Bacon on the Bookshelf

Savory picks for the free range reader

Pepper and the Very Sad News



I’m at the beach and Pepper is at a farm near Ashland City for the weekend.  It was awkward, but I called.  I needed to talk.

“How’re you doing Pep?” I asked.

“Great!” she said.  “This morning I wrestled with Jax and chased Sugaree.  Then Nathan took me on a walk but he called it “training” and it wasn’t as much fun as when I take you on a walk.  Nathan insisted on being in front.  I’m trying to decide if I still like him.  It’s pretty strange for you to call.  What’s going on?”

“I’m feeling really sad.  I found out this morning that a friend died.  She met you when you were just a tiny little black tornado.  She was helping plan a big party in the backyard.  You were quite a handful back in those days.  She liked you and didn’t mind that you were making mischief at every opportunity.  Do you remember?”

“I don’t,” Pepper said sadly.  “I must have been too little.”

“I’ve been thinking about her so much.  She knew what she was good at, and she did it really well, with a generous heart and a smile on her face.  I really admire that… and I’ll miss her.”  I couldn’t continue.  There was more in my heart, about death and when it visits and things we know and don’t.

Pep was quiet.

“Are you still there?” I asked.

“I’m here.  I wish I could be there so you could throw a frisbee and I could chase it and even though I might not bring it back I know it would help you feel better.  Maybe we could say a prayer together?”

“Okay.  Dear God, Thank you for the gift of Elizabeth James and all the joy she brought to others during her life.  Please comfort everyone who grieves.  Please help us know how to take care of each other.”


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  1. So sad to think of that lovely smile and fierce energy not being here. Thank you.

  2. Jennifer, that somehow hits close to home – same birth year as mine, and same alma mater. Life is so fragile.

  3. I’m very sorry to hear this.

  4. Thank you for putting our deep, deep sadness into words.

  5. So sad. I will miss her beautiful smile and loving spirit. Rest in peace sweet Elizabeth.

  6. Thank you for this post, Jennifer. I am heartbroken. She was so very special.

  7. An immense talent, a beautiful and lovely person. Nashville will not be the same without her vision and creativity. God bless her and may she rest in peace.

  8. Thank you so much for your beautiful words when so many of us are searching for the right thing to say. XO

  9. It’s hard to believe we won’t see her beautiful smiling face again. I can hear her last words to me now. I will miss you dear Elizabeth…rest in peace.

  10. Thank you to all who have commented. xoxo

  11. Amen. The smile – the radiance from it – oh my goodness. Sad.

  12. I was so sorry to hear about Elizabeth. My prayers are with her family .

  13. This is so lovely in such a time of deep sadness and loss. “Please help us know how to take care of each other”.. beautiful. Thank you.

  14. Amen. We were blessed by God’s gift to us of Elizabeth.

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