The Time Has Come

September 5, 2021

One of my favorite lines in Joe’s obituary reads as follows: “Joe heard the call to ‘come home’, and as any gentleman does, he knew it was time to leave.”

Joe Price was a gentleman through and through. It was one of his most endearing, and probably my most favorite quality about him. I don’t know that I ever hopped in his truck that he didn’t open the door for me. I know I never heard him talk to ANYONE his age or older without using “ma’am” or “sir”.

If knowing when to leave is a requirement of being a true gentleman, well…just this once, I’ll wish he didn’t have a single gentleman’s bone in his body, because even though it was time, I surely wasn’t ready. Yet, had Joe lived a thousand years with me, it just wouldn’t have ever been enough.

This week, Joe’s lesson is one you’ve read before if you have followed the blog since the beginning. Some things bear repeating. Sometimes, a lesson can be learned twice during different seasons of life.

Joe’s lesson this week is about letting go.

He wrote:

Old and New

Sometimes it is hard to let go of the old, but God just may want something new for us. It can be hard to let go of what we know or what is comfortable. Taking on something new can turn everything in our lives upside down.

For those who like change, new things can be exciting. For those who don’t really like change, new can cause discomfort. Personally, I am kind of a mix of both.

The wonderful thing about God is that he works outside of the box. He does not always work in the way we would have chosen. I once saw a church sign that read, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans”. I have often found that to be very true.

Our Heavenly Father sees the big picture that we cannot–He sees all that is going on behind the scenes. He even understands all those things that cause us to ask “why”. As we start out the new year, we can trust that God has our best in mind. He is with us right now, just as He will be with us down the road, no matter where that road may lead.

Sometimes that new brings what we see as blessings. Sometimes it brings loss and pain. Life happens. Decisions are made, we are faced with struggles, and sometimes we may even think that life is just not fair. But what I want you to know today is that you have a purpose. God is not finished with you yet.

God loves us. He cares for us, and He sees what we need. He works in our lives in ways that we do not always understand. Yet, we have peace in knowing that we do not have to understand. We only have to trust Him.

So, as we find ourselves in a new season and we look to find good in new and changing times, let us be confident in our God who is in control. Believe that He is working for you today…even when you just can’t see it.

Revelation 21:5: “Behold, I make all things new”.


Another true gentleman walked into my life just after Joe went to Heaven. He was my grief coach–I affectionately referred to him as Mr. Miyagi (From Karate Kid), because he was (and is) so wise and full of much needed life lessons. He understood my grief because he had experienced it himself. I guess because he was also a personal acquaintance of Joe’s, he felt led to help me, and I trusted him enough to allow it.

One of our earliest conversations was centered around this picture. I honestly don’t remember much about this night. It was the Christmas Eve-Eve gathering at the pond, just two weeks after Joe’s death, and I was still in a sad little daze. I posted the picture on Facebook, and Mr. Miyagi commented that “my smile didn’t reach my eyes”. He was exactly right. “One day it will,” he promised, but I honestly didn’t believe him.

Mr. Miyagi got me through some of the toughest days I experienced after Joe’s death. He walked beside me as I endured the various stages of grief, he encouraged me when I needed it, he called me out when I was wrong, but most importantly, he repeated several phrases to me that I used over and over during the past nine months, and will likely use forever.

One of my favorites is “all things new”. He encouraged me to find new hobbies, interests, etc that were not tied to Joe and the things we experienced together. It was the phrase that inspired me to start this blog. I had always wanted to write. I needed a way to fill the dreaded hours of Sunday afternoons at the pond. I found the black leather notebook. And that is how The Book of Joe was born.

Another was “Atta girl”. I really didn’t know who I was or how to function outside of my identity to Joe. I had very little confidence in my ability to live my life without him. So, when I overcame a particular fear, made a step forward, or sometimes just made it through the day without falling into a puddle of tears, I would excitedly tell him about it. His response was always, “Atta girl.” He encouraged me to take the tiny steps that have found me in this more manageable stage of my grief. He believed in me when I did not believe in myself.

Now, it wasn’t all rainbows and sunshine. He pushed me. Sometimes I felt that he pushed me too far, too fast. I was afraid. And, his pushing made me fighting mad! So, I told him! But, he truly knew better than me. I needed that push. I still do.

My favorite saying of Mr. Miyagi’s was “Swim far.” It wasn’t my favorite initially. But, I think I understand it better now. And I think it is so relative to Joe’s lesson this week.

God loves us. He cares for us, and He sees what we need. He works in our lives in ways that we do not always understand. Yet, we have peace in knowing that we do not have to understand. We only have to trust Him.

The most difficult part of this journey has been letting go of the old. I liked the way things were. I loved love Joe Price with all my heart. There was no part of me that was ready to say goodbye to that. But what I have come to understand is that God never asks us to let go without the promise of His hand held out to catch us. I didn’t understand why Joe had to die, and I don’t think I ever will. But, the thing is that I don’t have to understand in order to trust that God is working for my good in every situation. I only have to be brave enough to trust. I only have to close my eyes, hold my breath, and push away from the safety of the shore. I can swim all on my own. But, with the hand of Jesus, I can SWIM FAR.

And just like Joe knew when it was time to leave, Mr. Miyagi did as well. I didn’t think I was ready either time. Just like I didn’t get to say thank you to Joe for all of the love he brought to my life, I didn’t really get to say thank you to Mr. Miyagi for helping me through the hardest days I have ever known. Slowly, I began to ride the bicycle of life without training wheels. Mr. Miyagi held onto the back of the bike, just in case, for a while. I’d feel wobbly, glance behind me, and there he’d be. But somewhere along the way, he pushed, and I rode my bicycle into the sunset all by myself. That makes me a little bit proud and a little bit sad.

Sometimes that new brings what we see as blessings. Sometimes it brings loss and pain. Life happens. Decisions are made, we are faced with struggles, and sometimes we may even think that life is just not fair. But what I want you to know today is that you have a purpose. God is not finished with you yet.

And so, in trying to follow the lead of two of my favorite gentlemen, I think that the time has come for me to let go of the blog for now. Even in this decision, Joe made things easier in his own way. I have come to end of the lessons in his black leather notebook. This blog has been my lifeline, my refuge and one of my greatest blessings in this journey of grief I am traveling. I have often said that “something good just has to come of all this” when speaking of Joe’s death, and now I see that maybe some good has come after all. Maybe my words have helped another soul face their days of darkness. If nothing else, writing these words has helped me as I faced my own dark days. And God is not finished with me yet. I know this and believe it with all my heart. I’ve said it a thousand times, but I’ll say it again. Sweet friend, He is not finished with you, either. I promise you that.

Thanks to the mercy of God and the Mr. Miyagis of this world, I am able to see the “blessings” in the new. One of those blessings is being able to stand on my own two feet and face Sunday afternoons knowing that, in time, my heart won’t hurt so much. I’m finding other ways to pass the hours between this world and the next, which is what I know in my heart Joe would want for me. He sent me the black leather notebook when I needed it most of all, and he gave me just enough lessons to get me through. My sweet Joe. My sweet, sweet Joe.

This picture was taken today. I went deep sea fishing for the first time. I was sick as a dog, but having the time of my life! All things new…right? I could almost hear the “Atta girl…” in my head. So, if you read this, Mr. Miyagi, I hope I made you proud today. And thank you. Thank you for showing me how to live again. And, I know you can’t see beyond my big old sunglasses, but …the smile reaches all the way up to my eyes this time, just like you promised.💜

So, until we meet again, sweet friends (which probably won’t be long…I just don’t think I’ll let ever say goodbye to The Book of Joe completely…after all, it is pretty much written on my heart). Until we meet again, my friends, I leave you with the second best piece of advice I’ve ever received. The first was when Joe told me I should marry him. 😉

The second best advice was this:

Swim far, sweet friends. Swim far.❤️

-Words of Wisdom from The Book of Joe

13 thoughts on “The Time Has Come

  1. I have so enjoyed these posts! They have helped me on my grief journey. I am going to miss them but understand that you need to let go for now. Stay strong, keep praying and we will both make it through this with God by our sides🙏❤️‼️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have enjoyed each post and yes, could feel your love in each one. Prayers that God continues to help you on the walk to recovery and that you do enjoy people and things around you. Keep swimming. Blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I will miss your blog. Do t give up writing and I totally agree – your eyes now smile. God has plans for all His children and I am certain you will not disappoint. Have a great life. Love you 🛐🙏🏻❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You are a very gifted writer – thank you for sharing your story and please write again. Your words bring healing and hope – just what the world needs about now.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you, Rhonda,for sharing your grief journey. You were brave to openly share. December 5th will be 25 years that I walked the same journey and felt many of the same feelings you described when my husband died suddenly. It is a path you hope no one has to follow, but you are willing to listen and be there for them. I remember Shirley Sims calling me and saying “You think you will never be happy again but you will. ” I have shared that thought with several new widows.
    I am so thankful that you are smiling again. Will miss your blogs, but keep on writing…I see a book in your future! May God continue to bless and guide you!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh my goodness, I am going to miss you. Yours is one of my favorite blogs. Actually, I had included it in a recommendation post for my readers which will publish next week. Will you leave the blog up or should I edit the link to your blog out of my article?
    I hope to connect with you again- on one side of eternity, if not both! I’ll try to “get somewhere and get still” before I have a “come apart” about all of this! 😉 (not to be dramatic, just to use a couple of my favorite “Rhonda-isms” which have made their way into my vernacular. Blessings and God-wishes, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are so sweet! I’m leaving it up. I’ll come back to it from time to time, just not on a weekly basis for now.
      I love it that you have Ronda-isms and I can’t wait to sit a spell with you someday. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I know Joe is is proud of you for sharing his book with so many people. You have such a wonderful gift of writing Ronda! Maybe you should think about putting these beautiful words in writing a book! Thanks for sharing!🙏🙏

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thanks For Sharing ALL the Writing-Joes and Yours..I too Will miss them..I have laughed at Some and Cried as Well..I Pray Gods Blessings as You Continue on Lifes Journey…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I am so happy that you shared the Book of Joe! You have a true gift of writing. I will miss reading your Blogs about Joe and you. My prayers are with you on the journey of life. I pray that God continues blessing you!


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