Several months ago, JB’s uncle Jack was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. Jack endured the radiation and chemotherapy treatments, losing his hair and his body weight along the way. He had a heart attack, and a stint was installed. He battled a horrible hospital-acquired infection. A tough sonofabitch by any standard, Jack told JB life kept trying to knock him down, but he was by god still standing.

We all hoped he was out of the woods, but last Monday Jack’s wife dragged him—as he was famously reluctant to complain—to the emergency room with debilitating pain in his back. A scan revealed that the cancer had spread to his bones. A grim diagnosis was given, 1-3 months.

By Thursday he was gone. I don’t even know how it happened so fast. I suppose there is some cold comfort in the fact that he didn’t continue to suffer. I don’t know if there is any comfort to death, though.

JB talked to him right before he died; a family member held the phone to Jack’s ear and JB spoke blindly into Jack’s labored breathing and those words are between the two of them but I believe Jack heard him. I believe that even as he slipped away, he knew he was surrounded by love.

Maybe there is comfort to that, if nothing else.

Jack has always been a big part of my husband’s life and it feels like a critical branch has been torn from the family tree. I keep wishing I could say something, the right thing, that would help ease the loss, but this is what happens when someone is loved so dearly: they are missed.

He was a good man, and he is missed.

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Does this blog title not sound like the world’s worst one-night stand?

Anyway, I have a couple of books to tell you about. One is Lessons of Evil, which my aunt wrote and recently self-published. If you have a Nook or Kindle, I think you should support an independent author and buy it for the very affordable price of $3.99, and I’m not just saying that because I love her very much—it’s a great read. The story deals in part with the condition of multiple personality disorder, which makes an awfully effective subject for a suspense novel. Her book is dark and fast-paced and occasionally really funny (right when you need it to be, sometimes), and I think she did a hell of a job. You can read an excerpt here, and buy the Kindle or Nook version here.


The second recommendation I have for you is on the polar opposite side of the reading spectrum: Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? My friend Gael Fashingbauer Cooper is one of the authors, and she was kind enough to send me an advance copy. (Not only that, she included a package of Pop Rocks, and you should have SEEN the boys’ faces when I dumped some on their tongues. Man, I wish I would have had a camera handy.) This book is a sort of trip down pop culture memory lane from the 70s and 80s, and if you’re around my age (thirtyHARRRRUMMPPHHseven), every single page will remind you of something from your childhood. Sea Monkeys! That’s Incredible! Lik-M-Aid! What a fun way to revisit all of that stuff, with over 200 pages that include entertaining short descriptions and info on what actually DID happen to the item. The book hits stores on June 7th, and is currently available for pre-order.


And now it’s your turn to tell me what I should be reading, okay? After I finished The Passage I read The Strain and then moved on to a Sookie Stackhouse book and what I’m saying is I think I need a break from vampires. I’d like something kind of creepy, though, so if you’ve read anything lately that freaked you right the hell out, tell me all about it.

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