#46 Happy New Year’s!

traffic at night

Dear Journal,

I am so excited!!!!!

Jack was so cute. On New Year’s Eve, he told me to bring blankets and dress warm and  that he just wanted to take a drive up North and look at the stars. He said that when we got up there we would put  the top down even though it was freezing that night.  His friend Larry  invited us to a party that sounded like it might have been actually a little more fun than driving up to some cold deserted place  but I was happy to be with Jack and go where ever he wanted to go. In the end, even though he got time off, he was called into work to fix a printer problem at the last minute. So I waited in the car for about a half an hour and we didn’t even get on the freeway till  around nine.

car talk

We bundled  up and drove past the grapevine and stopped at the top of the hill at a place called Fort Tejon. I didn’t get and still am not sure what it was about Fort Tejon that made it so special,  but I think it might have been just far enough away from the city lights where we could look up and see the stars. We laid our seats back and stared up. The sky was filled with clusters of stars and we just talked about everything. Something we hadn’t done for a long time.

starry sky

 My dad managed to get him a week off with pay, thinking that he could relax and figure things out with his mom. I think that touched Jack and he really was much more relaxed than I’d seen him in  a long time.  As we lay there, Jack started telling me how much he loved me and couldn’t imagine living through this last year without me and then he sat up and reached into the glove compartment, pulling me up with him…

convertable engagement

and said ; ” I can’t imagine living  the rest  of my life without you.” then  handed me a velvet box with a beautiful diamond ring in it and asked, “Will you marry me Keri?” It was so romantic!!!!!!   Oh yeah, I said Yes!

engagement pics of rings and things

The ring was so beautiful. I don’t think it was one that I tried on. I really did not expect it at all. He slipped the ring on my finger and my mind started spinning.



Even though it was past midnight, I wanted to go right home and tell everyone, especially my parents. I chattered all the way home about nothing that I can remember as I admired my ring that sparkled in the moonlight. We laughed and talked and I looked out the window and saw a young girl with a sad face look back at me. She looked so broken and I wondered what was happening in her life to make her look that way and  stopped to say a prayer for her because I knew too well how she felt.


Remembering how once I was the one  watching everyone else be happy and  thought… EVERYTHING is going to be okay now. I was so happy. I  looked over and said, “Jack, lets go wake your mom up right now and tell her!” I just knew she’d be happy for us. Jack seemed surprised but happy that I wanted to tell his mom but he said “let her sleep, there will be time.”

After Jack dropped me off,  I ran in and up the stairs and woke up my parents showing them my ring. They were  both sweet.  But my mom was obviously not happy. I was so disappointed. Later, as I lay in bed   I thought about when my mom said. “There’s no hurry right?” I wanted someone to be happy for us. I considered calling Liz. I mean didn’t she call us enough times after midnight? But I didn’t want to ruin the surprise for Jack so I waited till we could tell her together. And finally fell asleep.







11 thoughts on “#46 Happy New Year’s!

  1. Wow, should I say congrats? I’m happy for Keri, but also worried for her future. Perhaps the little girl she saw was an ominous way of the universe giving her a message? 🙂 (PS wordpress is acting up for me, I don’t think it’s showing my likes :()

    • Debbie,
      The next entries are going to be really hard for me to write. Stay tuned. I am going to try to get it done today. I don’t want to saturate everybody who has been faithfully following but the build up has been to this point. Then I need your expert advice….
      You know how in my book, I started it with Keri and her daughter cleaning out the attic, Keri finding “these” journal and then Keri reading the journal to her daughter?
      After the part about Jack is told, I was thinking that I wanted to go back to that story form, what do you think? I obviously would be done here with this blog. But will write a follow up chapter here to show you what I mean. Also, it would make me have to finish my book. Because I have the ending. I mean who really has the ending when writing your own memoirs? But you know what I mean…. I think I have the message in my head that I want to share.
      It is funny how all of these years I painted Jack to be such a monster and writing this as an adult, I can reason and see why he was like he was, but even in our short reconnection recently, see that you can’t KEEP blaming your childhood on your behaviors. Look at how well you turned out!!! But like for instance in your case, your mom, where did she come from or Jack’s mom for that matter. Some people just stay stuck. But I guess in a way it helps to know where they came from. In my story I want to paint the picture of how I kept giving Jack Get Out of Jail Free Cards and excusing his abuse to me because I understood his pain. But in the end you can’t love anyone until you learn to love yourself first. Like the oxygen masks on airplanes, the adult is directed to save themselves first, so that they can in turn, save their children. In a way that is a great metaphor. And in the end THAT is what I want my message to be. To realize you must save yourself first. In email I will have to share a recent story. But for now thanks for your faithful reading!

      • Hi Di! I’m flattered you are seeking my opinion. 🙂 Let me try and answer your questions: Correct me if I’m wrong, I just went through your beginning archives here. It doesn’t appear to me that when you began this diary here, you began from the beginning like in your book? If I am correct, I think by going back to Keri reading to her daughter may confuse readers because it didn’t begin here like that. As for the book (which you must publish already!), I would definitely come back to the present throughout various parts of the book.

        You say you are nearing the end here. You will come to a head by summing up loose ends and leaving the reader with a message. Obviously, a memoir doesn’t always have an ending. It ends with our resolutions on what we have lived and learned about. This diary wasn’t about your whole life, it was on the segment of growing up and learning about love. Perhaps there will be a sequel? Your readers know by now Jack’s instability and if you say you got married and lived ‘happily ever after’ that will be hard to sell because I think we are feeling that Keri will definitely have her hands full in that marriage.

        By following this story, I know I want to find out what happens to Keri after the marriage, so it calls for a part 2. If you are sewing up the end soon, I don’t think by a few more postings will some up what you endured. Perhaps you don’t wish to go further and get into some ugliness, then that Is your prerogative.
        What you said about Jack painted as a monster. Yes, that’s what we see when we read your descriptions, but of course, we are all products of our environments. I wrote that in my book “Self Analysis” chapter. We either follow the path of what we know or we step out of the box, take a hard look and run in the other direction. You and I are very compassionate people. We take in the wounded and believe so hard we can repair their damages, but we cannot. I am surprised to know you have recently reconnected with Jack and wondering if he knows what your writing and how he feels about it?
        I purposely had to leave out a very significant chapter in my book on abuse for legal reasons. This is how I know very well what can happen with someone like Jack. My third book (out this fall) is all about women’s self-esteem issues; where they stem from, how we develop from them, and I write a chapter about abuse, blind abuse in more detail there without implying any specific people.

        You have obviously saved yourself my dear friend but wear your scars. I was fortunate to be able to jump out of the fire and assess. Your whole journal has been about assessing through loving and learning, that’s why it’s such a good story. So please put the book together! For your book, I like the way it begins, then I’d suggest bouncing from Keri the mother reading in present, but going into the past with the journal entries. Example, although nothing like your story but for style … Bridgette Jones Diary? Just a thought. I hope I’ve helped. 🙂


      • Hey Deb, Wow thank you for all the great advice!
        In regard to the transition back to my book form….
        This (below is how I want to start out my book) I posted the link to that post so that you could see where I’d end below and start the journal….
        When her daughter says “Oh Mama it’s just all so sad.” is where I would start/begin the journal part of my book that I have been posting here and then follow it up with completely new chapters that I haven’t written yet. (Keeping in mind that all the other chapters I posted on my other blog (above) writing about Keri’s teenage life will be replaced by these journal pages) Got it so far? And thennnn….. come back to Keri’s life being told in the format I began with. No? Are you familiar with Anita Shreve’s writing style? She does something very similar. I think it might work here.
        Also, keep in mind that this blog was just a place that you inspired me to use to post this part of the book in journal form.
        I wasn’t planning on telling the whole story that way.
        Over my lifetime I have told my kids…
        Your life is a like a book… everyday is another page. And the day I found my box of journals it was like this metaphor that had been handed to me by me! I may blog about it on my other blog. 🙂 But I am hoping you can see what I am proposing and THAT this blog is just a vessel to carry the journal back to my book. But I want you to be honest.
        Still don’t see it?
        My first post here was November 14th last year…(2013) and I started with my journals beginning Easter Break my Junior year which is true to life in my actual jourals/memoirs.

      • Just coming back here to hopefully trigger a notification so that you know that I responded to your comment. I know you laugh at me how mixed up I can get here lol. We need to go back to email maybe?

      • OMG Di, I think we are getting are signals mixed up. I am writing here to let you know I have emailed you back on your questions. It’s easier if we do that then we won’t get confused, lol 🙂

      • Just now? Well, I am relieved because I was like… Oh no… I shared some rather heavy stuff with you….Didn’t know if you’d still think well of me… :/
        What email did you mail it from… you are not going to believe that I am not seeing it… argh! I just went and looked under cubs and puppies I’m back from the 14th is my last one that I see??

      • Omg lol this is turning into a spy movie 🙂 Of course I think well of you! This FBI work is almost hilarious. I sent you an email days ago to Crafter….. ok, I will fish it out and resend. Check your mail! Check your junk, sometimes it goes to the wrong file. 🙂

    • Debbie, I came back to reread this again for about the tenth time so don’t think that your wrote this without me appreciating all your time and effort here. I think that there might be some confusion about what this whole Journal effort is… or at least maybe I was confused what your suggestion was…
      I felt that you were suggesting that I take the part of my story of Jack in Journal form since I found my journals of that time of my life in those boxes in the attic, was reading them when my daughter found me and would continue the story in the same book… it was not two books or part one or part two… and the readers here are welcome to go to my other blog and read my story at:
      when ever they like. I never wanted it to be two different things in the end. What I thought I was doing here was tying it all together and thought that your suggestion was to help unblock me.
      Was I totally off the mark? lol… Now after rereading your above comment I am sooo confused. And I am wondering if you have another comment floating around somewhere or have been referring to this one?
      Ahhhh…. argh!!! lol.

    • Theresa,
      Just knowing you are out there faithfull following each post is like a gift that is hard to describe to me. I am so blessed to have a few of you that I know have followed these posts for a while. As I was sharing with Debbie, it has been leading up to this spot. I probably have less than a dozen more journal entries I am cutting and pasting from actual old journals and memories in my head. I am going to try to finish soon!
      Thank you my friend!

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