My book has been published. It is available on ebook in Kindle/Nook and also hard copy. I truly believe that Sam had a hand in this being published and thought if I believed that, I should be offering it on our blog. If you would like a signed copy, send a payment of 12.50 to my paypal address (swampfaye at yahoo dot com) with a note that it is for “Martian Goods”. If you’d like it personalized, just let me know. I have a limited amount of copies at the moment, so order yours first!
Lights were a big theme in my marriage to Sam. Yesterday I took the lights in our room down. It made me emotional and moody the entire day. I tried to explain why to a friend, but Sam said it better:
Is this not a reason for tears if I shed them? Whether for joy, grief or just pure emotion, the tears are there because the memory is beautiful.
I have been repeatedly blessed by friends and friendships,and kudos to the internet for helping me make most of them, actually. Through friendships I have traveled to Ireland, paid for a messy divorce, met a spouse, learned ASL, paid for an unexpected funeral/death, been supported through widowhood, will have a book published and many many MANY more things. I hope I have been a good friend in return. I hope I have paid it forward and backward. I want, more than anything, to be a blessing to my friends.
I feel like I’m starting to come out of the fog of my hobbit’s death. I know it doesn’t make me miss him less, or love him less, but it does let me feel a little more like myself–and I need that. I haven’t been able to write for a while now, but I am starting to get back into things that I had set aside because I simply wasn’t myself.
Thanks to the efforts of my friends, we bring you an excerpt of the story “Martian Goods” (by me) in ASL!! Don’t forget to donate to the kickstarter campaign – follow the link for the video!
Originally posted on Noelle Campbell:
Lots of you guys know I was married to a deaf man, and so have done a lot of things and gathered many experiences form within the deaf community. Some of my characters are inspired by the deaf people I know (and even some of the dreaded CODAs ;P ). This excerpt below has been interpreted very excellently by Robert Gardner, one of the young men who served a mission to the Fallbrook Deaf Branch and did much service for my husband and I.
Please support the kickstarter project and get the rest of the story with a donation: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/skyrocket/martian-goods-and-other-stories/backers
Here is a link to Robert’s Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQgGSmqwKqiZJfXiek86ZHA
My dearest Sam,
I left your meditation corner all clear and ready for you. The light is on. You can visit if you need a rest or a reminder.
Miss you much.
I found a copy of Sam’s vows to me when I was going through my manuscripts for Mars. I don’t believe it was a coincidence. I believe his hand was in that. Here are his vows:
I, Sam, want you, Noelle
To be my wife,
To have and to hold
From this day forward;
For better or for worse,
For richer or for poorer,
In sickness and in health,
To love and to cherish,
Never to part.
I promise to be faithful to you,
To be with you through the good and bad,
To support you in any way I can,
To live for you or die for you.
Finally, I promise to remember
That God brought us together,
And that I am accountable to Him
To be the best husband and father I can be.
In return, I edited the dedication page for my book to be published soon (see the video for it at: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/skyrocket/martian-goods-and-other-stories )
You promised to live and die for me,
and here is my vow to you:
I promise that while I live, you will live on
in stories, in tales, as:
Sir Random Loud Noise
Patriarch of Calinor
and every hero I create or tell of.
You will always be the best man I have ever known.
I love you.
Today is my (and my Hobbit’s) 6th anniversary. I am wearing the blouse that I wore when we met.
Ironically, today is the day this particular kickstarter project was launched:
That’s my book. Support it if you would, get a free book and make my Hobbit happy. These stories were how he got interested in me (which you may know if you’ve read his guest posts).
Happy Anniversary, sweetie.
My husband, Sam Campbell III, was deaf and legally blind (as you probably know). Throughout our marriage there were many, many, MANY things that he missed, that he misunderstood, that he wrongly perceived, due to his disabilities. Sometimes he didn’t know I was crying, even if I was standing there face to face with him. Sometimes I cleaned up after a mess he made, but didn’t see. I cleaned about a million broken glasses–so many we started buying paper cups. Sometimes I cleared something out of his path that he would have tripped on. I led him. I interpreted for him. I drove him. I tried to get him to only wash one load in the washing machine… Sometimes I guided him here or there with just lights I put up in the hall.
Personally, I may have envied that he got to be home to raise the kids instead of me. I still have always wanted to be a stay at home mom, but I didn’t envy the deaf/blindness and all the emotional burden that brings. I may have resented his disabilities as much as he did at times, but I tried hard to serve him without complaining, because I love him so very much and serving him made me all that much more a part of his life, his world, and I really thought if everyone knew him as well as I did, they would love him just as much.
Sometimes Sam was gruff. He could be downright scary when he was angry and sometimes he had a hair trigger. Often he was grumpy-who could blame him? Every day was a struggle – and he didn’t see all the people stepping out of the way for him, moving things so he wouldn’t trip on them, and all the other millions of little acts of kindness that actually made his life easier than it would have been without it, but I did. I saw. I also learned to look past the grumpiness and focus on the selfless acts that my husband did for me, made even more selfless because he had every justification for needing more attention than I did. I saw what he did. I never thought of myself as selfless as he was, but I did my service for him in different ways, mostly physical and financial. He was always the spiritual leader of the house, even when he thought I was more spiritual, that I was closer to God than he was. He was always the one to get us back to the temple and never complained even a little bit about going to church. — It is very hard to find excuses to miss church when a deaf blind man doesn’t give quite reasonable excuses (like “I don’t understand anything that’s going on there”) not to go, but actually goes out of his way to attend.
I think I learned something valuable about our relationship NOW from our relationship BEFORE he died.
I knew what his struggles were. I saw them, I heard about them, I even had to counsel with him on some of them. So those selfless acts, even if I didn’t personally witness them, done on my (or the family’s) behalf were all the more beautiful. This is actually how I recognize what he is still doing for me now. I learned to recognize them when he was still here. Call them “Sam’s Touch.” I recognize it now because it feels like Sam. I remember how it felt when he served me before, and it’s that same feeling now. Its how I think you can recognize what others (beyond the veil, and even here) are doing for you.
I think this is why the church counsels you to keep a journal. If you can’t remember how someone influences you, how they make you feel, go back and read it, and then you will know when they are influencing you still. You will feel it. You will recognize them because you know them so well.
The ironic thing about our marriage is now I am the deaf and blind one, and I can’t see what he is doing for me, but I know he’s there. I feel him moving things out of the way for me, putting up lights for me, like I did for him, and I am comforted and reassured that our marriage is still strong. Perhaps it is fitting for him to see and be as frustrated serving the deaf/blind as it was for me, but maybe it makes him love me and to be with me as much as serving him made me love him (and to be with him).
I do think so. I think so because I can still feel him. I recognize his touch. And that’s why I don’t cry as much or as often. I’m not ‘remarkably’ recovered, no, I’ve just become deaf and blind and am mostly ignorant of the things being done for my behalf by others beyond the veil. I see the results, though–I am able to navigate life much more easily than I have any right to expect, and so I thank these angels, my Father in Heaven, and Sam–my hobbit, for lighting my way on the road that goes ever on and on.
I have taken over the bedroom, but there is still room for you on the bed.