Surprise Bouquet

Cookie Bouquet From Jana

Yipppeee for me! I knew Spring was on its way, but I had no idea it was coming today.

This amazingly tasty bouquet was sent to me by Bill’s sister Jana, in hopes of brightening my day. You see, she has been worried about me.

Along with taking photos of multiple herbs, various embroidery hoops and trying to figure out what I want to say about embroidery, I have been going through Bill’s last few months on earth. This process has effected my wellbeing in a tremendous way. I am still happy, but the loss is very real and going through this last tax return has been more emotional than I thought it would be.

Gathering all the stuff—easy.

Sorting through the stuff—easy.

Going through my stuff—easy.

Going through Bill’s stuff—hard—very hard.

I could say that I’ve come to terms with what has happened, but then I’d have to ignore the conversation I had to have with myself this morning—and the one I had this afternoon.

It is a very odd place I find myself in. Being happy and sad at the same time. I experienced the same contrasts when Bill was in the hospital and especially in the first few weeks and months after his passing.

During that time, tiny things and big things had equal weight. Emotionally, I felt that every little thing meant as much as every big thing. It’s hard to describe how it all meant everything and nothing—all at the same time.

Going through these documents was like being dragged back and forth through time. I knew where I was when we got this report, made that appointment, listened to that consultation or picked up this prescription. It was almost as vivid now, as it was then. I wouldn’t trade my precious moments with Bill for nothing. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat, just to see him again. It’s just reliving these experiences again without him here that suck.

I knew I would have to deal with this part of the loss eventually, but like most people, I decided to put it off until it was absolutely necessary. Well, this week it became ABSOLUTELY necessary

Along with the sadness, I have experienced great joy and lots of it. It rolls in on big waves. I get daily emails, calls, comments and texts from many dear and close friends. This love has balanced out the pain I’ve been coping with. It hasn’t removed any of it, but this generous outpouring of love has made the tough days easier.

Bill’s sister Jana and I speak in one way or another every day. She is an amazingly sweet and generous woman. When I mentioned to her how I was feeling, she immediately wanted to come to my rescue. As much as I love her, there’s really nothing she could do, other than what she did. She sent me daily emails and texts, but she obviously didn’t feel that it was enough.

So, today she sent me my favorite kind of flower—the cookie kind.

I think the cookie flower is probably Mother Nature’s greatest invention. I am not sure if they grow from cuttings or seeds, but I’m planning to find out. I want to fill my garden with these amazingly fragrant beauties. The bouquet was the sweetest thing ever—just like the person who sent it.

Jana’s goal was to brighten my day and she did so in stellar fashion. Because we are BFFs, I thought it was only right that I share this amazingly tasty bouquet with you—so I took this photo. (Don’t ask for a cookie. Psychic. Remember?) Hopefully it will brighten your day as much as it did mine.

Thank you Jana for making me feel so special. Words can’t begin to express how much you mean to me.

xxxooo 🙂


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18 Responses to “Surprise Bouquet”

  1. Eddie Landreth Says:

    What an incredibly beautiful and wonderful thing she did for you, Tom. We are all so fortunate to have such people in our lives at moments when it matters. And those cookies sure do look good! 🙂

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hey Eddie, The color of the cookies is amazing and I’m sure the they are going to taste fantastic. How could they not? They are filled with love. I’m thinking love goes really good with coffee. 🙂

      If it weren’t for people like this, I wouldn’t be here today.

      Now Eddie, that last comment sounds a lot like you’re asking for a cookie and I’m sure that wasn’t what you intended to do. 🙂

  2. Cyn Strang Says:

    What a sweet thing to do. We send you lots of love and hugs…..

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hey You! Yes, it was a very sweet thing and such a surprise. I is always good to hear that you are loved. Seeing that love manifest in such a grand fashion is amazing.

      The cookies were wonderful and they filled the house with the most amazing smell. It was a hug for the eyes, nose and heart to enjoy.

      I always appreciate the love and hugs I get from you and Jeff. They are what help get me through the tougher days and make the exceptionally wonderful days, even better.


  3. jayardi Says:

    • • • I suppose you ate every single one today, didn’t you? (now who’s psychic?) 🙂 I can picture your smiling face munching all those goodies and licking up the crumbs. 😉 And I know Bill is smiling over you.

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi there! Nope, the cookies are completely intact. Your psychic reading was good, because I debated eating them or not. They were just too pretty to eat in haste, so I chose to eat a (whole) pie instead. 🙂 Yummy!

      I’m saving the cookies for today. I have ice cream and cheesecake for tomorrow.

      I will be smiling the whole time I’m eating them. It’s sure I’ll have crumbs everywhere, by the time I’m finished. Bill would be pleased. He loved cookies, especially cookies created and sent with love.

  4. Delia Lopez Says:

    Happy and sad at the same time… how well I know the feeling. I lost my identical twin sister 9 1/2 years ago and it was sudden and I didn’t get to say goodbye, so I know well where you are coming from. A caring family is such a blessing and cookies anytime always bring a smile. A big hug is being sent your way.

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Delia, Thanks for the hug. Love like this and cookies keep me going forward.

      I was able to say goodbye to Bill, but it still didn’t seem like enough time. There is never really enough time to say goodbye forever.

      My heart hurts for you. I have learned that nothing can heal this wound. Nothing can remove the hurt. The only thing that changes is the rawness of the pain. I think the amount of pain we suffer is equal to the love we had for that person. If there is tremendous pain, then there was tremendous love—and that is comforting to know.

      I am honored that you would share your story with me. Thank you and thank you for blessing my day and my life with your presence.

  5. Joy Says:

    Tom – Prayers going up for you as you travel through time, back & forth, with memories of Bill. One day I hope you have only the good memories to carry with you.


    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Joy, Thank you for you kind words and prayers. I have far more good memories than bad. The bad memories hold less pain as time goes by. Once this tax process is complete, it will be complete and I won’t have to do it again.

      I know that this painful experience will allow me to help others in the future and that brings me great joy. Bill helped me in many ways throughout our time together and he continues to help me today.

      There appears to be no end to his love and for that, I am eternally grateful.

      I hope you have a glorious day.

  6. JudyB Says:


  7. Carla Says:

    And you deserve every damn tasty flower in that bouquet! That was very sweet of Jana. Dealing with the loss of a loved one sucks. Wish I had a magic wand to make it better. I might use it on myself.

    Hang in there friend. Time will soften the blow, at least that’s what they say. Hugs

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hey Carla, You are so sweet. Your comment brought a smile to my face. Each cookie was full of love and damn tasty. 🙂

      Alas, they were gone too soon. I seem to have a lack of willpower when it concerns cookies filled with love.

      I appreciate the wish. It has it’s own magic and it makes the going through the process easier. Time doesn’t soften the blow, it just removes some of the rawness.

      With friends like you around, I’ll be assured of brighter days in the future.

      Thanks for your support and friendship.

  8. Louise Cheever Says:

    I have only known you a couple months and only thru this. I have learned thru this life that great love brings great pain and great pain can bring real peace. Just takes longer then we want.

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Louise, Thank you for sharing your words of wisdom. It is true. Where there is great love, there is great pain. Peace comes and goes.

      I experience great joy each and every day, but resurrecting the loss so soon was pretty painful. The experience had it’s miracles as well as its tragedies and I am grateful for both. I wouldn’t change a thing, except for the outcome.

      The loss has given me great perspective and a clearer view of what I want my life to be. It has changed me greatly and I am truly grateful for that.

      Thank you for dropping by and offering your words of encouragement. I really appreciate it.

  9. JudyU Says:

    Dearest Tom,

    Our happy memories are the stars that lead us out of the dark night of sorrow.

    Always remember, we live in hearts we leave behind.

    Holding you close . . . .


    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hey Judy! Thank you for the beautiful words and the visuals they create. The words are so true. The people who have transitioned are always with us. There is great comfort in knowing that.

      I can feel Bill’s presence all the time, especially when I do something differently that he would do it. This awareness always makes me smile, because it brings to light the fact that he’s watching over me every day—and still expects me to do things they way he wants them done. 🙂

      It made me smile when he was alive and more so, now that he’s not.

      You are a blessing to me. xxxooo 🙂

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