Panda mates in winter

My hubby and I received a Christmas note inside a card this past week.  The card came from a woman who became a widow this past summer.  Her husband was the CEO of the corporation my husband worked for and we often played bridge with them. 

We were pleased to see this card and her note.  Both my husband and I know first hand the difficulties that surround the first major holiday after the loss of a beloved person.  My heart lifted at the woman’s note to us.  She plainly acknowledged her loss of her life companion with this sentence which tugged at my soul.  “How lucky we were to share 24 years after retirement as loving playmates.” 

I think that those simple words as such a magnificent tribute to the man he was, the woman she is, the love they shared for more than 60 years, and the fun they had in retirement. 

Too often we hear of couples who enter retirement and retire from life.  Not these two.  Or we hear of couples married for many years, but they have never seen themselves as playmates.  Only spouses. 

If any of you wonder where I come up with character traits, I tell you this with all honesty.  I  sometimes look around me and find stellar examples.  Traits or experiences people have that can be spun into a story. 

Somehow, I don’t know yet exactly in what way, that widow’s sentence and all it incorporates will find its way into a future book.  Have you encountered people in your lives who in some way fill your soul with a word or phrase that sums up the entirety of their lives?

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4 Comments on “Playmates”

  1. Edie Says:

    I have a friend who’s adventuresome. Is that what you mean by a summing up?

    I wish mine would be “joyful,” but I know it’s not. Drat it! LOL I don’t know if a writer could be joyful and a writer. I think we all have a bit of a dark side that we draw on as we write, as well as a brighter side.

  2. caseyclifford Says:

    Yes, Edie, if that defines your friend.

    I agree also that it’s probably not an easy road for a writer to be joyful and write, especially if one looks at many of the writers who are now the ones we study.

    On the other hand, if we can’t be joyful about our writing, I don’t know that we can write our best. At least that applies to me. Don’t we have to love what we write and find joy in it?

  3. Edie Says:

    I do love writing and often feel a joy when I read something I wrote and I think it’s good. Or when I’m in the flow. (Which doesn’t happen enough!) But I’m thinking of my personality as a whole, not just when I’m writing. I try to find joy in life. But I also experience the sadness. I feel the whole range of emotions. As a writer, that’s good. I need that range.

  4. caseyclifford Says:


    I agree. Writers need to feel a wide range of emotions as this can help them best describe those feelings in their characters. I also think it helps us work our way through character development if we have truly empathized or experienced events with other or just ourselves. This might also be the reason some of our greatest writers have been depressed.

    Overall, I think I’m joyful about life, even when things are often not very rosy. Maybe that trait hurts me as a writer as I want my characters to be the same way. 🙂

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