Getting Personal #164: Happy Birthday, Uncle Richard

Happy Birthday, Uncle Richard. This is your first one in Heaven. We know you are celebrating with Grandma and Grandpa! We miss you so much here on Earth. You are loved!

I think back to this day last year. It was the first Saturday in April, which is always a blood drive day, I kept telling Al to remind me to call Uncle Richard, to tell him Happy Birthday, before we went out to dinner with our friends Casey and Beth. I had such a wonderful 20-minute conversation with him, and I could hear his smile in his voice. I was so thrilled to have remembered to take the time to do that. Little did I know what would happen next.

My Uncle was a life-long bachelor, never married, no kids. He went to Vanderbilt. He was a flight attendant for National Airlines, and then they merged with PanAm. He lived 15 minutes from my grandparents for decades. He loved history, movies, food, and laughter.

He selflessly took care of Grandma Grace and moved her in with him from 2010 until she died peacefully in July 2013.

He always called me his favorite niece. I always laughed, since I was his only niece.

We worried about him for several years, but he persevered through happy times and challenging times.

I called him on Saturday. On Tuesday, the world as my family knew it came crashing down. He’d been in a car accident, four blocks from his house. We found out later he’d suffered a massive stroke. My parents, bless them both, literally dropped everything here in Virginia and got to Miami as fast as possible. My mom, Richard’s kid sister, took charge, and my dad bent over backwards. I stayed put, checking on their house and getting their mail.

Everyone in Florida were wonderful. The church community gathered together and offered everything, especially prayer.

After several weeks, the difficult decision was made to bring in hospice care. He’d fought hard, but his body was failing. He was coherent until the very end, saluting my dad, as he always had since my dad had served in the Coast Guard for more than 23 years. One of them brought the wedding photo of us to his room, and he knew who I was. I was able to call one last time. He wasn’t able to speak or respond to me, but my mom said he was nodding and recognized my voice. I told him I loved him, and then I couldn’t talk any more. I’d said my piece. I felt at peace.

He died peacefully on April 25th. It was the hardest four weeks my parents had been through, and many more months of challenges would follow, making sure his estate was taken care of. Months later, my mom gave an incredible presentation at a church fellowship dinner, dubbed “The Miracles in Miami,” where so many amazing God Things happened during this horrible, tragic, trying time.

Here’s to you, Uncle Richard, from your favorite niece.


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #233: Romantic Movies (Day 31)

Romantic Movies

Image by Nietjuh on Pixabay

Easy A (2010)

A teenage girl standing in front of a green chalkboard, labels are pointing at her and she is holding up a page which explains how this is the story of how she ruined her reputation.

Al and I watched this movie together. I’m pretty sure we didn’t see it in theaters, since I was still away at college when it was released.

I love Emma Stone, especially in this movie!

If you’re looking for a good laugh, with a modern twist on The Scarlet Letter, this is a great choice. Also, Emma Stone and Penn Badgely are adorable.


Thank you for being with me on this wild ride of Romantic Movies posts!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #231: Romantic Movies (Day 30)

Romantic Movies

Image by Nietjuh on Pixabay

The Proposal (2009)

A man backed up, a woman holding a jewelry case to his face.

This is easily one of my top five favorite romantic comedies. I’ve been a fan of Sandra Bullock for what seems like forever. And Ryan Reynolds has built himself one heck of a career as well. This film was also somewhat unique, if not slightly controversial with the immigration angle. However, I love how refreshing this story line is, and how great they are on screen.

If you haven’t seen it, I won’t spoil it. But, if you’re looking for a great story with some awesome laughs, this is the movie I would recommend every time.


Come back tomorrow for a new movie!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #230: Romantic Movies (Day 29)

Romantic Movies

Image by Nietjuh on Pixabay

Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

Slumdog Millionaire poster.png

While not technically a romantic movie, this was my first introduction to Indian movies and culture. I enjoyed the blossoming relationship between Jamal (Dev Patel) and Latika (Frieda Pinto). I also love how this movie is based on a true story.

If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it. I loved seeing it in theaters. The soundtrack is really cool, too.


Come back tomorrow for a new movie!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #229: Romantic Movies (Day 28)

Romantic Movies

Image by Nietjuh on Pixabay

Enchanted (2007)

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I remember gushing over this movie when it was first advertised. I had the opportunity to travel to Potomac Mills for Christmas shopping right before final exams in December 2007, which was the end of my first semester of college. A bunch of us saw this movie in the mall’s movie theater. I thought it was great!

The cast is awesome, especially Amy Adams and Patrick Dempsey. And the music was excellent. The soundtrack is one of my favorites.

It may be a bit cheesy now, but I love how light-hearted and fun this movie is. I also appreciate how many homages and parodies of Disney movies and characters are wrapped up in this sweet package.


Come back tomorrow for a new movie!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #228: Romantic Movies (Day 27)

Romantic Movies

Image by Nietjuh on Pixabay

She’s the Man (2006)

She's the man poster.jpg

If you haven’t seen this movie, and need a good laugh, I highly recommend it! I’ve loved Amanda Bynes since the beginning of her career. Inspired by Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, this is a fun romantic comedy coupled with sports. And Channing Tatum – Yes, please!


Come back tomorrow for a new movie!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #227: Romantic Movies (Day 26)

Romantic Movies

Image by Nietjuh on Pixabay

Brokeback Mountain (2005)

Brokeback mountain.jpg

My mom and I went to see this movie when it was in theaters. Based on the 1997 short story by Annie Proulx, this is such an interesting and dramatic movie!

I loved Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal already, but seeing them navigate their complicated relationship between 1963 and 1983 was powerful, and also gut-wrenching. I also enjoyed the performances of Anne Hathaway and Michelle Williams.

For the first time, in 2005, I realized what “forbidden love” potentially looked like for many people in the U.S. and around the world.

I’m happy to say that many strides have been made in the 14 years since the movie was released. I have several LGBTQ+ friends, and I consider myself to be an ally. More work has to be done, but I am accepting of all. Love is love.


Come back tomorrow for a new movie!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂