Signing Off

You and I have something special going on here. I want you to understand that I appreciate that fact. I write. You read. We bond over the stories. There is a connection in our history together that brings a sense of satisfaction to this old man.

For the last three months, because you are sympathetic by nature, you have endured my ramblings about my life, my uncertainties, my loss and my journey through grief. Knowing that you take time out of your day to listen and knowing that you support what I’m doing has been extremely valuable to me. You have been right there with me through it all. That’s what friends do.

But I never set out to use this platform to write about me. Lately, it’s been too much about me. My writing has transitioned from stories about people and places and events to essays about my own personal passage. I haven’t told many stories since August. I’ve taken a dive into my own emotions and experiences. Honestly, I can’t seem to write about anything else.

Which brings me to this. I should sign off for a while from Georgia Bred. I know that I still need to process my loss, but I think it’s unfair to continue do that here. There’s only so much raw emotion that any friend can take. If a man is lucky, there will be a few who will bear with it. A few who will want to bear with it. But no one should be forced to bear it.

The way I see it, you need a break as much as I do. The stories are still there somewhere. I just need to find them again. I need to get back to what I was doing when I started this writing gig. Which is something I don’t seem to be able to pull off right now.

I love writing. I’m not quitting. But I have no idea how long this break will be. I just know that I can’t keep up the pace I’ve set for myself and be fair to you at the same time. I would probably ruin Christmas for you with all of my baggage when I should be setting the stage for celebration and joy. Babies being born. Songs of faith. Good will to all men.

So, wish me well. I’m going to hunker down for some eggnog and Christmas cheer with my family. If a good story comes along, you might hear from me. In the meantime, I’ll be wishing you all the best for this season of the year. That’s what friends do.

May His peace and joy fill your life each and every day.

24 thoughts on “Signing Off

  1. We all love your stories. I think we can all relate whether they are about you or not. Please continue to put your words and emotions to paper. Take the time but not too long. 😊😊

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  2. Dear Paul, Just know that reading your messages has helped all of us with our own grief which over the years has at times crept back up to the front porch!! Please take your time but know that most of us are grateful to hear all about it!! Thanks, Susan in NC

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  3. I certainly wish you well Paul. Your stories about your loss and journey haven’t bothered me at all. In fact, I have wondered how you have been so open about your loss, and I think you have been doing remarkably well (even if you haven’t). It has helped me so much with the loss of mama. I’m not sure if you know this or not, but mama was at my house in Athens visiting, seeing my new house and my new grand baby. She was sitting in our living room, we were having a conversation, then we weren’t. She suffered a massive stroke and never recovered. Your writings have helped me, and I’m sure you didn’t know that. I’m sure you have helped others. Take a well deserved break and take care of yourself. Merry Christmas to you and your family. Enjoy the holidays. I know this will be a tough one. They all will be. We are forever changed.

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  4. Enjoy your sabbatical! Enjoy the Christmas Season with your family and I am sure we’ll all look forward to your return.

    Ed Thornton Carey Station Outpost, LLC P.O. Box 87 Greensboro GA 30642 (770)296-2933 Greenhouse construction, Landscaping and Handyman Services

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  5. Have greatly enjoyed the journey and look forward to when you are at a place you enjoy writing again. You and the total family continue to be in my prayers for healing, comfort and peace. May God bless you all in the days ahead.

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  6. Use your memories of your sweet wife to comfort you now. Know we love you…and know that you have shared memories that enlightened and comforted us. It’s your turn….
    Come back when you have regrouped….we’ll be ready when you are💕

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  7. Enjoy your break – you deserve it. But, come back better than ever before. When we go through challenges, we can either get bitter or better. I’ve known you long enough to know it’s the latter for you. I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas. In the meantime, if you need to talk, I’m here and I understand. Love and prayers! – Pam

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  8. Paul, I think so many can identify with your loss. I have found comfort and joy in what you have written since Beth’s passing. I don’t think that you realize that your faith and hope and love for your family shines through. You take all the time you need to be with your kids! It does the heart so good! The only thing that I can disagree with you on this post is you calling yourself an old man. I still object to being placed in the “elderly” category! Merry Christmas to you and yours and Happy New Year.
    Psalm 121:1-2
    I lift my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

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  9. Paul – I understand your reasons for wanting a break and fully support you. Cherish your memories and stay strong for your children and those wonderful grandchildren. I will miss your posts I so enjoyed reminiscing about our youth, family, home and friends.

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  10. I will be waiting for you when you return Paul. I lost my husband a number of years ago and your pain is one that all of us go through. Have a blessed and joy filled Christmas with your family and come back when you feel the time is right.

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  11. I’m accustomed to your presence! Take the time you need. Come back when you’re ready. We’ll all be waiting because your writing is magical, no matter the topic!

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  12. Well, I will miss you while you are gone❣️You see, for those of us who have experienced a great loss…. We really relate to the grief❤️ It actually is a comfort to know that my ongoing grief is not just me, that I am not completely crazy. It may sound terrible, but I probably relate to grief more than a lot of other things❣️ I think it may have been healing for you to write about your feelings❣️ I haven’t seen you in years, but I can tell you have your Daddy’s deep, good, sweet soul❤️ Take the time you need….but if you feel the need to write….about your journey or anything else….. we will be here waiting❣️ Love and prayers for you through this holiday season🎄 Just remember those we lost live on because the Christ Child came⭐️ And we will see them again🙌

    Sent from my iPhone

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  13. Your willingness to share your journey of these recent months has been a blessing to so many of us who have walked a similar path. Hoping that your time off will help you move forward to the next step in your journey. Grief has so many faces. I have a dear friend who is a minister who lost his oldest son in a tragic plane crash many years ago. He was 21 years old, and returning from his first missionary trip to Venezuela. To make it even more painful, it was the day before Mother’s Day, 1996. I ran into my friend by chance 5 months after the accident. He was still reeling in pain. I will never forget that he told me, he had “been counseling people for grief for over 20 years and never even knew what it was”. Now, 25 years later, he and his wife have taken their grief and channeled it into a glorious ministry for the people of Venezuela. Take your time. You never know where this will lead you. God Bless and Keep You As You Continue Your Journey.

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  14. Paul – We love your stories! Many I have reread numerous times and have also shared with my family. You have such a wonderful gift! Your writings bring joy to so many people (I think especially to those of us who grew up in Hampton and share those fond memories). I hope that if even if you do eventually decide on other pursuits, you will still keep your stories available for us to enjoy! Wishing you peace, inner joy and many blessings throughout this Christmas season and as you adjust to the changes in your life. Continued prayers for you and your family.

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  15. Paul we are relating to you in the loss of beth. And how you are coping with that part of your life. Its something all of us will likely face at some point. Either the wife or husband has to go first except in very rare instances like mamas sister and her husband roay and jessie wise, killed by the train in jenkinsburg in front of the old nursing home. You do need to enjoy the holidays from thanksgiving to the first of the year, enjoy the memories yall had …laugh with the kids and grand kids. No moping around. Joe turner

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  16. I will miss your stories, so thankful I have your book and I’ve saved them all in my phone. Was dead dog tired last night and went to bed way earlier than usual; I’m up now at 4:15 reading your stories. Merry Christmas 🎄

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