this is not a test.

Relax.
This is just a blog post.

You’ve posted before. Over a thousand times, actually.

You’re a little rusty, sure.  It’s been over 400 days since you so much as glimpsed the internet…
but you don’t need a license to be a blogger so it’s not like you expired.  And it’s not as if they can revoke your blog if you post something foolish.

I mean.
Remember the time you posted a series of unicorns photoshopped into fine art?

Rembrandt - Danaë (loves her Unicorns)
Rembrandt – Danaë (loves her Unicorns)

Remember Brussell Crow?

Yum!
Yum!

See?

It’s just a blog post.
It’s not a test.

It doesn’t have to say all the things that need saying.  There’s time.  There’s always time for everything you need.

You can tell everyone later about how you went to state prison for over a year and experienced strange and wonderful and terrifying things.

And you will find a way to explain how you thought “I am free.” would be the biggest short story you’d ever live, but then 77 days ago, he died.

He died without you.

No one expects words to explain something so unexplainable.  Your husband dies — at 35-years-old with no warning — while you’re in prison making a cake out of creamer.  It’s impossible, but it happened and you’ve survived all 77 days of being alone and afraid.  Yes.  So far, you’ve survived being a widow.  Just like the time you survived being a felon, and being an inmate, and being a firefighter.

It’s just a label.
It’s just one more impossible lollipop you ate before breakfast.

No one is counting how many licks you took.
Blogs aren’t regulated by capricious, sugar-fiending owls.

This owl is only concerned with real lollipops.
This owl is only concerned with real lollipops.

No one is regulating at all.
No one is watching.

No one can see how many tears you’ve shed while typing, so type freely.
Cry freely.

Do all things freely because you are free.
It’s a beautiful label to wear on this beautiful day.

Take a big bite, or a small one.
Turn a big fall into a small step.
Tell a big story in a small way
because it’s your blog and you’re home free now.

You are home.
You are free.

And your readers — your blokin, your friends, your Pressers, your Best Beloveds — know the limitations of a blog and the limitations of you.

(They believe neither and accept both.)

They accept you.
As-is.

Even when you aren’t as-was, or as-could-be,
because it’s not a test.

It’s just a blog post and you are loved almost-exactly as much as you love.
(Somewhere between endlessly and infinitely.)

So relax.
Cry. Type. Blog.

Do your best.

This (life. post. step.) is not a test.

_____________________________

I’m home, Best Beloveds, and I love you.
My year has changed me, strengthened me, slowed me, and liquified me.  I am ready to start fresh here and I have a few zillion stories to tell, but first – mostly – I want to listen.

It was so very hard to hear your rawr through the locks. (Most days, I could barely hear my own.)

So, how are you? What did I miss?
Tell me everything.

319 thoughts on “this is not a test.

  1. I don’t even know how to tell you how sorry I am…I have pulled for you and prayed for you while you were in prison, and never in my wildest dreams could I have envisioned your husband dying before you were released. I am sitting here speechless. My heart goes out to you, my blogging friend, as you celebrate the freedom you have wanted for so long, and try to adjust to the “freedom” no loving wife ever wants. – Fawn

    Liked by 3 people

  2. You are ever so wonderful, and so deeply loved. I cried with your words as one cries at the most beautiful music. It is all things at once and only tears do it justice, for adding words (to your words, to music) does nothing to add to the beauty.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Welcome back, Rara! It was so nice to get your last letter and I have been waiting, waiting for your first post!!! Take your time and enjoy your freedom, We are all here, and will wait for when you are able to tell us more. You have all the time in the world.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. 😀 Noelle, thank you for writing and keeping me tied to this wonderful world. I really did not think I would return, but then I just kept looking at the mail… and I kept hearing my fire Captain saying it was just willingly giving up voice and a community of people who really knew Dave. It does seem a silly thing to give away when put in that context. I’m glad to be back and surrounded by loving… patient… people like yourself.

      Like

    1. Awww, thank you! You just did the same… it’s all dusty and disorganized in here. I don’t even have an about page or face or anything around… but you found the one thing I did do. I wrote something. Yay me! Ha! 😀 May we stay in celebration always, right? 😀

      Like

  4. Oh, I’m so happy to see a post from you, this way. I’m so sorry for all that you’ve been through.

    I have all sorts of news for you that I wanted to send in letters, but I was too moronic to set aside the time to do so.

    Maybe I should go backwards…

    This past weekend I officiated at my step-brother’s wedding. I attended the wedding with a date, just so happened to be my fiancee. Our first date was on April 1st of this year, and we were engaged on June 1st of this year. We met in March, officially. We unofficially connected on Facebook in November of last year. Oh yeah, she’s from San Diego, so that’s means I’ll have a trip out that way sometime.

    I started a new job a couple of weeks ago. It’s more money, better benefits, and closer to work.

    I haven’t written hardly anything since the beginning of the year. I posted once a week last year, and that wore me out. I just need a push, and seeing you around just might be that push. Also, I need to get acclimated to a new job and through all of the wedding planning.

    Let me know if you need anything. Love you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Blogging helps people acclimate to new jobs and get through wedding planning. Fact! (Probably.) I’m so excited for you, and I can’t wait to stalk you properly and see your fiancee who I already love because look how happy you sound!! Squee! <- I rarely make that sound, but it seems appropriate. 😀 Plus, San Diego?! YES. We will meet. I'm sure of it.

      It's so good to hear you, Jon. *hugs* I missed you, my friend.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. You were in my dreams and in my thoughts. The world was a sadder place without you. It was a terrible thing to lose Dave like that, a terrible thing to come back to the hole he left in the world. You will get through this and it will be okay, eventually. Meanwhile, just know you were never forgotten. You missed everything, but also nothing. The world went round and round, and you are free.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It’s the ugliest, darkest hole I could ever imagine, Marilyn. Something so extremely impossible… like finally being able to look into a black hole and seeing something out of one of his nightmares. I know you know what I mean. And that’s just one of the reasons I’ve missed you so. How are you doing? All night I’ll be catching up on my reading, getting my blogducks in a row. I missed your face!!!

      Like

      1. I wish I didn’t know, but I do. That’s how I also know you’ll get to a better place. The blackness will recede. The crushing weight in your chest will lift. Take it hour by hour, day by day. Little nibbly bites. One day, you’ll realize you feel better.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Yes, I’m still in the hour-by-hour stage. 🙂 I can’t wait to look at a day and think “Today I will..” instead of “Right now, I can…” But I know I’ll get there. Eventually. It’s like the “How do you eat an elephant?” riddle.

          Bite by bite. 🙂

          Liked by 3 people

  6. Rara,-Goddess, You’ve returned! You’re free! Hoooraaay! Sooo happy that you’re back, sister. I hope you could feel the BigLizzy-Bear-Hugs in there, because I was sending them daily. I’m so beyond sorry for your loss; it was an incredible shock to learn this about your hubby. I can’t even imagine what you were feeling, honey. Please know that your bloggy family is here; we’ve always been here and we aren’t going anywhere. Love you, sis. So glad you’re home with us.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Aw, Lizzy, there was a moment after I learned about Dave and I told myself, “Feel the hugs.” and (as crazy as it sounds) almost felt squished. There was definitely a big-Lizzy-hug in that mix. 😀 Thank you for your kind thoughts and love. *hugs*

      Like

      1. Sweet friend, Sending more to you now, honey. You are more adored than you will ever know. You give such light, love, and energy in this world; it’s time we pay you back for some of it, honey. {{{HUGS!}}} Oh, and lots of {{{Kisses}}}, too!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. It’s been hell… but I keep a little handbasket filled with all y’alls prayers and love… and you’d be surprised at how effective that was at getting me through. 🙂 I am grateful for you.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh good Lord, Elyse, seeing your name just sent a bucket of tears down my face. I received your cards. And your love. I’ve missed you, friend. (And oh-how-I-miss-Dave. I don’t know what to do about it, but I suspect “Write about it all the time” might be the answer for a bit. Thank you for reminding me to keep him alive in my words and heart.)

      Liked by 3 people

      1. One of the things that brings me comfort, strangely, over the deaths of my sisters, is the Harry Potter books. In them, the folks he’s missing get to come back. It makes me feel warm and a little less alone.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. As you recommended, in your own way, I’ve been collecting all the things that make me feel warm and less alone. Songs. Tokens. Words. Books. It makes it so I can still hear him…

          Liked by 2 people

      2. Yes, write about it. That is all that got me through the loss of my sister. My heart was broken into a million pieces when I heard about Dave. I’m sorry I never sent you a card, Rara. I thought about you everyday and told many friends to pray with me for you.

        In some mysterious way, blogging through my grief kept my sister with me in ways that I hadn’t imagined would be possible. Now she visits me often (she’s always flying – she comes as a hawk to guide me). You will always have Dave with you. The words will remind you of that.

        Much love,
        C

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    1. I feel like I’m at a family reunion, haha! 😀 The avatars alone are sending me into spirals of happy tears. If I am strong at all, it is because I borrow heavily from the pool of strength you guys have kept filled for me. 🙂 *hugs* It’s so good to see you here.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh Rara, you have no idea how good it is to hear your voice again. Welcome home! May God surround you peace, contentment and love as you settle back into freedom xxx

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Yep, I’m still here and I want to thank you for jumping in and following my blog again. Remember to breathe when it all gets too much for you. Take the blogging business slowly.
        A couple of sentences a week will sate our appetite.
        May a few happy seconds turn into a few happy minutes. A few happy minutes turn into a happy hour. Happy hours morph into happy days, and happy days bloom into a life of happiness, contentment and love xxx

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Omg. I’m almost speechless! I got so excited to see your name in my email and then I started reading and my heart broke. I am so sorry for your loss. I am also really glad that you are free and back home! I’ve missed your posts! So many emotions right now. 😊😯😢😶💛

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha! I love the train of emoticons. I should have just posted that. “I FEEL ALL THE THINGS!” 😉 I missed you. I’m happy to see you. Right now, at this very moment, that’s the most important feeling I’m feeling. 🙂

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  9. It’s very good to hear your voice again. Mostly, what you missed was us all missing you. The blogosphere isn’t the same place without you. Welcome back. I’m so sorry for your loss and that ‘home’ is thus such a different place now for you. I hope you can find it a good place again though, even through such sadness.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Caron. I dipped my toes into the ‘sphere today and, though I know I’m not ready for it, I can’t wait to jump in. Soon. Yes, home is… strange and broken… But still good.

      Yep. Still good.
      It’s wonderful to hear you once again.

      Like

  10. Oh Rara..I am …I am so so sorry. I didn’t know because I’ve been awol from here.
    Sending you the biggest and squishiest hugs and loads of light and love, joining all those who have been with you through this time.

    You are so loved.

    Think I’m gonna go cry a little too. Huuuuuuuuuugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really don’t think I would have survived the 438 days without you. And I know the last 77 would have gotten the best of me. Thanks for the welcome back… And thank you for making sure there was something to come back to. 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Don’t sell yourself short. You are dino-strong and would have survived without me, but I’m glad I could help. As we discussed, your authenticity is why you had something to come back to, rather than anything I did. You are amazing.

        Liked by 3 people

          1. At least once more, I must refuse. The crown isn’t mine… I’m Just a jester.
            A dino wearing a crown, now that’s something we can all agree makes sense. Right? Right.
            3rd morning of freedom. Bring on another beautiful day.

            Liked by 4 people

  11. Dear sweet Rara, in the time you have been away I have started a greeting card business, I set up a website to sell them (by myself) no small feat, I set up a facebook page for them and I try to make regular posts. I have fought depression and did my best to keep it to myself while looking hard for work and doubting my worthiness and abilities. I couldn’t tell you then because I did not want to add to anything you were going through, but I suspect insightful you may have suspected. 🙂 I have made several photo memory books for others and that has brought me great joy. I became a maid of honor for the first time ever and I still have to plan and execute the shower and then fulfill my duties at the wedding. I have tried to post more on my blog, but have too often found myself uninspired. I released my 3rd book of poetry. Noelle and I remodeled a room in our home for someone who is dear to us. We have begun a massive organizing/cleanout of our garage and we are plowing right through 25 years of things we have accumulated. And today, like you taking baby steps getting back into life, I started a new job. I was afraid and full of anxiety. I have not worked in 7 years. I thought of you and how brave you have been through all of this, I cried a little on my way there in the car. And I aced it! Now I have happy grateful tears. I cannot begin to imagine what life will be like for you now, but you have so many of us on your side who care about you. I hope you will draw from our strengths and lean on us when you need to. I have so much more to share, but there is time for that now. xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Of course you aced it, Dani. You’re a goddess. And I adore you. Nothing you accomplish is a small feat but you do it all anyway… Because you’re awesome. I can’t wait to see you!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Oh dear Rara, I’m so glad you’re home! My own life has been neither wine nor roses lately, but I’m doing all right all things considered. I’ve been helping my mother recover from a small stroke the last couple of weeks (and a compression fracture in her back for months before that). But my travails seem trivial compared to all that you’ve been through. To see a post from you, and to know that in spite of your grief you are still your sunny rawring self does me a world of good.

    I know that there will be good days and bad days coming for you. I’ve been lurching around in my grief over losing my father again because of all the attention beautiful Pluto has been getting. I watched an episode of NOVA about it, and I kept seeing echoes of him in the way the NASA guys stood and smiled and looked. Those echoes hurt like hell, but they’re also comforting knowing that something of his spirit is still on this plane of existence. I hope you can find comfort in the echoes of Dave you see in the universe.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, echoes… What a lovely concept. I will put it in my mental bucket of treasures I’ve collected from you. As to comparing trials, psh. Hard is hard. I will grieve for your troubles, and celebrate your victories… Just like mine. Cuz they’re just like mine even if they’re entirely different. Right? Right.

      And BTW, I’m in your neck of the woods now, chica. You’ll have to direct me to a quality taco place. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Dear Rarasaur,

    I’ve never gotten a response to you, I’ve penned s couple since I started reading your blog to learn how it’s done. This is my second draft of a response to you this evening. I do not have this blog thing down, no reflection on you, of course.

    I’ve admired your imagination, appreciated your style and talent with words, was shocked when youveentvtp prison, looked for progress notes from your darling hubby and now I’m heartbroken that he’s left this earth too soon. I’m so sorry for your loss. Sending you love and light for moving forward dear funny Rara❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Robin. Blogging isn’t always obvious or straightforward so no worries there. Thank you for reading… I really value the gift of being heard even if it isn’t accompanied by words/reply/response. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I am without words at the moment because I am so taken in by yours once again. I know how I feel as the reader here, can not begin to imagine how you felt living and writing them.

    Ok, stuff to distract you for now… Kid graduated, moved away, got a tattoo, moved back last month. Probably going to move again, he’s still trying to figure outwhat to do now. He’s stable mentally, still; me, not so much (per usual) . Im still at the badly stressful job; still not sleeping either. Gone a little Lego collection-crazy. In ‘like’ with someone who appears to feel the same way so far (and we didn’t meet online!) Oh, and dyed my hair black too 🙂

    Im typing this on a qbert themed keyboard on my phone, so forgive the wonky punctuation, etc. The symbols don’t show up on this one, but it’s qbert!

    Lordy I have missed you. I know I fell off with writing after my depression hit the worst. I stopped talking to friends offline and only just saw one recently after a year. Not an excuse, it’s just what happened , but I’m here now if you’ll have me on your side.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m on a phone too… For a few days probably till I line up these darn ducks. Saw the hair, its fab, you’re gorgeous. As to the tattoo, are we impressed or horrified? :). So so excited to hear the details on the like and to see all the Lego pictures. What color are the nails???

      Like

      1. Aw, thanks. The upkeep is a pain, but I do love the raven-haired look to keep going for now 🙂

        Horrified somewhat…not that he got one but it’s something having to do with Naruto. Not a character, but some sort of symbol-thing. He says it means something to him, so there’s that. His arm, not mine. 😀

        Blue today…yet, I think I may be switching to dino green soon 🙂

        I’m slow on the “like” details so I don’t jinx it, but it’s like dating circa 1990-something. No social media, limited texting, phone calls vs. online chat, etc. Slow=good.

        Love, love, love, love, love that you are “here”. Pace yourself, chica, please ❤

        Like

  15. Hey Rara! Its nice to have you back. You were missed a lot and I tried my best to send lots of positive vibes your way in the most invisible way.
    Nothing much has happened on my end except that I recently got engaged and plannig a wedding in October, bought a house and moved in. And thats about whats consumed my life.
    Still, the blogosphere isnt quite the same without you around. Remember the Carmen Sandiego and the tugof war? Even if my words didnt physically get to you. You were on my mind a lot. Im super happy to have you back on the blogosphere! 🙂 Sending lots of virtual hugs to welcome you back!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Engaged!! House!! Wedding! Moved! That’s all the big things and you look so happy and grown up and I’m gonna cry again. I can’t wait to catch up on your adventures. But first, I need to know… Does your fiancée know and acknowledge that you are frightfully wondrous? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I know it’s inadequate to type it here, but I have thought of you so often over this past year, wondering how you’re doing, thinking about how awesomely powerful your voice is, hoping you’ve found a way to rawr through such painful things.
    So very glad to see your light shine brightly here. You were missed.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. You’re back! =D

    I don’t even know you, but I’ve been following you and your husband’s posts through this whole journey, and I was so sad and shocked when I read that he had passed. D= I can’t even imagine how that must have felt, and I’m sorry that you’ve had to go through that enormous mountain in your life, in addition to all of the other things you’ve dealt with. You are an incredibly strong person, and I look forward to hearing your mind at work on everything you’ve experienced. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Ah Rara, there hasn’t been a day since you’ve been gone that I haven’t thought about you and sent you love and light. When I heard about Dave, I cried like a child. It was awful and I sent out more light and love. I never wrote you while you away and for that I am sorry and I deeply regret. I was too caught up in my own life and troubles and that’s on me, not you. But, when I heard you were back I couldn’t have been happier. When I saw your beautiful face and read your loving words I sighed, sat back in my chair and said to myself.
    There is Rara…so full of love…so full of light even though she has been through hell. May your light never dim, your love never fade and may you always grow more beautiful inside where it counts the most. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Welcome back to blogging! Your words are moving and powerful as always. I’m truly sorry that you lost Dave. I know the blog world grieved with you and for you, and stands by you.

    What’s new let’s see…I have a different blog as you’ve probably noticed. We are moving out of Northern AB. My Hubby is already moved and started a new job after losing his job twice up here do to closures and economic down turns. We are moving back to where my heart has always been. Beautiful British Columbia.

    My health has taken a not so good turn so hopefully being in BC will make things easier. I live on painkillers now.

    I’m truly happy that you’re free now. I hope this means you’re also free of those who did this. You’re much loved and to us in the blog world aside from missing your posts, you were always with us.

    I know it’s one moment at time for you. Take care of you. xo

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    1. Painkillers? 😦 I just know being at your hearts home will ease a huge portion of that. I am here to lean on when you need to, anytime. Thank you for sharing in my journey with me. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes arthritis and or autoimmune disease aka possibly RA. Thanks Rara and back at you. xo

        I’m not sure you’d know but I wrote you a letter while you were in jail. I think just after I mailed it word went out that the address was wrong. I would guess you didn’t get it but I wanted you to know.

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        1. Thank you for writing. It was difficult for everyone– since I moved so often and the restrictions were so overwhelming. If you still have the letter and would like to send it, just email me and I’ll send you an address. 🙂

          I’m sorry about the pain. I plan to wish it away every chance I get. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I don’t think I have it anymore. I didn’t get it back and I actually wrote it on paper, I didn’t type it out first. Sorry.

            Thanks Rara! xo

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  20. Dear Rara. It’s so good to hear from you. You are so brave. I would like to hear everything you would like to share with us. Love and hugs. Really missed you a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Dave worked really hard at keeping us connected to you–sharing letters and drawings–he made us laugh and he made us cry. Absolutely dumbfounded when learning of his passing. The spiritual connection you have to him will never be broken. That is love.

    So glad you have made your way home 🙂
    You are a beautiful soul, no matter the labels, no prison would have changed that fact.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, Dave was … IS …. love. :). Thank you. I hope you’re right about the change. I have no idea what I am now, but I am grateful Dave got to meet this new me, face to face. 🙂 I can’t be all that rotten if he still loved me so. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  22. I don’t think I’ve ever made a comment before to you, I only know you through your posts, but I’ve loved your light, your gift of story telling, of finding the details I would never see and writing about them in such a beautiful, frank way that makes me examine my world a little more closely. I get your posts in my inbox, always looking forward to what you have to say next, some little tidbit of observation in your life, the honesty you emanate. I read all the updates while you were away, read them to my husband out loud.

    I was so excited to see another post in my inbox. And then I read. And my heart broke for you. I cried and cried reading it, because I hurt for you. I am so terribly sorry for your loss.

    And I can’t imagine being as brave and strong as you are. Even now, when I read this post I see the light in you. I see in you a sort of being that I can’t describe, that I can’t put into words no matter how many times I try.

    My heart, my prayers, my positive vibes all go out to you. And I want to say thank you, for being you. Even though that sounds cliche to my own ears, I need to say it. I need you to know that you have saved my life with a beautiful description, a new way of looking at something, and just the love and light that seems to come from deep within you.

    I am wishing you peace and tranquility and healing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. This comment framed my world in glitter and polka dots, leaking the kindness of it into my day and turning hardship to joy. I am thankful for you, humbled by your readership, and soothed by the warmth of your welcome home. xo. It’s good to be back.

      Like

  23. Lovely to see you back and to know you’re free!
    In your note you mentioned recipes; I’m not as careful about carbs as you are so I don’t know whether all of them will work for you, but while you were in the internet-free zone I created a recipe page on the Scribblings blog and have posted some recipes that might do : https://notjustsassyontheinside.wordpress.com/category/recipes/
    I’m still working on postcards for your friends in prison. Hunted till I found some really nice pics of the Bluegrass region for them.
    And I’ll stop as you have so very many of these to reply to! Hugs, Leigh

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Leigh, thank you for keeping me linked to this cozy world. I am excited about the recipes… I emailed them to Mamasaur. 😀 I’m so glad to be just an email away from you once more. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  24. You’re back! 🙂 I, too, thought about you all the time. You are one of those bloggers I cannot unhook from my mind when they’re silenced – and now you’re not silenced anymore. I have cried rivers when I heard about Dave, mostly for you: this shouldn’t have been added to what you already went through. But now you’re free again, surrounded by all those people who love you and who knew him, and I hope it helps. Even when it’s just a tiny little speck of help.

    Now for the distraction 🙂 I stopped my etsy-business (didn’t work, the market was too saturated). I did change my blog to a self-hosted one (it is in Dutch, sorry!) and I am kind of positive most of the days now. Found out about my husband’s debts, which we are now paying off. Now we do have help from the food handout, and it can be funny to look what we get. Ten packets of vanilla dessert it was last Monday, and Easter-m&m’s. Oh and one giant huge eggplant!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jantine, my dear, all the love is more than a speck… It’s a great big mountain of help. I am so appreciative.

      An eggplant, easter m&ms and vanilla pudding… What on earth??? Haha!! This made me laugh muchly. Oh life. It’s so silly!

      Good to see you are still shining and thriving. :). And thank you for keeping me in your heart.

      Like

  25. Reblogged this on triggershorse and commented:
    While Rawra was in prison her husband kept all of her readers in touch and passed along her messages; to read her first post “back outside” today and realize that he had died at 35 made me very sad. I’m reblogging today’s freedom post from her as a tribute to their love. – Fawn

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Welcome back, you. 🙂
    We’ve missed you too much for words.
    You broke the internet on Twitter with #RawrLove thanks to an idea Matticus and I had on your release day. It was beautiful. (when you come over to my place you’ll see the posts.)

    I’ve missed you so much. We have so much more to talk about. Many more emails (when u get one,) many more letters & things, and phonecalls this year, definitely. Promise? Promise. I won’t take no for an answer. Lol

    I feel so much ache for what you’ve been through & you know it. But you are so loved here. I cannot wait until you see whatStories has grown into…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 🙂 I am so slow with replies lately. Part of it is that I keep getting distracted. All this internet and love happened while I was away and… I just want to soak in it all. Thank you for everything, dear one. I cannot wait for all the future adventures to come!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Take your time, sweetness. There is a lot here. My goodness, from all over the world. This may take you the rest of the year you know. 😀 & I think you will love every minute of it.

        Liked by 1 person

  27. Oh wow, I’m so happy to see you. I’m just so glad you are back, and there is just no explaining how much you were really missed. Your year, so heartbreaking, and I can’t even begin to relate to your pain. But, I am so happy that you’re back with us, that I can’t even type coherent thoughts right now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry it took me so long to respond to this. Coming back to blogging was more emotionally-tolling than I thought it’d be… I just missed everyone so much. Thank you for the warm welcome back, and for keeping a candle lit for me while I was away. *hugs*

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was thinking how overwhelming it would be for you and knew it would be hard to keep up with all the comments, but you’re doing it. Like you always do.

        Liked by 1 person

  28. Darling Rara – so lovely to have you back, but am beyond sadness for your loss. I had no idea. Wish i could hug you right now. I don’t know what else to say except you are loved, stay true to your own strong and lovely self and know you have been hugely missed. Sending waves of love and support. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you. I am sorry it took me so long to reply… I just sort of… couldn’t do all the replies at once. I missed this place. 🙂 I received your waves of love and support and I am thankful for them. 😀 Thank you, my dear, for the welcome back. It’s good to be home.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. Mostly a lurker here than anything else, Rara, but a lurker for quite a while. I was so happy to see that you’d posted, I knew what that meant, yay! So happy for your freedom, and if I’m not mistaken, you made it out early!

    But, I cannot even begin to express how sad the news is of your beloved. I looked forward to his updates and I worried – he seemed so lost without you. Yes, sweetie, cry type cry type lather rinse repeat. You’re doing well at not letting life knock you down, despite the hard punches its dealt you lately. For what it’s worth, know you are surrounded by a lot of love.

    And I will continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers. *hugs*

    Vanessa

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did make it out early! 🙂 Thank you. My fire captains were able to finagle a week of time off for me because they are magical. I am working on the cry-type system which is why this reply is so long in coming, but I wanted to make sure to at least say thank you… for all the thoughts and prayers. So… thank you. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I passed, yay! ) Thank you, Dale. The words are still waiting… I can’t seem to manage them as well as I once could, but I suppose that’ll come in time? 🙂 Thank you for reading, and I apologize for being so slow in replying… everything seems to be a process of babysteps lately!

      Like

    1. I’m sorry for replying this late, Duncan, but I know that you’ll forgive me, haha. 🙂 I just didn’t know what to say. I don’t know what to say now either, except… thank you for being here when I got back. It’s good to be able to chat with you once again. 🙂

      Like

        1. Yeah, one or two things. 😉
          Honestly, it’s just that I’m struggling with words. I think I spent most of the last 15 months using the same 2000 words over and over again. The ones I want don’t come to me as easily as they once did. I’m rusty, friend. 🙂

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            1. I know, but I just… missed everything so much. I want to do all the things.

              I’m even out of practice on reading. I didn’t even know that was possible! But my reading comprehension has diminished incredibly… in just a year without books.

              Crawling stinks. I want to run! 🙂

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                1. I’m not really sure how…. or what I’m working towards. For instance, do I even *want* to be a voracious reader once again? What I need is a magic 8-ball. 😉

                  Like

  30. Oh how happy I am to see you in my reader, dear Lady. I’ve kept you there hoping you’d come back to is with all your sweetness. You’re a strong woman and you’re proving it every day! — Audra
    Ps thank you for taking the time to write back to me.

    Liked by 1 person

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