How to Grieve While LOL a novel by Josie Roed


To me blogging is like writing a letter or writing in a journal.  You write about something you are passionate about or share information you hope is helpful to someone else. These days I am walking around in a fog because on January 17, 2014 my husband Jerome K. (Jerry) Roed passed away suddenly.  I feel like I am on an emotional roller coaster most days. There are days when I am happy – there are days when I will think of something funny Jerry would say and it will make me laugh and cry at the same time.  I call this grieving while LOL.  The emotional triggers, now that is another story I will talk about some other time.

I find that cooking for one person is not the same as sharing a homemade meal (and a great bottle of wine) with someone you love.  Since I am having such a difficult time going into my kitchen and cooking, I decided to write about cooking and Jerry.  I will be sharing some of Jerry’s favorite recipes and he loved everything I put on his plate.  I will also share some of our memories.  I know my passion for cooking will come back one of these days and I also know that Jerry’s spirit will be with me on that day.

Jerome K. (Jerry) Roed  Sunrise Date 5-2-46 Sunset Date 1-17-14 Rest in God's Peace my Love.

Jerome K. (Jerry) Roed
Sunrise Date 5-2-46
Sunset Date 1-17-14
Rest in God’s Peace my Love

The Roed's

The Roed’s


The start of my life with Jerome K. (Jerry) Roed, the love of my life

I heard the most amazing statement awhile back it said, “Why do we get married? So we will have someone to witness our lives.”  What a great statement and so profound. I have since etched it in my memory bank of great statements to remember.

I am so thankful to GOD that I was able to witness part of the amazing life of my loving husband, Jerome K. Roed.  Jerry, as he was known to all that loved him was a quiet unassuming Christian man.  He was so laid back with the funniest dry sense of humor that made me laugh out loud all the time.  It didn’t matter where we were if Jerry had something funny to say we would just say it.  We giggled a lot in church. Jerry would whisper something under his breath that would crack me up and he would sit there with a very serious face while I would giggle uncontrollably behind my hand (or my church bulletin) so no-one would see me giggling.  Thank goodness I wear large hats to church.  Hats are a great way to hide your face when your husband makes you laugh when you’re not supposed to!  We enjoyed our life together and always talked and laughed about some of the adventures of our early days of dating. Some of our adventures I will share and some will stay in my heart for safe keeping.

I lived on the other side of town from where Jerry lived.  We used to call my place “the weekend house.”  We had some great times at our weekend house to include; planning our life together, non-stop conversations about the gaming industry, amazing dinners for two, lots of romantic evenings enjoying great jazz music and expensive wine. We talked about our respective kids; Jerry has a son and a daughter and I have a son and a daughter.  We had no kids together but that was totally ok with us considering our mature ages at the time we found each other. I give ALL thanks to GOD for helping us find each other. Although at first I had my doubts about GOD’s plan to put two of the most unlikely people together.  In looking back I am so thankful and grateful HE did put us together because I witnessed part of the amazing life of a man known as Jerome (Jerry) K. Roed.

Our first meeting

I wish I could say that Jerry and I were a match made in heaven.  Actually, that was the furthest thing from the truth.  The truth is when I first met Jerry I didn’t like him at all.  At the time of our first meeting, I was working for a manufacturing company, Sunkist Graphics, Inc.  They produced and sold slot machine glass to the Las Vegas casinos as well as other casinos throughout the country.  Our first meeting took place at the casino where Jerry worked as a Slot Director.  There he was sitting behind this great big old oak desk in an office that smelled like way too many cigars and stale cigarettes. The only thing that impressed me about this unassuming man was he was very well dressed in a tailored double breasted suit that made him look even more intimidating. He had a look of self-assurance, class and charisma that made him look larger than he was. Jerry was smoking a Black & Mild cigar when we walked into his office which he didn’t bother to put out.  I noticed he puffed harder and blew so much smoke up in the air I remember thinking, “how can this one man produce so much smoke.  I wonder how his food tasted after he finished smoking a cigar.” Brian, the other Account Executive from Sunkist Graphics was taking me around town and introducing me to my casino customers.  Brian and Jerry knew each other well so they spent most of the time chatting about things in the gaming industry; people of interest in gaming, slot machine glass, faceplates, slot machine toppers, slot tickets, slot machine payouts, and who had the best player’s club promotions.  Listening to all this information was totally new to me so I just sat there, nodded my head, smiled a little and tried to play like I understood what they were talking about.  I was new to the gaming industry so all this talk about slot machines, faceplates and slot machine toppers sounded like another language to me.

Brian and I sat in Jerry’s office what seemed like for hours.  I was starting to feel the effects of the cigar smoke and the heat in Jerry’s office and was thinking to myself, “Come on Brian, enough already with this meeting – let’s move along to the next casino.”  I guess Jerry was thinking the same thing. He started looking down at his watch, fidgeting with his tie and this darn toy cannon that was cleverly placed in the center of his desk.  I thought Jerry was starting to look annoyed that we had invaded his smoke filled office.  After an half hour or so listening to these two men talk about totally useless information as far as I was concerned, Jerry did the most annoying thing I have ever witnessed.  He was now aiming that darn toy cannon in MY direction.  I thought, “The nerve of this arrogant man.  Why didn’t he point that dang toy cannon in Brian’s direction?  He deliberately pointed that cannon at me.”  Now I’m getting a little irritated and gave Brian the signal to wrap up our meeting with this annoying man.  We all stood up. Brian and Jerry shook hands, I looked at him with an evil eye and a half smile then I said, “It was a pleasure meeting you Jerry Roed. Looking forward to working with you.”  What I was really thinking as I walked out of that smoke filled office was, “This guy is going to be a pain-in-the-butt to deal with.  I wonder if I could talk Brian into keeping this account.”

Later that afternoon I asked Brian if he wanted to keep Jerry’s account and he said no.  He also said, “Jerry Roed is alright he’s just a little intense and he is ALL business. He is really easy to work with.” Somehow, I found that hard to believe about Jerry Roed the Slot Director.   I expressed my irritation about the cannon pointed at me for the last half of our meeting and Brian laughed out loud and said, “Oh that’s just Jerry Roed he is harmless and he likes to mess with his sales people. That cannon usually gets a rise out of most sales people ha-ha.”  Now I’m thinking, “This arrogant man don’t know who he is messing with – I’ll show him next time.  If he can dish it out then so will I.”  I’m beginning to think Brian and Jerry Roed are in cahoots (with a bet on the side) to see how long Josie, the new Account Executive from Sunkist Graphics will last dealing with “The Great Jerry Roed, Slot Director.”   Note to Josie – put on your boxing gloves when you call on this account next time – it’s on……


My first working project with Jerry Roed the Slot Director

After several months of training with my boss Erik Black and working with the casino slot directors and slot technicians, I was beginning to really understand the gaming industry.  To my surprise, Jerry Roed had a wealth of knowledge in the gaming industry and offered some very helpful information along the way.  The casino where Jerry worked was making some changes to their floor.  The one floor change project that stands out in my mind was the project of changing their faceplates.  A slot machine faceplate is the piece of vinyl that goes across the front of all slot machines.  The faceplate will have all the messages e.g. “insert money here” or it would tell you the dollar denominations accepted by the machine etc. I knew this was going to be a big project and I was looking forward to my sales commission that would come with this project.

I had spoken to Jerry a couple of days prior to our meeting.  We were talking about his faceplate order and all the information the casino wanted on their faceplates.  I made an appointment with Jerry.  I would stop by the casino and measure the existing faceplates. I asked him to give me a sample faceplate to take back to my production department so they could make a template of it.  Jerry agreed to give Sunkist Graphics a sample faceplate.  He said it would be ok to stop by and take any measurements I needed.  Ok so far……. this was going really great or so I thought.

A couple of days later, I stopped by the casino and as always Jerry was sitting behind his big oak desk smoking a cigar and blowing a tremendous amount of smoke into the air. I told him I was going to start taking some measurements and I would check back with him when I was finished.  He said, “Ok I’ll talk to you in a bit kiddo.”  So I left his office, headed to the casino floor and started taking my measurements.  All was going well until a very serious looking security guard stopped by and said, “Excuse me Miss, may I ask what you are doing?” I said, “I was the Account Executive from Sunkist Graphics and I was there to take measurements of their machines and faceplates.” The security guard then asked me if I had authorization to do that. I proceeded to tell him, “I was working with the Slot Director, Jerry Roed and he gave me authorization to take all the measurements I needed for this project.” The security guard said, “Ok if you have authorization from Jerry Roed then it must be ok.  I will check in with Jerry no worries Miss.” So I continued on and kept taking my faceplates measurements.  All was going well until the SECOND security guard showed up.  He said, “Excuse me Miss, what are you doing and who are you with?”  I replied as before.  I said, “I am the Account Executive from Sunkist Graphics the manufacturing company that will be producing the faceplates for this casino and I have authorization from Jerry Roed, your Slot Director to take all the measurements I needed.” I thought, “Two security guards asking me the same damn question – don’t these guys talk to each other? Surely they have a radio dispatchers who can verify information and transmits that information to everyone.”  After the second security guard left I proceeded with my task – measuring slot machines for their new faceplates.  By now I am feeling somewhat annoyed by all the unnecessary attention by the casino security guards. I remember thinking to myself, “They are just doing their job Josie don’t take it personally.”  I continued taking my measurements.  Everything was going well until the THIRD security guard showed up and asked me the same question the previous security guards had asked.  He said, “Excuse me Miss – (by now I am really starting to hate that word MISS) may I asked what you are doing?” I wanted to scream at him and say, “Don’t you guys talk to each other….why do you guys keep asking me the same dumb question?” What I actually said to him as nicely as I could, “I have authorization from Jerry Roed, your Slot Director to take all the measurements I needed for this project.  Why don’t we go to Jerry’s office so you can hear that information from him?”  The security guard said, “Ok Miss, let’s go do that.”  So I packed up my briefcase, with my note pad, order forms, tape measure, pens, and pencils and headed to Jerry’s office with the THIRD security guard in tow.  We walked into Jerry’s office and there he was sitting behind that big oak desk smoking another cigar and chuckling with the two security guards that had hassled me not more than 20 minutes prior.  They were having the best laugh ON ME!  Here’s the real story…………Jerry had orchestrated the whole scene with the security guards and thought it would be fun to get a rise out of the new account executive and see how frazzled I would get after being confronted by THREE very large security guards.  Everyone was laughing out loud.  I was not laughing as a matter of fact I was pissed with Jerry Roed the Slot Director.  I don’t think I spoke to him for a couple of weeks after that.  My goal was to complete this project, get my commission check and forget about this arrogant man known as Jerry Roed, the annoying Slot Director!  Maybe his future projects could be handled over the phone – that way I would not have to meet with him ever again in person.  GOD has a funny sense of humor because that was NOT his plan for me and Jerry Roed, the annoying Slot Director

GOD’s Master Plan

I am really getting into my new gaming career and enjoyed working with all my new casino customers including – Jerry Roed the Slot Director.  After that last “prank” he played on me, we had a serious discussion about future pranks.  I made him promise no more pranks or jokes on the new account executive and he agreed. By now Jerry was planning another casino floor change.  They were resurfacing all of their overhead signs. Jerry asked me to work up a quote for 4 very large overhead signs.  I explained that I would have to send one of my technical guys over to take measurements of all the signs.  I said, “After I get the measurements I would be happy to work up a quote for you Jerry.” A couple of days later I faxed Jerry an estimated quote for resurfacing the overhead signs.  In the past months, Jerry would call and setup a meeting to discuss various projects.  He would request a quote and he would always follow up with a phone call letting me know he received my quote and, that he would get back to me after the quote was approved.  This particular time he did not follow up with a phone call.  I called his office several times, left him a message and sent him a fax.  Still no response from Jerry.  I thought this was really odd because Jerry Roed was not like the other slot directors that would NOT return calls because they were way too busy.  Jerry Roed ALWAYS returned a phone call.  One week passed by then two weeks passed.  At the beginning of the third week, I received a phone call from Jerry.  He said, “Sorry for not getting back to you sooner.  My wife passed away a week ago.”  I offered him my sincere condolences and said, “I will call you in a week or so to setup an appointment to go over your sign quote.”  Jerry replied, “Ok that would be fine.” So I marked the date in my day timer and went about my daily business.  I was extremely busy that week so it went by really fast.

Today was the date marked in my day timer to meet with Jerry Roed.  When I walked in, I noticed his office was not as smoky and he seemed more laid back than he had been in previous meetings.  I walked into his office extended my right hand and shook his hand firmly.  I asked, “How are you getting along these days Jerry?”  He replied, “I’m getting along fine, there was a mountain of paperwork sitting on my desk when I got back other than that I’m good.” I took out the copy of his quote and production work sheet. We discussed every line of the quote and when Jerry was satisfied that his signs would be produced according to the casino’s specifications, he asked me several more questions about; the turn-around time for all the signs, when his technicians needed to take down the old signs and when Sunkist Graphics technicians would be hanging the new signs.  I answered all of Jerry’s questions, asked him to sign my copy of the quote, we shook hands again then I got up and left.  Once again I was happy to have sealed another big deal and started thinking (and smiling) about my commission check.  I remember thanking GOD for another big commission check.  Jerry’s signs were delivered on schedule and they were hung throughout the casino for all of the customers to see.  I must admit they looked awesome!

A few months later I was listening to the jazz station 105.7 “the Oasis” the local jazz station in Las Vegas at the time.  I listened to 105.7 at home all the time and while I drove around town on sales calls.  This particular morning I was working from home returning sales calls and setting up appointments for later that day.  I remember sitting at my dining room table drinking a cup of coffee and listening to 105.7 when the DJ announced, “I have a pair of tickets for the 10th caller for the Rick Braun and Richard Elliott jazz concert out at Spring Mountain Ranch.” I almost dropped the cup of coffee out of my hand because I jumped up so fast grabbed my phone and started frantically dialing the number to radio station.  You can imagine my excitement when the DJ answered the phone and said, “Congratulations, you are my 10th caller.”  I jumped up and down and was screaming at the top of my lungs.  I bet the DJ had to hold the phone receiver away from his ear.  After I finally settled down, the DJ asked me for my name and phone number.  He said, “Someone will call you shortly with more details.”  I was feeling pretty good right about now.  So I finished getting ready, packed up my briefcase, grabbed my purse and I left for work.  I jumped into my car, turned my radio up louder, thanked GOD again for my good fortune and smiled all the way to work. When I arrived, I told everybody in the office about my winning two tickets for a jazz concert and of course I had several people offer to escort me.  I laughed and said, “Thanks but I have a date already.”  Ok, so I told a little white lie.  The reality of it was I did NOT have a date so my smile slowly started to turn to a frown.  Now I’m thinking, “Who in the heck will I asked to go to this jazz concert with me?”  That was my big question of the day.  I was going through my messages, emails and faxes.  I had a ton of paperwork to file and several orders to enter into the computer – that is why I was in the office on this day.

So here I am filing my work orders, listening to 105.7 and thinking about a date for the jazz concert when all of a sudden I ran across the order for the casino where Jerry Roed worked.  I thought to myself, “Josie, why don’t you call Jerry Roed and ask him if he would like to join you.”  I almost talked myself out of it because I thought, “Josie this might be inappropriate and very unprofessional asking a customer out.”  Then I said to myself, “Well Josie it’s not like a date or anything like that.  Maybe this man needs to get out and take his mind off of things.”  I thought about it for a few days then I got up the courage to call Jerry and asked the question.  I dialed Jerry’s office number twice both times I hung up BEFORE he answered.  The third time I let the phone ring and he answered, “Slot Department, this is Jerry.”  I could feel the lump swelling up in my throat then I said, “Hi this is Josie from Sunkist Graphics. How ya doing?”  Jerry replied, “Oh hi there, I’m fine how about yourself?”  We spoke for a few minutes then I cleared my throat and said, “Jerry, I have something to ask you and if you think this question is inappropriate you will not hurt my feelings by saying no.”  I proceeded to tell him how I had won a pair of tickets to a jazz concert at Spring Mountain Ranch.  Then I asked, “Would you like to join me?”  To my surprise he immediately answered, “YES, I would love to go when it is?”  I gave him the date and I could hear him turning the pages in his appointment book and he said, “Yeah that date looks open, where do you want to meet?” I said, “I’m not sure because I had never been to an event at Spring Mountain Ranch before.”  Jerry said, “I know where it is.” Then he said, “Why don’t we meet up at Suncoast Casino in Summerlin.”  I agreed and we confirmed a time and a place for the meeting. Now I have a date for a great jazz concert.  My prayer………………….I sure hopes this man likes jazz!

It’s Friday night –night of the jazz concert and I was super excited.  I thought, “If this man doesn’t like jazz, then it’s going to be a long boring evening for HIM.”  The jazz concert was amazing and to my surprise Jerry really enjoyed it. We talked about both artist all the way back to town.  We laughed at the funny story Richard Elliott told us about his backup singers.  The drive back to town was very relaxing.  Jerry was driving this convertible car that was a bright orange/red color.  I remember thinking, “surely this is not Jerry’s car.”  I couldn’t imagine a man picking out that particular color for a car!  Afterwards, Jerry suggested we stop for a night cap on the way back to town.  I said, “Sure that sounds great.”  He drove me back to my car (at the Suncoast Casino) and said, “Follow me, I know this great place not too far from here.” We arrived at Chicago Brewery sat down at the bar, Jerry ordered a beer and I ordered a glass of white wine.  I had to chuckle to myself because we were at a micro-brewery where they made their own beer and here’s Josie ordering a glass of white wine……seriously!

Jerry and I talked for hours about people in the gaming industry, faceplates, gaming analysis, win per units, cash payouts, and he told me he had paid out Megabucks three times in his gaming career.  In case you don’t know, Megabucks machines are connected in every casino in Las Vegas.  When Megabucks hit, it resets to ten million dollars.  It is every person’s dream in Las Vegas to hit the Megabucks jackpot. Here I was sitting next to a Las Vegas Slot Director who has paid out the Megabucks jackpot three times…..WOW!  I loved the funny stories Jerry told me about all the jackpot winners. I found Jerry’s stories to be very interesting.  Even back in the early days of our developing friendship he could make me laugh out loud.  Later into the evening he started telling me about his love for music.  Jerry talked about the band he played in for years and how much he enjoyed playing in bars and night clubs.  Jerry also told me how he paid for his first car in full with his nightclub earnings. Each night club story was funnier than the first.  I must admit I truly enjoyed my evening with Jerry Roed.  Believe it or not, I found Jerry to be quite charming and a true gentleman.  I told him how I tried to give his account back to Brian and he laughed and said, “Aww come on I wasn’t that bad was I?”  I said, “YES, you were that bad…”  We ended our evening together 4 hours later.  Jerry thanked me for the invite.  We shook hands softly, said our good-byes and went our separate ways.  I drove home with a smile on my face and thought about the great evening I had with Jerry Roed……. the Slot Director.

A few weeks passed by.  I was starting to get busy with casino slot machine glass orders and was loving my job.  It was starting to cool off from the triple digits of the summer.  I was looking forward to some cooler weather and, not having to drive around town in my car that never seemed to cool off enough in between appointments.  On this particular day (Monday) my cell phone started to ring.  I answered, “Hello this is Josie.”  The caller said, “Hello Josie, this is Jerry Roed.  How are ya?”  My heart skipped a beat and I said as calmly as I could, “Oh hi there, I’m fine how about you?”  He then asked if I was free for dinner on Friday night.  He said, “This is my thank you for the jazz concert invite.” I smiled really big and said, “Sure, dinner on Friday would be great.  Where would you like to meet?” Jerry said, “It doesn’t matter to me, just some place convenient for you.”  I said, “How about Memphis Barbecue because I have a late appointment not too far from there Friday afternoon.”  We set a time for our second meeting.  I received Jerry’s call on Monday.  I remember thinking, “Is it Friday yet?” Yes, I was looking forward to our second meeting.

I arrived on time and Jerry was sitting at the bar having a beer.  I sat next to him and thought, “Boy he looks sharp in that double breasted suit.”  He had taken off the tie which made him look even more dashing.  We were seated in a booth, ordered our food, he ordered another beer and another glass of white wine for me.  For dinner I ordered a plate of baby back ribs with all the tasty side dishes.  In thinking back, I realized that probably wasn’t the best dinner choice – being as I had to eat with my fingers at times. Jerry ordered a pulled pork sandwich with all the sides.  We ate, talked non-stop and ordered another round of drinks.  Several hours went by so fast and now it was time to say good night again.  Jerry walked me to my car, I fiddled around my purse for my car keys and when I put the keys in the door, I turned around and said, “Thanks for dinner.”  Jerry said, “Thanks for joining me.”  This time we hugged for a minute and it felt great.  I thought to myself, “Could this be the first of MANY dates and does GOD have a master plan for me and Jerry Roed?”

I had prayed to GOD to put someone in my life of HIS choosing. When I received the second dinner invite from Jerry, I knew this was all part of GOD’s master plan.  We met at the same place because it was convenient and we both liked the food.  As before I arrived on time and Jerry was sitting at the bar having a beer.  I sat on the stool next to him and he ordered me a glass of white wine.  We were seated in a booth, ordered our food, talked for hours and ordered several more rounds of drinks.  As before Jerry walked me to my car, I fiddled around my purse for my keys and turned to say good-bye.  This time we hugged a little bit longer, I kissed him on the cheek, we hugged again and he said, “Let’s do this again SOON” and I said, “I would love to do this again SOON.”  I got into my car started the engine and watched Jerry get into his car I waved good bye and smiled really big.  I thanked GOD all the way home!

After a few months of lunch and dinner dates, Jerry and I were now “officially dating.”  We spent every evening together except for Wednesday.  After a few months of seeing each other every evening except Wednesday, I got up enough nerve and asked Jerry what he does on Wednesday night.  He said, “Oh that’s the night I have choir rehearsal at church.”  I started to think to myself, “This guy has another girlfriend and he’s trying to make me believe he was a choir director for a church – give me a break! That was the lamest thing I had ever heard.  This man did not strike me as the type of man that directed a church choir.  He was a cigar smoking-beer drinking-slot director that enjoyed beating up on all the sales people that walked into his smoked-filled office.  I decided to go along with his little charade.

On Tuesday the following week, we were having dinner and he asked me if I would like to join him on Wednesday for choir rehearsal.  I thought, “Oh my word, this man is good with his little charade game – maybe I will call his bluff and accept the invitation – now we will put an end to this charade and probably our new relationship.” The next night, Wednesday, we met for an early dinner with no drinks because he had choir rehearsal.  We talked while we waited for our dinner.  Our dinner arrived I noticed Jerry ate a little faster this time and kept looking at his watch.  We finished our dinner and took his car, left mine at the restaurant and off to church we went.  I remember thinking, “He is probably going to get half way to the church then turn around and say something stupid like, I’m sorry for this charade – I have another girlfriend.” To my surprise, that didn’t happen.  Here we were now pulling up in front of First Good Shepherd Lutheran Church.  Jerry got out of the car, we walked up to the door, and he took church keys out of his pocket and opened the door.  We walked into the church and there sat the choir members waiting for the choir director!  One of the choir members asked, “So Jerry, who’s your new friend?” he replied, “This is my friend Josie – ok now let’s get started.”

Now I’m feeling really silly and a little embarrassed for thinking Jerry had another girlfriend.  This too was all part of GOD’s master plan…….”Trusting in HIM with all your heart.” ……………….

Let’s do that hitched thing!

We were on our way to a church member’s house for an afternoon birthday party. I remember it was a beautiful sunny Saturday afternoon.  We were driving and chatting non-stop as always when Jerry said the funniest thing ever.  Jerry was a man of few words.  He wasn’t the type of man that would get all syrupy sweet when he would asked me things.  He would get right to the point and just say it.  So we’re driving, listening to the jazz station that had brought us together a year prior, when he asked me this odd question.  He said in his Jerry Roed-laid back-soft voice, “Hey do you want to do that…. you know, that hitched thing?” I turned and looked at him because I wasn’t quite sure what he was asking me.  I thought to myself, “Is he asking me what I think he’s asking me?” So I said, “Baby, is this your way of proposing to me?” We both started laughing and I grabbed his right hand and squeezed it tight, I started to get all warm and fuzzy inside, smiled as big as I possibly could and said, “YES, let’s do that hitched thing!” We continued on to the party and I must admit I was feeling pretty darn good when we arrived and we truly enjoyed the party and our secret!  GOD’s master plan worked without a “hitch” and I was looking forward to becoming Mrs. Jerome K. Roed.  Thank you GOD for being in full control and bringing Jerry and I together.

Time to start planning our wedding day!

The dating was the easy part now it’s time to plan some sort of wedding ceremony.  We had just purchase our townhome so we didn’t want to spend a ton of money on a wedding.  We started looking at our day planners and tried to nail down a wedding date that would not interfere with choir or our respective work activities.  Jerry was still a Slot Director at the casino where we met and taking time off from the casino was almost impossible.  We wanted to keep our wedding ceremony simple; Justice of the Peace with just the immediate family (our kids), a few close business associates and Pastor Mech from our church. Speaking of Pastor Mech, after Jerry and I were married and all settled into our new home, we had Pastor over for dinner.  During dinner Pastor Mech said, “It’s about time you two got married because you were not good at hiding your feelings for one another!”  We had a good laugh and enjoyed our dinner.  That was the first of many great dinner parties with Pastor Greg and Karen Mech.

Jerry and I were having trouble nailing down a wedding date.  We were having dinner one night when Jerry suggested we get married on December 7th.  he said, “That way I wouldn’t forget our anniversary.”  I looked at him with a raised eyebrow and said, “December 7th are you kidding? Pearl Harbor was attacked on that day.  Why would you want to get married on that day?” He looked at me with that Jerry Roed mischievous smile and said, “if not December 7th how about December 25th that way I only have to buy one big gift!” Then he started to laugh out loud.  I on the other hand was not laughing at all and that made Jerry laugh even harder.  What a brat I thought, “You’re not getting off that easy buddy with trying to remember our wedding anniversary.” Jerry then asked, “How about Halloween, October 31st or Thanksgiving Day?”  We finally decided on a date that we both could live with and remember!

A couple of weeks later, I made the mistake and told one of my sisters about my upcoming wedding day.  Before I realized it, my sister was talking about all the relatives we should invite, hotel room accommodations for all the out-of-town guess etc. My mind was spinning out of control then I thought to myself, “Why in the heck did I mention anything to my sister? Bad idea.” So that night over dinner I told Jerry about the conversation I had with my sister.  He said, “We really don’t want to big overpriced wedding do we?”  I said, “Of course not.  I would much rather put money into our new home end of story.”  We made a decision at that moment.  We decided to go to one of those wedding chapels downtown and just do “that hitched thing” as Jerry had referred to it.  This was around mid-September.  On September 26, 2002, Jerry and I went out to dinner. After dinner we stopped by JC Penney’s and purchased our wedding rings.  We drove downtown, stopped by the courthouse and picked up our wedding license then off we went looking for a wedding chapel. We were heading up Las Vegas Boulevard when this cute wedding chapel jumped out at us.  We laughed out loud and said, “Let’s do this one.”  Jerry quickly made a U-turn, we pulled into the drive-thru at The Little White Wedding Chapel of Love on Las Vegas Boulevard.  While seated in our car with the motor running, the guy was literally leaning out the window (of the drive-thru) and was reading Jerry his wedding vows.  He asked Jerry to repeat after him. Jerry repeated his vows and said, “I do.”  Then it was my turn and I could see Jerry giggling as the guy was reading me my wedding vows.  We were giggling like two teenagers on a first date all through the ceremony. We were laughing out loud as we were leaving the drive thru. We happened to be stopped at the end of the driveway when we saw our witness leaving the building.  She quickly darted across the street and proceeded to get on the bus that had just arrived.  When we saw this, we laughed even harder.  There we were in the driveway of the Little White Wedding Chapel of Love laughing uncontrollably at the events of the last 10 minutes.  Jerry said, “I almost asked that preacher guy for a side of fries with my cheeseburger!”  We laughed until we were in tears and slowly left the Little White Wedding Chapel of Love.  After this evening I knew GOD had a great sense of humor!

We headed up the Las Vegas Strip and decided to stop at Treasure Island for a champagne toast.  We sat in the outside lounge and watched the pirate ships fire fake cannons at each other.  Jerry said, “I love those cannons.”  I said, “A toy cannon is what got you into all this mischief Mr. Jerry Roed!”  We laughed some more about the drive thru wedding chapel, ordered another round of champagne and decided it was time to call our kids. I called my daughter first and she was annoyed at us and said, “I can’t believe you guys just did a drive-thru wedding and didn’t tell anybody.”  I was laughing so hard and holding the cell phone between us so Jerry could hear her.  Jerry called his kids and received the same reaction.  Needless to say at that point we had made a decision we could live with and Jerry said, “Hell with them, they’ll get over it.” We laughed some more ordered more champagne and enjoyed the rest of the pirate show.  We had the best time watching the pirate ships and all the crazy people walking up and down the Las Vegas Strip that evening and, we were looking forward to lots more great evenings and weekends together……

Weekend are work days for all great relationships

“Weekends are work days for all great relationships” this is another one of those great statements I etched in my memory bank of great statements to remember.

At this point Jerry and I are months into our marriage.  We looked forward to our weekends which were always filled with something fun to do.  On the weekends, we loved going out for late lunch, lounging around the house talking about everything under the sun, entertaining and hosting great dinner parties – a tradition we continued throughout our marriage.

After a while, our dinner parties became a very important part of our life.  I loved to cook and Jerry loved to entertain and was always the perfect host. We loved getting together with; business associates, our dear friends, family nights with the kids and our grandbabies.  Jerry and I have families that live out of state so it is always “a party” when we had family from out of town over for dinner!  No matter who we were dining with, we would always end up in the kitchen for appetizers, wine tasting and great conversation.  Some of the best conversations started in our kitchen!  We truly enjoyed our weekends and sharing them with people we loved.  Here’s another great statement, “Good food and great wine is what brings family and best friends together.”

Jerry and I were enjoying all that life had to offer.  We loved taking short weekend trips down the California coast, made a few trips up to the Midwest to visit his Mom, sister and a ton of relatives.  All was going well until early 2005.    Jerry called me from work on Thursday and said he was not feeling well.  That in itself was strange to me because Jerry NEVER admitted that he was not feeling well.  So I stopped what I was doing and listened.  We talked for a few minutes then I asked him if he wanted me to take him to the doctor.  He said, “No let’s wait until Monday and if I’m not feeling better by then I will go to the doctor.” I thought, “That’s a typical Jerry Roed answer.”  At that point there was no sense arguing with him because he was stubborn as the day was long.  I watched over him like a mother hawk all that evening.  We lounged around that evening and I could tell Jerry was not feeling well at all.  The alarm clock went off at 5:20am Friday morning and Jerry was the first one out of bed.  I asked him how he was feeling and he said, “Ok.”  I suggested he stayed home and take it easy and he said, “I’m ok babe.  I will call the doctor and make an appointment for some time next week.” I said, “Ok but make sure you call as soon as you get into the office.”  He hugged me and said, “Yes mother I will.”

Jerry started getting ready for work and I started making breakfast.  We had a quick breakfast together then he was off to work.  I left shortly after that and headed to my embroidery shop.  I called him around 10:00am and asked if he had made a doctor’s appointment.  He said, “No not yet. It’s super busy at the casino this morning.  I will call in a bit.”  I was a little annoyed and said, “Do you want me to call and make the appointment for you honey?” Jerry said, “No babe, I will call in a bit stop worrying.”  For some strange reason that still voice inside me said, “Josie, now it’s time to start worrying.” At 1:00pm Jerry called me and said he was passing blood clots in his urine.  I said, “Jerry, I’m leaving the shop NOW and I will drag you out of your office if I have to so be ready to leave we ARE going to the emergency room.” I drove to the casino as fast as I could and when I pulled up Jerry was waiting and he did not look well to me at all.   I took him to the nearest emergency room, Desert Springs Hospital where he was immediately taken to an examining room.  The nurse quickly took his temperature which was high at the time, she took his blood pressure and asked the usual questions, “When did you start feeling bad Mr. Roed and what time was it when you noticed the blood clots etc.?”  Shortly after all the questions he was admitted to the emergency room, the first doctor stopped by and said they would be taking x-rays of his lower abdominal area to see what was going on.  After the x-rays we waited for an hour or so and then a second doctor stopped by.  He introduced himself and said, “I have been asked to speak with you, Mr. Roed and Mrs. Roed about the results of your x-rays. We saw some sort of mass and we’re not sure if it is in your kidney or behind the kidney.” Jerry and I were in total shock and could not believe what we were hearing at that time.  The second doctor continued to talk about the possibilities and medical treatments but at that point we didn’t hear another word.  Jerry and I were holding hands and kept looking at each other in disbelief.  The second doctor left the examining room and we were still holding hands.  We didn’t talk for a minute and then Jerry said, “I sure hope they figure out what the hell we’re dealing with here.”  Right about that time a third doctor walked into the room.  He introduced himself as Doctor Mulugeta Kassahun and he was called in to consult with the other two doctors.  What Dr. Kassahun said next was even more shocking than what the first two doctors had said.  Dr. Kassahun said, “Mr. Roed, I have reviewed your x-rays and the mass is INSIDE your kidney not behind your kidney.  My best guess is it’s about 8 ½ centimeters in size and your kidney will have to be removed immediately.”  I felt like someone had just hit me in the head with a brick.  I looked at Jerry and he just stared at Dr. Kassahun then he said, “Let’s get it done.  How soon will this happen?”  Dr. Kassahun said, “I will perform the surgery at Sunrise Hospital because they have the latest and greatest equipment for this particular surgery.”  He said, “As soon as I get an approval from your insurance company Mr. Roed, I will schedule your surgery.  You will have to stay in the hospital for a few days and all of your lab work will be ordered immediately.” Now it’s late Friday evening.  I asked Jerry if we should call his boss and he said, “Let’s wait until Monday because she has probably left the office by now.”  We chatted for a few more minutes and I said, “I’m going out for a smoke.”  While I was standing outside smoking, Dr. Kassahun walked up scolded me for smoking (like I cared at that moment) and he talked about Jerry’s surgery.  I could hear the urgency in his voice and he said, “You should call the administrator of the insurance company and tell them this is a life threatening situation.” Dr. Kassahun scolded me one more time about smoking, said good night and he turned and walked away.  I finished smoking my cigarette and cried.

I purposely stayed outside for 10 or 15 minutes until I got myself together.  I went back into the hospital looked for a ladies restroom so I could wipe my face and headed for Jerry’s room.  He was sitting up in the bed looking extremely aggravated.  He said, “I can’t believe this and I really hate hospitals.”  We looked at each other and started to laugh.  Don’t know why we laughed but we did.  I went home and packed an overnight bag to include; a robe for Jerry, our tooth brushes, some other toiletries and a couple changes of clothing.  I knew this was going to be a long weekend……. neither one of us was going to enjoy.

We didn’t slept well that night.  All through the night a nurse would come in to take his temperature (which was still very high), they checked his vitals, made notes on his chart and then the nurse would say, “Try to get some sleep you two.”  I remember thinking REALLY, “How are we supposed to get any sleep tonight with someone waking us up every hour on the hour?”  Saturday morning we were both grumpy, grouchy and needed to sleep in OUR bed with no one waking us up every hour. I washed my face and helped Jerry get cleaned up.  I washed his face, arms, back and gave him his tooth brush. He said, “Why do hospitals have the worst tasting toothpaste?”  I laughed and said, “Just brush babe!”  He wanted to sit up in the bed but soon realized how bad he was hurting and decided to lay back down.  It was now 7:00 am and a constant flow of nurses, technicians, and people wanting to draw more blood had started. Jerry was not allowed to get out of bed for a couple of hours.  When they came to take him back for more x-rays and a CT scan, I decided to go down to the hospital cafeteria for a cup of coffee.  I didn’t have much of an appetite so I passed on breakfast.  I took my coffee outside to the smoking area and had a cigarette.  There were a couple of nurses out there smoking and other people that I assumed were there for a family member.  I started to think about what Dr. Kassahun said about contacting the insurance administrator.  I finished my cigarette and dialed the cell phone of Jerry’s boss.  I didn’t care that it was a weekend because Jerry had a life threatening situation. Her cell phone started to ring and after the third ring she answered, “Hello, this is Karen.”  I said, hi Karen, this is Josie Roed.”  She then asked how Jerry was feeling and I said, “He was admitted to the hospital last night and he is scheduled for an emergency surgery as soon as the doctor could get an authorization from the insurance company.”  I continued, “Karen would you please contact the administrator of the insurance company and get an approval for Jerry’s surgery.  Karen, this is a life threatening situation with Jerry and surgery needs to happen immediately.”  She said, “Josie I am emailing our insurance administrator right now.  If you have not heard from them first thing Monday morning, call me.”  I could hear her typing as fast as I was talking.  I remember thanking her for all the help.  She said, “I will be praying for Jerry (and you) Josie.  Please keep me posted.” We said our good byes and I headed back into the hospital.  An hour later, Jerry was back in his room.  He was hurting from all the probing and moving around so he was not in the best mood.  He didn’t feel like talking so we just held hands and sat quietly.  Later that day was the first time I met Jerry’s longtime friend, Wayne Crawley.  I was glad Wayne stopped by because he lifted Jerry’s spirit. While they were talking I went outside for a cigarette.  I stopped by the cafeteria, picked up a bite to eat and grabbed a diet Sprite for Jerry.  He was on a special diet of soft tasteless food and clear liquids for a few days.  When I arrived back to Jerry’s room, Wayne was saying goodbye.  He said goodbye to me and left.  Jerry said he was feeling tired and asked me if I had something to eat.  I said, “Yes I grabbed something to eat so stop worrying about me.”  Jerry said, “Well somebody has to worry about you!” I kissed him on the forehead and said, “Why don’t you take a nap babe.” Then Jerry said, “Why don’t you take a nap too.”  So we held hands and feel asleep.

Monday morning shortly after 9:00 am my cell phone started to ring.  I answered it and the voice identified herself as the administrator from Jerry’s insurance company.  She said, “I received an email from Mr. Roed’s boss regarding his life threatening situation.  I need the name of the doctor that will be performing your husband’s surgery.”  I pulled Dr. Kassahun’s card out of my purse and gave the administrator all of his information.  She said, “I will call his office immediately and give him all the information he needs.”  I thanked her and she said, “Call me direct if you need any other information.”  I thanked her again and said, “GOD bless you.”  Monday afternoon Dr. Kassahun stopped by and told Jerry he could go home.  We were instructed where to go for more tests and lab work.  Jerry’s surgery date was setup for  the end of the week.  That was the longest week and we prayed hard all week.

The night before Jerry’s surgery, our neighbors, Monte and Dorothy stopped by with the most beautiful handmade quilt I had ever seen. The quilt had bible verses written all over it.  Jerry and I looked at the quilt and I started to cry.   Dorothy said, “This quilt was handmade by the ladies quilting group from my church.  These quilts are especially made for cancer patients.”  Dorothy looked at me and said, “Josie, when Jerry is in surgery wrap this quilt around yourself and read GOD’s words and it will give you comfort and peace.  And when Jerry is out of surgery, wrap the quilt around him for GOD’s healing and peace.  Monte said, “Let’s pray.”  And the four of us held hands and prayed.  Dorothy hugged me and we cried together softly. Monte and Jerry hugged then they left.  Jerry and I stood in our entry way after Dorothy and Monte left.  We hugged each other tight and cried.

We arrived at the hospital at 6:00am the next morning.  Jerry’s cousin, Linda and his sister Carol arrived shortly after that.  I was in the prep room with Jerry when a nurse came back and said his sister and cousin were out in the waiting room and wanted to come back to see Jerry.  So I went out so they could go back one at a time to see Jerry.  Our dear friends Kelly and Dave arrived shortly before Jerry went into surgery.  Peter, Jerry’s business partner arrived shortly after that.  I was so happy to see all of them. Everyone stayed until Jerry was out of surgery.  The doctor said the surgery would take a couple of hours so we waited patiently. Kelly and I went outside several times.  Each time, Kelly would grab both of my hands and said, “Josie, let’s pray.”  Kelly started praying the most beautiful prayers.  She knew I needed those prayers.  She prayed for; Jerry’s successful surgery, GOD’s healing, the surgeons, the nurses and all the people in the operating room that was assisting in Jerry’s surgery.  She prayed for my strength and for GOD to bless me with everything I needed to help Jerry get back to good health.  I was so very thankful and grateful for my friend Kelly.  We are still best of friends as of this day.  Every time Jerry went into the hospital, Kelly and Dave were always there to offer their love, support and prayers.  In the later years, our dear friends Wayne and Pat were always there also.  One time Kelly and Peter ran into each other at the airport.  Peter said Kelly didn’t recognize him at first then he said, “We always run into each other whenever Jerry is in the hospital.”  That was so true, it was always Dave, Kelly, Peter, Wayne and Pat – they were ALWAYS there whenever I called.  I give all thanks to GOD for my dear friends.

Jerry’s surgery went well with no complications.  Dr. Kassahun came out and said, “Your husband was very thick, so I had to go through layers of muscle.  The surgery was tedious and time consuming but Mr. Roed did just fine.  You should be able to see him shortly.”  I shook his hand and thanked him.  He left and I broke down and cried out loud.  Peter came over to where I was standing and asked, “What’s wrong?” I said, “Jerry is out of surgery and he is fine.”  Everyone was smiling.  I hugged Kelly and Dave and they said, “Now that Jerry is out of surgery, we need to get home. Call us if you need us.”  I felt really bad because Kelly had been out of town and arrived back into town very late the night before.  Kelly and Dave arrive at the hospital early the next morning to be there to support me.  For that I was truly thankful and grateful for my friend Kelly whom I love like a sister.  A half hour later the operating room nurse came out and took me back to see Jerry.  He was heavily sedated with IV tubes stuck everywhere.  I leaned down and whispered his name.  He looked at me with his groggy blue eyes.  I said, “Hi babe how you doing?” Jerry whispered, “Did they get it all?”  I said, “Yes honey they got it all.”  Then he whispered the funniest words, “He said, “Do you want to go dancing?”  I laughed with tears streaming down my cheeks and said, “Sure we will go dancing as soon as you get out of here!”  I knew this was Jerry’s way of letting me know he was going to be ok.  Years later when we talked about his surgery and that funny question, we would laugh out loud because we both knew…….Jerry did NOT know how to dance!

Another Surprise in 2005

Jerry recovered from the kidney cancer surgery and all was well.  Things were back to normal again.  We were working hard, playing harder and enjoying our life together.  All was going well until six months to the day of Jerry kidney cancer, I suffered a minor heart attack.  My cardiologist said I suffered a “heart attack event.”  I said, “A what? A heart attack event…. what is that? Heart attack events is what happens to old people.” I thought, “This is not happening to me, I’m a self-employed young hard working woman.  Jerry and I are just now starting to live AGAIN now this?  Oh Lord give me strength.”

My cardiologist, a very young man, said to me, “Mrs. Roed you had a heart attack event.”  I asked, “What does that mean?”  He said, “Your blood test shows elevated enzyme levels which means your heart is still mildly attacking.  So we are going to keep you in the hospital overnight for tests and observation.  We will run more test in the morning.”  I’m lying there in my hospital bed thinking, “Did he say my heart was mildly attacking? I asked Jerry what that meant and he looked at me so lovingly and said, “You’re going to be just fine babe.” We sat there in silence for a minute and Jerry was holding my hand.  It was late evening by the time I got into a room.  Jerry stayed with me most of the night and then went home early in the morning to shower and change clothes.  I knew Jerry didn’t like hospitals so I was really surprised to see him a few hours later. I could tell he was anxious and uncomfortable.  We talked for a while and I dozed off and when I woke Jerry was not there. I pressed my call button and the nurse came in and I asked her, “Where’s my husband?”  She said, “Your husband said to tell you he had gone to the church to get his equipment ready for the mountaintop church service on Sunday.”  I started to cry and asked her to please get him on the phone.  She dialed his cell number and handed me the phone.  When Jerry answered the phone I started to cry and asked him why he wasn’t there.  He said, “Babe you were sleeping so soundly I didn’t want to wake you, so I came down to the church to get ready for Sunday.”  By the time he arrived back to the hospital I was full of anxiety from the night before, I hated being hooked up to that heart monitor and IV’s.  My mouth was dry, I was sweating like crazy, I needed a shower and I wanted to go home.  Going home was out of the question.

Jerry stayed for a few hours and waited for my doctor with the test results.  I had calmed down by then and said to him,  “Honey why don’t you go to work because the doctor probably won’t make his rounds till the afternoon.”  Jerry said, “Ok babe, I will go to the office and make sure there’s nothing pressing I need to take care of.  I will be back as soon as I can.”  He gave me a kiss and left.  No sooner than he left my cardiologist arrived and said, “Mrs. Roed, your enzyme levels are extremely high so that means your heart is STILL attacking.  We need to get you into surgery immediately for an angiogram to see what’s going on with your heart.”  I said, “A what?”  He repeated the word A-N-G-I-O-G-R-A-M again slowly and I started to cry uncontrollably and said, “You’re not touching my heart until my husband comes back AND I need to pray with my pastor.”  He assured me this procedure was a breeze and he could do it with his eyes closed.  Now that did not make me feel any better so I said loudly, “You are NOT touching my heart until my husband comes back and I need to pray with my pastor.”  My doctor said, “Your husband was contacted and he is on his way back to the hospital.”  A few minutes later Jerry was walking back into my room and he said, “Its ok babe I’m here.  They need to take you IMMEDIATELY to surgery for an angiogram.  You’re going to be just fine.”  I said, “Honey please call pastor I need him to pray with me.”  So Jerry dialed the church office and asked to speak with our pastor.  Pastor Wobrock came on the line and Jerry spoke to him briefly then handed me the phone.  Now they were quickly rolling me down the hall – I’m going into surgery. While I was being rolled down the hall, Pastor Wobrock was praying I had my eyes closed tight and listening to every word.  After the prayer Pastor Wobrock said, “GOD is with you Josie.”  I said, “Amen and thanks pastor.”  Gave Jerry back his cell phone.  We kissed and Jerry said, “See you in a bit kiddo.” Then I was rolled in the room for surgery……………….

I remember being in a very cold room and looking at lots of people.  By now the drugs I was given was starting to kick in.  I remember hearing very loud music and my doctor singing along with the song, “New York New York.” I started singing along with the music, heck everyone else was singing so I joined in!  I was semi-conscience and watching a monitor and a small wire snaking up inside the artery of my leg. All of a sudden the music stopped, everyone started to scramble around the room, the doctor started screaming orders at the nurses. I’m laying there wondering why the music stopped and now I have a medium size nurse sitting on my chest with and a large male nurse sitting on my legs.  Both nurses were pushing down on the incision at the top of my groin area as hard as they could.  What was happening; I started to bleed out from the artery during surgery.  I don’t remember anything after that because everything faded to black…………….

I woke up the next morning hooked up to even more monitors as the day before and feeling like I had been hit by a city bus.  The doctor was there when I woke up and was saying something to Jerry.  He walked over to my bed pulled back the sheets and was looking at the area of my incision.  I remember being really sore in that area.  My mouth was dry, my head hurt, I wasn’t sure what had happened.  Jerry tried to explain what had happened and I could tell he was upset and worried.  Jerry said he had to go to work for an hour and he would be back as soon as possible.  I started to cry and asked him to call my sister friend in Christ, Ora Mae to come and sit with me until he got back. Jerry called Ora Mae, asked her if she could come by and sit with me for a while.  I was in intensive care so they only allowed immediate family members in that area.  Jerry said, “Ora Mae when you stop at the nurse’s desk and they ask who you are tell them you’re Josie’s sister!  Ora Mae came to the hospital, checked in at the nurse’s station and asked to see Josie Roed.  The nurse asked her who she was and she said proudly, “I am Josie Roed’s sister.”  The nurse looked at her strangely and wondered, “How could this very white lady  be related to Mrs. Roed an African-American woman?”  The nurse gave “my sister” Ora Mae a strange look and gave her my room number.  Ora Mae arrived to my room and told me about the nurse looking at her strangely when she told her she was my sister.  Ora Mae laughed out loud and I laughed softly because it really hurt to laugh. Years later Ora Mae and I still laugh out loud whenever we tell that story!

Looking back on 2005 – a very challenging year!

I came through my “heart event ordeal” just fine.  I had to go to physical therapy twice a week, quit smoking, exercise every day and I had to totally change the way I ate and cooked.  My new life changes were a no-brainer for me.  I really didn’t enjoy smoking any more – don’t know why I picked it up after 20 non-smoking years.  By now Jerry was back to his normal-way-too-much-energy self and I was back to work in my shop going non-stop.  All was well again with “The Roed’s.”

2005 was a very difficult year for Jerry and me.  Both health events triggered concerns about our eating habits and lifestyle.  At the time, we were eating out too often, smoking too much, rarely exercising, and sweating the small stuff.  Coming to grips with our health issues, and the effects of our lifestyle choices, we had to make some serious changes in our lifestyle and diet. I basically had to learn how to cook all over again.  I had to start preparing meals with less sodium, less fat and fewer carbs. I had to start reading those pesky nutritional labels, something that was totally foreign to me. For Jerry, I had to learn how to cook balancing his intake of protein, sodium, sugar and carbs.

My greatest challenge; I didn’t want to cook one meal for Jerry and something different for me so I had to find recipes that considered our respective nutritional needs. I started preparing all of our meals from scratch using quality ingredients, fresh vegetables and Herbs from my garden. I started making homemade broth and stocks, so I could control the sodium content and flavor.  I baked multi-grain bread and started buying USA grown fresh organic vegetables. Just making a few changes in the way we ate made a difference.  Thank GOD Jerry totally bought into the ideal of eating better and eating at home more. I preferred to eat at home so that was an easy transition for me.

We were doing everything by our doctor’s instructions but it still wasn’t enough.  Years later there were continuing health issues with Jerry we had to deal with.  Jerry had routine checkups every six months to make sure all was going well with his one and only kidney.  Sometimes his checkups would be just fine – other times there were conversation with his kidney doctor that always started off, “Mr. Roed, you know we should probably take a biopsy of…….” Jerry hated those doctor conversations and so did I.  The one thing I loved about Jerry was that he never complained about feeling bad at any time.  I know there were days he felt like crap but he never complained.  He was always the first one up and he made coffee, he was the first one to get ready for work and first one out the door.

Thinking back to Jerry’s surgery

Jerry was back to work at the casino nine days after his kidney surgery.  I would drive him to work because the doctors said he shouldn’t drive for a while or until he received the doctor’s approval to drive.  After a few days of laying around the house, Jerry called the casino to check on things.  His boss said they were having the monthly manager’s meeting that Thursday.  She said, “Jerry if you feel up to it, why don’t you join us.  Everyone would love to see you.”  I remember thinking, “She really didn’t have to tell him that. Jerry was barely able to walk and now he was ready to go back into the casino for the monthly managers meeting……UGH!” We arrived at the manager’s meeting 30 minutes before the meeting started so Jerry could stop by his office and “check on things.”   I was watching him like a mother hawk and watched his every move.  I reminded him a couple of times that we would only be there for an hour or so.  He looked at me and said, “Yes mother!”  I looked at him with a raised eyebrow and said, “You’re being a brat”.  As always Jerry looked at me and laughed!

We arrived at the manager’s meeting on time and his boss (and everyone else) gave him a very warm welcome.  Jerry was beaming with pride (and so was I). I could tell he was hurting but he never let on that he was in pain.  The meeting ended about an hour later and we left.  We arrived back home about 10 minutes later.  I helped Jerry get back into his lounging clothes, puffed up his pillows on the bed, put a comedy movie in the DVD player and went off to the kitchen to prepare lunch for us.  When I came back to the bedroom 10 minutes later to see if Jerry wanted something cold to drink, he was sound asleep!  I prepared our lunch and put it into the fridge for later that day.  I came back to the bedroom and laid down next to Jerry, snuggled as close as I could, wrapped my arms around him and fell sound asleep also.

There were numerous health issues with Jerry throughout the years that lead up to his sudden passing away on January 17, 2014.  That date will always be etched in my heart, my soul and my memory bank of events to remember.  The passing away of a loved one is a pain one never forgets.  It is said that time heals all pain.  As of this day June 26, 2014, I am still feeling so much pain in my heart. I don’t know what to expect from one day to the next with my emotions so I take little baby steps and try to get through each day the best way I can.  As I mentioned before, writing about Jerry helps me to process the things that makes me sad on a daily basis. I find myself talking to Jerry all the time and asking him various questions about things.  There are times I can hear his answers as if he were standing right next to me.  Other times I can just feel his presence but I can’t hear him.  I am alone but I am not lonely because I know Jerry is with me every day.  I also know that there are days when Jerry knows when my emotional plate is full.  Those are the days when I know he is talking to GOD and saying something like this, “Lord, please don’t put any more on Josie’s emotional plate because she is having a rough day.  Lord, please give her strength, peace and understanding so she can get through this day.” As I was writing this paragraph I had to stop typing because I started crying big crocodile tears. My little Sophie looked at me so lovingly with those big brown eyes. She always knows when I am sad.  She tries to help me sometimes by jumping up on my lap and giving me this lookcute Sophie

I love my little Sophie – I am so thankful and grateful she is with me right now.

My grief triggers – wish they would give me a WARNING!

I wished my emotional triggers would give me some sort of warning when they are going to happen.  Emotional triggers don’t work that way. My emotional triggers happen wherever and whenever they want too. There’s no set time for them to happen – because they happen when you least expect them to happen.  I was in the kitchen a couple days ago and couldn’t get the cap off the Dijon mustard jar.  I almost found myself calling for Jerry to come to my rescue and open up the jar of Dijon mustard.  I quickly realized Jerry was not here anymore and I cried like a baby for a half hour.  Then I thought, “Josie, REALLY…….. it’s just a stupid jar of Dijon mustard. Give it a good whack on the side and it will open.”  So that’s what I did and guess what……it opened!  Everything I have read about the grieving process says, “It’s ok to be on a daily emotional roller coaster and each day I would feel a different emotion.” Guess I better hang on for the ride.

On Saturday, February 16h I had a restless night sleep so Sunday morning I started off a little slower than usual.  I went through my daily ritual; first I said my morning prayer, read my daily devotion, made coffee, turned off the house alarm, opened up the doggie door then I woke up Sophie (aka “the beagle”) she immediately went outside and did her business.  It was chilly that morning so Sophie didn’t hang around outside for too long! I finished my coffee and headed to the shower and started getting ready for church.

I arrived at church a few minutes early.  I thought the church service would be a regular service.  I sat down visited with a few of my sisters in Christ.  My sister in Christ, Barb waved at me to join her in the pew across the aisle from where I was sitting.  I was thankful to Barb for the invite because our church service was much different on this day.  It started off as usual with Pastor Toby welcoming everyone.  He gave the congregation an update on his recent knee surgery and to everyone’s delight, Pastor Toby was now walking around without the assistance of a cane.  Before the service started I was busy talking to my sister friends and as a result of my chatting with my sisters, I didn’t read through my church bulletin.  If I had read through my bulletin I would have realized this Sunday’s sermon was about “Making Good Decisions” and “Blessing Married Couples” and it was also Communion Sunday.

I was fine after the first hymn and the scripture reading. The “Children’s Chat” was the beginning of my first meltdown trigger.  The Children’s Chat was about people having surgery and people getting sick and having to go to the hospital etc.  During the Children’s Chat I had to get up and go to the ladies room.  I walked out as fast as I could before I lost it.  I stayed in the ladies room until I thought the Children’s Chat was over.  By the time I arrived back to my seat the kids were saying a prayer then the Children’s Chat was over.

Now it was time for “Prayer for the church.”  All was well until Pastor Toby started reading the prayer cards.  To my surprise someone had submitted a prayer card for ME.  This prayer request was asking GOD to give me strength and help me get through losing my Jerry so suddenly.  My heart felt like it was going to explode with sadness.  I could feel my closed eyes starting to fill up with tears.  Then the service went into “Blessing Married Couples” and Pastor Toby asked all the married couples to remain standing and holding hands – that’s when I lost it.  I started to cry softly.  I could feel lots of tears running down my face.  My sister friend Barb grabbed my hand and squeezed it gently.  She gave me a Kleenex and whispered to me, “It will get easier.”  I said, “This is so hard are you sure?”  Barb put her arm around my shoulder and said, “You’re going to be just fine.” That really made me cry because those were the words Jerry would always say to comfort me………………

It was now time for communion.  I tried to regain my composure but it wasn’t working.  While waiting to be invited to the Lord’s Table for communion, my sister in Christ, Michele stopped and gave me a big hug.  Michele must have known I needed a hug right about that time. I remember kneeling at the Lord’s Table and quietly crying with my head down.  My brother in Christ, Tom was to my left and Barb was to my right.  Tom knew I was crying and he gently grabbed my hand and held it for a minute.

The church service came to a close with a beautiful solo by another brother in Christ, Daniel.  He sung the Lord’s Prayer at the end of our worship service.  I said my goodbye’s to everyone and received lots of hugs on the way out the door.  I got into my car and cried out loud all the way home.  On the way home all I thought about was Jerry and my beagle puppy Sophie.  I arrived home to a very excited Sophie.  On this day, I was thankful to have someone greet me with so much love and excitement.  I sat on the floor and played with Sophie for a bit then I called my sister friend Barb and thanked her for asking me to worship with her.  I said to Barb, “I could not have made it through church today without you.”  I called my other sister friend, Bev and thanked her for the book, “Widow to Widow” she had given me.  I sat for a few more minutes then I said to Sophie, “Let’s go talk to Dad.” So we headed to the cemetery.  We arrived at the cemetery a little after 1:00.  Sophie and I walked over to Jerry’s resting place.  Sophie was so cute – at first she just stood there looking at the paver and then she walked next to Jerry’s granite marker and stood there for a minute – it was a precious moment that made me cry softly.

Sophie and Dad (2) sophie visiting with Dad 2-15-14

I started talking to Jerry.  I told him about my meltdown at church and all the details of my week.  I felt so comforted being there with Jerry.  I told him I would be back, knelt down on my knees and kissed the temporary marker that read, “Jerome Roed.” I left a great big burgundy lipstick imprint of my lips on Jerry’s marker.  I said, “I love you babe and I miss you so much.”

Jerry's temporary marker w-lip print

We left and I cried some more on the way home.  That night I said my prayers and talked with Jerry as I do every night.  I could feel Jerry’s spirit hugging me tight – I fell asleep in total peace and slept like a brand new baby.

Thursday, February 20th I had a business appointment on the other side of town.  I was driving down Desert Inn Road because you can get from one side of town to the other pretty fast driving straight down Desert Inn Road (commonly known as DI).  It was a nice sunny day and I had the window half way rolled down for Sophie.  She loves driving around town with her head (and half of her body) hanging as far out the window as possible.  I have to hang on to her harness so she won’t jump or fall out.  I love looking at her with those beagle ears waving in the wind – looked like she was flying! We were driving down DI and quickly came to Durango Road.  I crossed over Durango and a few blocks up (and on the left side of DI) there was my old house – the place Jerry and I called “The Weekend House.”  I could feel the lump in my throat and the tears starting.  I slowed down a bit and looked at my old place, smiled and wiped away my tears.  I continued on to my appointment, arrived 15 minutes early, parked my car and called my baby sister Gloria.  I asked her to pray for my strength because I was in the neighborhood where all my wonderful memories started with Jerry.  My appointment was literally right around the corner from the Chicago Brewery, the place where Jerry and I had stopped for a nightcap after that jazz concert many years ago.

I sat in my car long enough to wipe my face and check my mascara which was now running down my cheeks.  Sophie was now sitting in my lap wondering why I was crying AGAIN.  She was so funny, she started helping me fix my mascara.  Now I have “the beagle” helping me get ready for this important appointment. After a few minutes of pampering by Sophie, I powdered my nose and cheeks with translucent powder now I was ready for my appointment.  I cracked all the windows in my car so Sophie could get some fresh air and I said, “Sophie I have to go in that door right over there (I pointed in the direction of the front door).  I won’t be long so you be a good girl.”  I got out of my car, locked the doors and waved goodbye to Sophie.   All was going well until I stopped at the hostess desk and asked for the person I was supposed to meet with.  She looked at me and said, “Regina is not at this store today.”  So I called Regina’s cell phone and it went to her voice mail.  I said, “Hi Regina, I’m at the Sahara store for our meeting. I will try to call you later.”  I thanked the hostess and left the store.  I texted Regina and within a few minutes she texted me back and said she was at the Henderson store on the other side of town and apologized for the mix up.  I said, “No worries lets meet tomorrow.” It was nice driving through my old neighborhood and thinking about all the great memories I shared with Jerry.  I gave all thanks to GOD for this day………………

More Unexpected triggers

Tuesday, February 25, 2014.  I woke up late because the night before, I spent several hours on the patio with my neighbors – I call them “the sisters” Elaine and Pat.  One of the sisters, Pat, lost her husband many years ago so we had the loss of our husbands in common.  Pat shared some of the triggers she experienced and share many stories about her husband.  It was very comforting for me to be able to share my stories (and triggers) in between tears and laughter. Jerry and I would meet on the patio often with Elaine and Pat, we shared good wine, great food, stories of the “Old Las Vegas” and anything else we could find to talk or laugh about.  Jerry and Pat had retired from the gaming industry and they knew a ton of people in gaming.  Elaine and I would laugh out loud listening to Jerry and Pat recount all the stories from back in the days of “Old Las Vegas.”

On this day, February 25th, I had made plans to meet my dear friend Pat.  Pat’s husband Wayne was having knee surgery today at Centennial hospital.  Since I was running late I didn’t make coffee or breakfast at home.  I remember seeing a McDonald’s not too far from the hospital so I decided to stop there before I went to the hospital.  I ordered an Egg McMuffin and a cappuccino.  My order came to a whopping $3.99.  I swiped my bank card to pay for my order and a very sleepy looking kid at the cash register said, “Your bank card did not go through, would you swipe it again please.”  I said, “Sure.”  I swiped my bank card a second time and he said, “Ah, it didn’t go through again do you have another card?”  I said, “Of course I have another card no worries.”  So I took out my business bank card, swiped it and paid for my $3.99 breakfast.  On the way out the door I thought, “Why didn’t my bank card go through? I know there is plenty of money in that account.”  So I made myself a mental note to check my bank account on-line to see what was going on.  I arrived at the hospital a little after 9:00am.  Pat and I met in the waiting area, chatted non-stop and thanked GOD for Wayne’s successful knee surgery.  I stayed with my friend for a few hours gave her two big hugs – one for her and one for Wayne.  I headed home and starting thinking to myself, “Why didn’t my bank card work?”  After a 20 minute drive, I walked in the house, greeted Sophie, let her out of the kennel, and opened her doggie door.  She ran around the house a few times in total happiness because I was home.  We played for a few minutes then I headed to my office so I could check my bank account on-line.

Here comes “The Unexpected Trigger” I hate when this happens…………….

I proceeded to log onto my bank account.  The first screen had a listing of all of my accounts to include all the current bank balances.  My smile quickly turned to a mean-ugly-frown when I noticed my bank account balances.  I looked at each account and there was a glaring note in the “description” line that read TAX LEVY FEE.  I could feel my heart beating faster than it was suppose too and the anger slowly started to build up inside.  I thought, “What is going on here and why is there a “Tax Levy Fee” withdrawn from my account?”  I looked at my business account and saw the same “Tax Levy Fee” had been withdrawn from my business account.  I looked at my savings account and there was the same “Tax Levy Fee” withdrawn from my savings account. Now I could feel the tears starting.  I sat at my desk for a few minutes regained my composure and dried my eyes.  I frantically started looking for a business card from the bank.  I found the bank managers card and called her.  A woman answered the phone and said, “My Manager is busy assisting another customer. Would you like to leave a message?”  I said, “Yes, please tell her Josie Roed called.”  I left my phone number and sat at my desk looking at my bank accounts over and over again. Now I’m starting to cry out loud.  I prayed, “GOD what is going on?”  Please shed some light on this mistake……it’s got to be a mistake or a bank error.”  I continued to think the bank manager would call me and say, “Miss Josie (as she called me all the time), this is a bank error.  I am so sorry I will correct this error.”  That was wishful thinking on my part. I was starting to get anxious and tired of waiting for a callback from the bank.  I printed out my on-line bank statement, put Sophie back in her kennel (for the second time today) and headed over to the bank to straighten out this terrible mistake.  I waited in line still thinking, “I know this is a bank error and I know the bank manager will straightened everything out.”  Now it was my turn to step up to the counter.  I was waited on by one of the nicest young man at the bank – he was so polite and willing to assist in every way.  I showed him my printed bank statements and he said, “Let me take a look and don’t worry we will get this sorted out Mrs. Roed.”  I felt relieved and thought, “Finally this Tax Levy Fee mistake will be fixed.”  The young man was on the phone with the California State Tax Franchise Board.  I could hear him say, “I have a customer here and we’re trying to figure out why a Tax Levy Fee was taken out of all three of her accounts.”  He continued talking and I heard him say, “Can my customer call you at this number?” Then I saw him writing down a toll free number on a piece of paper and I thought, “Josie this does not sound good so brace yourself.”  What happened next almost knocked me off my feet………

The young man proceeded to tell me there was a California State Tax Levy that had been imposed on ALL of my accounts. The California State Tax Franchise Board had taken a huge chunk of money out of ALL of my accounts – money that was ear marked to pay bills on the first of the month.  It felt like the room was spinning.  My throat felt like it was stuffed with cotton balls. Nothing was coming out when I tried to speak. I cleared my throat and asked the young man, “So how much do I need to leave in my account for it to remain open?”  He said, “You can take it down to zero and it would be fine Mrs. Roed as long as you did a few transactions within the month so the bank could see your account was still open.”  So he filled out one withdrawal slip for my business account which I signed.  The other two accounts had a zero balance because ALL the money had been taken out for the Tax Levy Fees. He counted out the money.  I put the money in my purse thanked him for all the help and walked away.  I walked out of the bank crying softly, walked across the parking lot, unlocked my car, sat in my car put both hand on the steering wheel and started to cry. This time I cried out loud and I did not care who heard me. I said loudly, “GOD why is this happening? I can’t handle this right now.”  I started my car and called my sister, Gloria.  I was crying so hard I had a tough time getting all the words out.  I remember my baby sis (whom I love so much) saying, “Now sis, you need to calm down so you can handle your business.”  I said to Gloria, “I took the rest of my money out of my business account so the California State Tax Board couldn’t snatch the rest of it.”   My baby sis (who prepares income tax in California) said, “YES sis, I think that was a safe thing to do.” So now I’m driving back to my house, crying out loud and praying even louder.  People driving by are giving me funny looks but I didn’t care because they were not in my shoes.  I arrived home safely with a heavy sad heart.  I called my baby sis again and she reassured me everything was going to be alright.  Gloria said, “The best time to call the California State Tax Franchise Board was in the morning.  However, you have a pressing matter you need to handle immediately so call them NOW.” So I dialed the toll free number Lyndon (from the bank) had given me.  I followed the prompts and was prompted to press “6” and the message said, “The next available representative would be with you shortly. Your wait time would be one hour and twenty eight minutes.” I thought, “That’s shortly?”  So I put the phone on speaker, listened to the most annoying hold music and waited my turn to speak with the next available representative.

While I was waiting I received a call on my cell phone from my niece, Pebble.  I said, “I’m on hold on my land line so if someone comes on the line I will have to hang up quickly so I will have to call you back.”  My niece said, “Ok Aunt Jo, it has been awhile since our last chat.”  We started talking about how things were going in her life and then the subject turned to food, cooking and my spirit.  My niece asked me how I was doing and, without going into all the painful details of my day I said, “I feel like I am under attack by that evil spiritual enemy.  He is attacking me in so many different ways these days.”  Pebble being an amazing woman of faith, talked to me about the book of JOB in the bible.  She quoted me so many wonderful scriptures (in the bible) regarding keeping our faith strong.  Pebble must have known I needed to pray so she started praying over me saying, “Lord I plead in the blood of Jesus over my Aunt Jo………….” And she did not stop praying until she had prayed over every aspect of my life.  I cried softly while she was praying over me. I said, “Thank you so much for that amazing prayer Pebble.”  She promised to stay in touch and we said our goodbyes. I felt so much better after our conversation.

I was still on hold with the California State Tax Franchise Board.  I was watching Sophie wrestle around the floor with all of her toys when I heard the hold music stop.  A voice came over the speaker and said, “Hello, this is Justin with the California State Tax Franchise Board.  May I ask whom I am speaking to?”  For verification purposes, Justin asked for my name, date of birth, social security number and address.  I gave him all of my information then he said, “Did you go by another last name and if so, what was your last name?”  I said, “Sir, I have had the same last name for almost 12 years.” He replied, “Well that’s NOT the last name I have on file and if you are not willing to give me your other last name then I am going to assume you do not want to comply with my request so I will be forced to end this conversation.”  Now I’m thinking, “Seriously…… what a jerk! I’ve been on hold for the last hour and a seventeen minutes and this government jerk is giving me an attitude.  This guy works for the same government agency that just snatched the money from my bank accounts and now I’m supposed to jump through a hoop and make his miserable day……………..LORD please give me strength.”  I could feel the lump in my throat again and my heart beating fast again.

I complied with all of Justin’s requests; gave him my last name from 12 years ago and my current address – which was different from 12 years ago.  Now that Justin had verified I was the right person, we started discussing the issues at hand – the Tax Levy Fee.  Here’s the story; 1995-1999 I was living in California.  Sometime in 1998, I was hired as a sales representative for a Las Vegas graphic company. Just so you know it wasn’t the same graphic company I was working for when I met Jerry. Anyway, I was a Contract Sales Rep and was paid a salary plus sales commission.  What I didn’t realize was this company was NOT taking out California State tax from my paycheck. I worked for and was paid by a Las Vegas based company – why would they take out California State Taxes?  I filed my income taxes every year on time and thought I was paying all the necessary taxes.

I decided to move back to Las Vegas in 1999 and continued working for this graphic company. We parted company after a few months and I started to work for a strip casino for a brief period.  According to the California State Tax Board, sometime in 2000 there was a tax audit on my 1999 tax return.  A notice of this tax audit was sent to my old address and was not forwarded to me.  I guess the “mail forward” had expired or something. For whatever reason, I did not receive notice of the tax audit.   The  Tax Representative said, “A letter was sent to your California address on April 7, 2013.”  I said, “Sir, I have not lived at that California address since 1999.  I have been at my current address for the last 12 years.” Jerry and I have filed our income tax on time every year.  The California State Tax Board was able to track down all of my bank accounts by my social security number but they could not track me down at the CORRECT address which appeared on all of my tax returns.  The California State Tax Board put me on a horrible emotional roller coaster.  I remember asking GOD (and Jerry) for guidance.  I felt like someone had just punched me in the gut.  It felt like the world was crumbling down around me.  The only thing that kept me from thinking there was no way I could recover from this was….. my faith in GOD.  I know my GOD does not manufacture pain, but HE certainly puts it to good use………I knew GOD would make a way out of no way…………..

Two weeks later I received an email from one of my major embroidery customers.  I started reading this email and I could feel a lump in my throat again. The email stated my embroidery services of 6 years was no longer needed. What was so hurtful about that email – I wasn’t given the opportunity to bid on a new contract or have a personal discussion regarding our current business arrangement.  We did not have a written service contract.  I didn’t feel one was needed – my mistake.  The email ended by saying, “Josie you have served us well.”  Oh yeah, like that was supposed to make me feel better.  These two events weeks apart put me on an emotional roller coaster I didn’t think I would be able to get off.  I felt like I was on an emotional free fall.  I didn’t want to talk or see anyone for days.  I needed time to regroup my thoughts and feelings.  Thank GOD my son, AJ had come up from San Diego that weekend.  He said to me in a very calm voice, “Mom, don’t worry about anything, I will help you get through this because Pop (that’s what AJ called Jerry) would want me to help you get through this.”   My son hugged me tight in his arms and said again, “We will get through this together Mom.”  I cried softly in my sons arms………………….

That night, AJ had rented a fight on HBO.  When I regained my composure I joined him and his friend, Jenny in the living room and we watched the fight on HBO.  While I was watching that fight I remember thinking, “The guy getting punched in the head, I bet his head is going to feel like mine does right now after this fight.”  That night I went to bed early.  I cried softly while I was talking to Jerry then I prayed, “GOD please give me strength, peace, understanding and PLEASE open up another door of opportunity.” I thanked HIM for the blessings coming my way and said……. AMEN.”  Then I fell fast asleep.

The next morning I woke up early and quietly went into the kitchen to make myself some coffee.  I was being quiet so I wouldn’t wake up my son who was sleeping on the living room couch.  I was quiet but Sophie “the beagle” was not.  When I let her out of the bedroom she quickly ran up the hallway into the living room and  jumped on the couch were my son was sleeping and proceeded to lick his face clean!  Needless to say that woke AJ up abruptly and I heard him say, “No Sophie pleeeeeease stop licking my face!”  to be continued……………….




















11 Comments on “How to Grieve While LOL a novel by Josie Roed”

  1. May 6, 2014 at 11:13 pm #

    Josie, I’m so happy to see you here and Jerry would be so proud of you!

    • May 6, 2014 at 11:49 pm #

      thanks Tracey. I will be adding a few more bells and whistles as soon as I get everything figured out lol….thanks again for all your assistance also. Warm Blessings, Josie

      • May 6, 2014 at 11:50 pm #

        Absolutely Josie, any time! You are doing great!

      • May 6, 2014 at 11:52 pm #

        ;o) I’m learning as I go or as Jerry would say….”wing it babe!”

      • May 6, 2014 at 11:54 pm #

        I have 17 followers so far………….so excited!!!millions more to come :o)

      • May 7, 2014 at 12:17 am #

        That is fantastic Josie!!

  2. arloene stevens
    May 19, 2014 at 3:56 am #

    That was very interesting. Thanks for letting me know about the blog.

    • May 19, 2014 at 5:47 am #

      you’re welcome Aunt Arlo. It was great chatting with you today. See you in June. Warm Blessings, Josie

  3. DaveOmak
    August 11, 2015 at 4:38 pm #

    Josie Roed, you are an amazing woman….

    • August 11, 2015 at 4:50 pm #

      Awww thanks Dave. This past year has been a real struggle at times. I give all thanks to GOD for my family and my dear friends. My novel is a work in progress. Lots more to come. Thanks for reading it Dave and thanks for stopping by my blog.


  1. My First Ever Blog Award: The Liebster Award! | Salty Sweet Life - June 13, 2014

    […] @ The Roed to Good Cooking – Josie just started her blog a couple of months ago as a way to deal with the grief of the […]

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