’t, that I should show her it’s okay to cry. But I don’t, because I know how she feels. I hate it when my parents are sad, too. She’s an empathetic girl, almost too much so, and I know my pain causes her pain. Since it’s a pain that will never go away no matter what I do, I see no point in drawing attention to it.

Instead, I’ll tell her I love her every day. And I will strive to never, ever be upset with her when I drop her off for school in the morning.

And I’ll make sure the middle console in my car is stocked with tissues.

 

Tea and Tissues and Middle School

When my children started kindergarten, the principal of their elementary school hosted an event called “Tea and Tissues.” Each year on the first day of school, parents of kindergarteners dropped their kids in their classroom and then made their way to the library, where the principal had coffee and tea and cookies and tiny packages of tissues waiting. She would greet the parents, joke about how hard the first day of school was, and reassure us she would take excellent care of our babies. She then read a book to us, something along the lines of parents letting their children fly free, I think, and then she sent us on our merry way, tears dried, emotions in check, comfortable in the knowledge that even though they were now in someone else’s care, they would be fine, likely blossom even.

I wish middle school had “Tea and Tissues.”

Today is the day. Monday, August 22, 2016. My daughter’s first day of school. First day of middle school. First day at a new school, in a new school system. First time she’s gone back to school before Labor Day. First time she’s gone back… alone. As the only one. First time she’s been the first to experience something.

That’s a lot of firsts. And I’m a hot mess because of it.

Will she like her new school? Will the other kids like her? Will she make new friends? Will she find her classrooms? Will someone help her figure things out? Will she remember she has lunch money in her backpack? Is her uniform correct? Did we buy the right shoes? The right supplies? Did will complete the mounds of paperwork correctly?

Will any of these kids, these new classmates know what happened back in March? Will they remind her, ask her about it? This is what we are trying to avoid by sending her to a new school.

Almost as bad, though, will they have no idea and say unintentionally hurtful things, about suicide, brothers, life?

I dropped her off this morning, both of us nervous, but her fairing much better than me. After she waved and walked into the gym to join her classmates for the first assembly of the year, I walked out to my car and sat in the parking lot and cried. Luckily, I’d parked far out, so there wasn’t much foot traffic, many people to give me curious looks. Although few of these people know me yet, so perhaps they assumed my child was a kindergartener, and I was sending her off to school for the first time ever.

Now I’m back home, and it’s time to start the workday. There is nothing I can do for the next seven hours except worry. And wait. I won’t know anything until two-thirty this afternoon, when I pick her up from her first day of middle school.

I think I need some tea. And more tissues.

 

The Truth About Elementary School Graduation

It’s official. My daughter has graduated from elementary school and will move on to middle school in the fall. The hoopla is over. The excitement, the thrill, the celebration….

The sadness. The marrow deep, incredibly-painful sadness.

It’s been a rough couple of weeks. And I’ll be honest: the anticipation was worse than the actual events. Which, I suppose, is probably best. It allowed me (us) to enjoy what is supposed to be a joyful, celebratory moment in life.

But yeah, a week ago, I wasn’t feeling particularly celebratory, and neither was the almost-middle schooler. For obvious, and maybe not so obvious reasons.

On the surface, it’s scary, right? Leaving the security of elementary school, all the teachers and the principal and the friends you’ve known for practically your whole life. Because even though most of you are probably going to the same school next year, it’s a big, giant school and the likelihood of you all being in the same classes—or even the same lunch period—are pretty damn slim.

It’s something new, something different. Growing up. Changing classes every fifty-five minutes. Puberty. Crushes. Fitting in. Caring about what you wear—what others wear or do or say. It’s a whole new world.

Yeah, on the surface, the transition from elementary school is huge, and scary, and exciting and so many conflicting emotions all wrapped up in an utterly un-tidy bundle.

And that’s for the “typical” elementary school graduate.

Now, let’s add the fact that your older brother passed away three months ago. And said older brother was in middle school. And you’ve lived in his shadow for your entire life, which, frankly, you were okay with, because you knew no different. In fact, you kinda liked not being in the spotlight.

And let’s add to that the fact that your parents panicked over your brother’s death and enrolled you in an entirely different school from the one he had been attending—the one you expected to go to—the one “all” your friends are attending.

And let’s layer that with your own grief, and the fact that you are not even remotely over your brother’s death—not that you ever will be—but you haven’t fully grieved, haven’t fully accepted the fact that he’s gone, really, truly, forever gone. And now you have no one’s shadow to hide in, and now you are the center of attention. Everyone’s paying attention to you, watching your every move, analyzing, agonizing, worrying, stressing—and telling you how awesome and amazing you are for the way you’ve “dealt with” your tragic loss.

So now you feel like you have to be perfect, and not cry, and not act out, and not… be yourself. Because suddenly you don’t even know who the hell you are, because you’ve lost an incredibly important aspect of you, and you have no idea how to deal or fix or move on or whatever the hell you’re supposed to do when someone you hold dear dies.

Yeah, that transition from elementary school to middle school sucks, doesn’t it?

 

 

Tami Lund Headshot 2014

 

Tami Lund writes romance, drinks wine, and occasionally writes emotionally-stark blog posts.

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Delicious Deception is part of a collection of seven tasty reads – all having to do with cooking… And romance. Oh, and the entire boxed set is less than a buck!

Appetite For Love_Crimson Cover

 

How about those Boys in Blue? Undercover Heat is part of a sexy box set that released in January 2016. And all those hot cop romances are less than a buck – total. Yeah, grab the handcuffs and get to reading!

Boys in Blue Cover_Updated

 

Naked Truth is part of a box set, too. Love in Disguise, five undercover romances, all guaranteed to curl your toes.

Love in Disguise Cover

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