Shannon here: Gail Kittleson shares insight into her real life romance & a chance to win an e-book copy of her debut Historical Romance novel, In This Together. Comment or answer the question at the end of the post to enter the drawing. Deadline: Nov 7th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Gail:
When my husband and I were studying in France for our missionary work in Senegal, West Africa, we received word of my father’s death. The prohibitive cost of flying home on such short notice stunned us, but at that time little children could fly free. So we decided I’d fly back to Iowa and Lance would stay in France.
If I had it to do over, he definitely would have come with us, because the trip was beyond exhausting, a true nightmare including an airport change in New York City. But we made it, vomiting toddler, sick mom and all.
The part of the story I want to highlight comes as we boarded a small plane for Paris in Lyon, France. We’d switch there and in Amsterdam—oh, the stories I could tell!
Anyway, at the very beginning of our journey, God gave me a moment to cherish through the rest of the bone-weary trip. The authorities allowed Lance to come on the plane to help get our eight-month old son and two-year-old daughter settled.
Now, I need to explain that my husband is the strong, silent type. We’d been married four years, and I’d never seen him shed a tear.
But as he glanced up at me after buckling our toddler in her seat, I saw them glistening in his eyes—tears. Even now, thirty-some years later, it’s difficult to explain how much they meant to me.
He’d proven his love in many other ways by then—through the thick-and-thin of seminary, training for missions, and family “stuff”. He’s one of those utterly reliable, totally responsible men—like the Greatest Generation guys.
But something about those unexpected tears solidified my sense of his emotional commitment. Of course, I had tears, too. But for me, that was typical—he would’ve been shocked if I hadn’t cried.
In my debut novel, In This Together, Al, the widower hero, has a definite tender streak, while Dottie, my heroine, faces a great deal of loss with more stoicism. But at one point, she’s really upset about an injustice and says to Al, “You know I’m not a crier …”
Al wonders what he would do if she did cry, and their interaction on that topic deepens their bond.
About Gail: Our stories are our best gifts, and blooming late has its advantages—the novel fodder never ends. Gail writes from northern Iowa, where she and her husband enjoy gardening and grandchildren. In winter, Arizona’s Ponderosa pine forests provide relief from Midwest weather and a whole raft of new people and stories. Gail’s memoir, Catching Up With Daylight, paved the way for fiction writing, and she’s hooked for life. Learn more and connect:
About the book – In This Together:
After World War II steals her only son and sickness takes her husband, Dottie Kyle begins cooking and cleaning at the local boarding house. The job and small town life allow her to slip into a predictable routine, but her daughters and grandchildren live far away, and loneliness is Dottie’s constant companion when she’s not working.
Al Jensen, Dottie’s long-time neighbor, has merely existed since his wife died. He works for his son at the town’s hardware store, but still copes with tragic WWI memorie. When Dottie’s daughter Cora has health issues, will Al’s strength and servant’s heart be enough to win Dottie’s heart? Can her love for her family enable her to overcome her fear of enclosed spaces and travel across the country to help Cora, who so desperately needs her?
Can’t wait to get it: Purchase In This Together
Now, here’s a question for you: How has your spouse’s nature—teary or not—played out in your marriage, or perhaps how did your parents’ natures play out in their marriage?