“You are loved, just accept the truth.” – Kelle Schultz

The book signing at Union Avenue Books was succesful beyond my wildest dreams. We sold out of books, but that wasn’t even the best part. What mattered most to me was the people in the room and the love and warmth and emotional connection we shared. It was surreal. And DooDaddy was at the epicenter, greeting and holding court and “signing” books with his stamp.

My gratitude is boundless, and the list of people to whom I am forever beholden is vast.

Flowers, champagne, more flowers. Hugs. Tears. Laughter. Godiva chocolate, which is really the only kind of chocolate except for Potts Chocolate. Spontaneous opera. More flowers. Cards. More hugs. More tears. Faces I hadn’t seen in ages and yet we are still so connected it hurts.

Friends, I don’t care if Geezer Stories never makes it to Reese’s Book Club x Hello Sunshine — My book has been immortalized on COOKIES!!!! Patrice Minteer, your profound thoughtfulness always leaves me gobsmacked. Champagne from Kathryn Calloway and Jerry Sinclair. Thumbprint cookies and the idea of the party in the first place from Barbara Hillard.

Flossie McNabb said it was the “warmest” book signing ever, and I don’t think she meant the heat.

I got an email the next day from a wonderful soul who recently lost her mother. I don’t think she’ll mind if I share some of her message with you:

Dear Laura,
First Mothers’ Day – something just told me to come to your book signing, to find you and your book. Because I have known your parents for always in the small Knoxville world we inhabit, from Cherokee to Shannondale. I was thrilled to see your Dad looking so well and seeming so alert. … So I went up to the Square to have a glass of wine and started reading your book, and came home and kept reading and got up this morning and finished.

Laura, I cannot tell you how much your Geezer Stories means to me. Your honesty is startling and goes right to the bone. Your sense of the absurd had me laughing out loud in recognition. Recognition – that is the magic of your writing for me. I too have lost it at the candy counter at Long’s. I have kept a file of obituaries so I would know how to write one when the time came for Mother. I just looked and sure enough, one of the ones I saved was your Mother’s. At some point you mention, briefly, how her life became yours, and I totally get that. Next step is to re-read your book and mark the passages I particularly want to remember.

Because I am right now trying to figure out how to reconfigure my life without Mother – because I am on the threshold of geezerhood myself – your book is a valuable handbook. OMG, the excursions! The hospital visits! You capture all the humor and the frustrations! 

So just, thank you – thank you for touching my heart so deeply on Mothers’ Day.

Thank you for your so skillful and evocative writing. I will treasure your book as the healing continues.

Savoring the moment #geezerstories #geezerlove