Last night I dreamed of Paul.
He’s never far from my thoughts— not a day passes when he isn’t with me—but he hasn’t been in my dreams until now. It’s ironic, I suppose, that he should leave me, because before I close my eyes I fantasize about what it would feel like to have his arms wrapped around me. As I drift off to sleep I pretend that my head is resting on his shoulder. Unfortunately, I will never have the chance to be with my husband again, at least not in this lifetime.
Until last night, if I did happen to dream of Paul, those dreams were long forgotten by the time I woke. This dream, however, stayed with me, lingering in my mind, filling me with equal parts sadness and joy.
When I first learned that Paul had been killed, the grief had been all- consuming, and I didn’t think I would be able to go on. Yet life continues to move forward, and so have I, dragging from one day into the next until I found I could breathe normally.
I’m in my new home now, the bed- and- breakfast I bought less than a month ago on the Kitsap Peninsula in a cozy town on the water called Cedar Cove. I decided to name it Rose Harbor Inn. “Rose” for Paul Rose, my husband of less than a year; the man I will always love and for whom I will grieve for whatever remains of my own life. “Harbor” for the place I have set my anchor as the storms of loss batter me.
How melodramatic that sounds, and yet there’s no other way to say it. Although I am alive, functioning normally, at times I feel half dead. How Paul would hate hearing me say that, but it’s true. I died with Paul last April on some mountainside in a country half a world away as he fought for our nation’s security.
Life as I knew it was over in the space of a single heartbeat. My future as I dreamed it would be was stolen from me.
All the advice given to those who grieve said I should wait a year before making any major decisions. My friends told me I would regret quitting my job, leaving my Seattle home, and moving to a strange town.
What they didn’t understand was that I found no comfort in familiarity, no joy in routine. Because I valued their opinion, I gave it six months. In that time nothing helped, nothing changed. More and more I felt the urge to get away, to start life anew, certain that then and only then would I find peace, and this horrendous ache inside me ease.
I started my search for a new life on the Internet, looking in a number of areas, all across the United States. The surprise was finding exactly what I wanted in my own backyard.
The town of Cedar Cove sits on the other side of Puget Sound from Seattle. It’s a navy town, situated directly across from the Bremerton shipyard. The minute I found a property listing for this charming bed- and- breakfast that was up for sale, my heart started to beat at an accelerated rate. Me own a bed- and- breakfast? I hadn’t thought to take over a business, but instinctively I realized I would need something to fill my time. As a bonus, a confirmation I’d always enjoyed having guests.
With its wraparound porch and incredible view of the cove, the house was breathtaking. In another life I could imagine Paul and me sitting on the porch after dinner, sipping hot coffee and discussing our day, our dreams. Surely the photograph posted on the Internet had been taken by a professional who’d cleverly masked its flaws. Nothing, it seemed, could be this perfect.
Copyright © 2012 by Debbie Macomber
Debbie Macomber strikes a tender note with the first in a new series, The Inn at Rose Harbor, a poignant tale of a young widow’s path to healing.
The residents of Cedar Cove are quick to embrace Jo Marie Rose and the Rose Inn, a bed and breakfast she’s bought with money inherited upon the death of her soldier husband. But judging from her first two guests’ demeanors, Jo isn’t the only one with a heavy heart….
Josh is in town to see to his ailing stepfather even though the two have never gotten along. If not for the elderly man’s lovely caregiver Michelle, Josh might not have found treasured mementos belonging to his mother.
One would think that Abby would be all smiles over her brother’s impending nuptials. But attending the wedding will be friends who may still blame Abby for the accident that killed her best friend years ago. Still guilt-ridden, she wonders whether her old flame, Steve Hooks, judges her as well.
Meanwhile, Jo Marie is grateful for the kindness of Mark Taylor, Cedar Cove’s attractive handyman. And suddenly Jo recalls a dream in which her late husband said she would find joy again. Maybe the Rose Inn can become a place of healing for all those who stay, beginning with her….
Hardcover Book : 352 pages
Publisher: Ballantine/Delrey Bks ( August 14, 2012 )
Item #: 13-591187
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25 x 0.79inches
Product Weight: 13.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
Reviewer: Karen A
Easy up-beat read. The story line is good, but very predictable. I like to space these kind of books between the heavier books I read. I look at them as "taking a break" books. I have read other books by Debbie Macomber and I will continue to do so.
A good easy read that follows along in Debbie's style of writing and storytelling. Personally, I like being able to read stories that make me feel good and give me hope at the end. I related to this story so much. I am glad Debbie has moved on from the Cedar Cove Series to this series but still leaves the charm of Cedar Cove as the setting. I am a little prejudiced as I have the wonderful opportunity of living in "Cedar Cove" AKA Port Orchard to the locals. Keep up the writing Debbie. You have a lot of fans that love you; including me.
Reviewer: Kathy J
I loved this book. For those who thought it was 'too sappy", I say everyone needs to read about happiness and forgiveness, instead of violence, spilled blood and vulgar language. Keep it up, Debbie.
Reviewer: Bobbie G
I loved the book. I love Debbie Macomber. She is a wonderfulwriter. Loved her Cedar Cove and Blossom Street series. Can't get enough. She's so easy to read and I like that.