As regular readers of this blog know, goodness is my word for 2015. My last post focused on a bend in the road, and how hard it was to find goodness in a difficult life situation.

The response to that post overwhelmed me and, just when I thought goodness was scarce, I have abundant evidence it’s not.

Some of you reached out to me via blog comments to share what’s helped you at dark times. Others contacted me via email to express concern and care. Still others shared the post on Twitter and Facebook, sent messages of encouragement, and said my words helped them with their own life challenges.

Through this situation, a door is closing. However, several new windows are opening.  

One is friendship. From a Golden Heart® sister who shared her experiences and cheered me on, to the mother of one of English Rose’s school friends who offered expert advice, I’m blessed to have new allies in my corner.

Other windows of opportunity have come via new professional communities. In the past two weeks, I’ve received invitations to guest on several US romance writing blogs. One is particularly influential in the industry, and has been a touchstone in my own writing journey.

Finally, there’s been one event at which I can only shake my head.

After looking at dresses for the Golden Heart® awards ceremony, and despairing of finding one I liked in my budget, English Rose and I wandered into our village charity shop. While she searched for DVDs, I glanced at a clothing rail.

And there was my dress.

In my favourite sapphire blue, it hung there like it was waiting for me. By a British designer I admire, it shapes me in all the right places, but is forgiving enough so I can eat New York cheesecake with my Golden Heart® sisters on that special July night. Moreover, it’s perfect for a treasured necklace which belonged to the grandma I wrote about in my last post, and whose influence in my life persists.

The day I found my dress was Grandma’s birthday. The woman who told me several weeks before she died she’d always watch over me, and be there when I needed her.

My road is still rocky, but in the words of the inimitable Dolly Parton, “if you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one.”

Thanks, Grandma, and thanks to all of you who’ve shown me goodness. While others are throwing bricks, you’re helping me put those bricks to good use to build a new and better road.


  1. Heidi Vanstone

    There is goodness to be found in almost any situation, but more often than not, it requires a lot of searching out! Don’t give up on your search efforts – even if you need someone else’s help to find the silver lining.

    • Jen Gilroy

      Replying late, Heidi, but my thanks are no less heartfelt. You’ve helped me find a ‘silver lining’ so many times before, and I’m glad you’re in my corner.

  2. Sue Bavin

    How wonderful to find your perfect dress in circumstances that attach such special meaning to it. And congratulations of the invitations to write the guest blogs. After facing a bleak and difficult time, you are now being showered with goodness. I am so pleased that you feel able to say that the bricks are being used to build a better road.

    PS Enjoy the cheesecakes!

    • Jen Gilroy

      Thanks for a lovely comment, Sue. You’re someone who continues to ‘shower me with goodness’ and I value that very much. I’m sure the cheesecake won’t be as good as your bakes, but I shall be happy to report back. I expect much taste testing will be needed!

  3. Tara Sheets

    Jen, I love that your word for 2015 is “goodness”. I just might need to embrace that word, too. Congratulations on finding the special dress in your favorite color–and on your grandmother’s birthday, no less! What a wonderful moment of serendipity. Wishing you the best of luck as you pave your new road. 🙂

    • Jen Gilroy

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Tara, and for your good wishes. Like Kim, you’re part of the goodness I’m finding right now.

  4. Kim MacCarron

    What a fabulous post! It brought tears to my eyes–in the best possible way. I think that story about “finding” your perfect dress on your grandma’s birthday was a real sign. She IS there to guide you.
    I hope you are pushing those windows wide open so that all the “goodness” can come in. Doors are doors–just something to walk through to get to the next place. But, windows! Now those are like magic, right? You can see through them. They can be decorative. You can put screens in them to feel the breeze but can filter out the stuff you don’t want. And windows offer so many more possibilities. Look at how many windows are in houses. Then look at the doors. Doors almost seem like they’re keeping good opportunities away. Like when they say opportunity comes knocking. Well, bypass that. Throw those windows open, Jen! Embrace the new “goodness” and know that fabulous things around the corner. 🙂
    I count myself so lucky to claim you as a new friend! Can’t wait to finally meet you!

    • Jen Gilroy

      Your comment also brought tears to my eyes, Kim, but likewise in a good way. Thank you. I’m throwing open those windows as I write! I’m so lucky to have you as a new friend as well. Appreciate your encouragement, and look forward to meeting in New York.


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