Thank you so so much for reading A Moment for us.
Thank you for reading Josh and Delia’s story. This book I wrote during an extremely hard period. We had lost several close family members and friends. I don’t know how I even finished it, but I felt I owed it to this family. It took me a while to write this bonus, mostly because going back to the place I had to be to write A Moment for Us was dark. I didn’t want dark. I wanted to give them both the light.
I hope this makes you smile as much as it did for me.
A Moment for Us Bonus
“You know those two little old ladies are full of it,” Josh says as he helps me with my coat.
“Yes, I know, but they love us.”
He grumbles under his breath a little. Mrs. Garner has some new ailment that requires daily visits, and then when she feels better, suddenly it’s Mrs. Villafane. I can’t with these two. However, they are my neighbors and take care of us whenever we need it.
During the winter, they are like bears that hibernate.
“Everett, do you want to come?” I ask my nine-year-old. If he comes, we can usually get out of there quicker.
Josh laughs. “Smart boy.”
“Dad, can we go sledding?”
The snow came down in buckets two days ago, and the roads weren’t cleared enough for Josh to go to work today, so Everett has plans for his father.
“Sure. I think we can do that.”
“Awesome! I’ll go in my room and get my snow stuff.”
Everett rushes off, and Josh yells after him. “Maybe we can go to Uncle Grayson’s hill.”
My stomach drops. “That’s not a hill!” I hiss.
“It’s a hill.”
“It’s a mountain!”
“That’s one word for it,” Josh says with a smirk.
Oh, this man. “Joshua Parkerson, you are not taking that kid down the mountain.”
“He’ll be fine. Gray and I will be with him.”
“Yes, and you two assholes broke your arms when you were kids going down a much, much smaller hill than that.”
Josh rolls his eyes. “It was the tree that broke the arm, not the hill.”
I groan and throw my hands up. “Well, that’s not the point, and do you know why I say that?”
He raises one eyebrow. “Because you’re an overprotective lunatic?”
“I’m going to kill you.”
“I will believe you the next time you say it, I promise.”
I’m really getting too predictable. However, he’s not completely wrong. I am really overprotective, but I am trying. I mean, I sort of try. It’s just so hard. I look at Everett, my whole reason for existing, and I am so afraid some days. I work through it, therapy has been incredibly helpful, but I think about Gina every day. I wonder what our lives would’ve been like if they had each other.
Because of that loss, I am so afraid some days that I’ll lose him too.
My eyes fill with unshed tears, and my husband steps forward, cradling my face in his hands. “I would never be reckless with him, Delia.”
I nod, not wanting to give voice to my fears.
Josh struggles with his own grief and guilt as well.
He wipes the errant tear that I couldn’t hold back. “I’m sorry. I am being emotional for no reason.”
“It’s coming up, and it’s normal.”
It’ll be nine years since we lost her in two days. It’s always hard around this time, especially because it’s filled with memories, but also some joy because we still have our son that we love.
“I hate that it’s still hard,” I confess.
“I know you do. She’s been heavy on my mind too, but we can’t make Everett live in a world where he can’t actually live.”
“Why do you have to be right?” I ask, trying to bring some levity to my melancholy heart. My therapist says the same thing. Everett deserves to be a kid, do kid shit, break bones, and all that. I would prefer we avoid the bones thing, but he’s a boy who loves to play. I’d swear he was Jack’s kid some days. He loves to camp, hike, fish, hunt . . . it’s all . . . not me or Josh.
And all of that makes my anxiety spike.
But, I’m working through it.
“It’s why you love me.”
I laugh once and then lift up to kiss him. “It’s one of the reasons.”
“Oh? Is there more?”
“There are several.”
Josh smirks. “Let’s hear them, it’s been a while since you’ve stroked my ego.”
“I think I did just that last night.”
“You were very impressive, darling. But, let’s have the words,” he urges.
“Okay. I’ll play along. First, you are very sweet.”
Josh shrugs. “I do what I can.”
“And very humble.”
“It’s a gift.”
I swear, he’s an idiot.
“It’s something. You are also very loving.”
“And giving. Let’s not forget the many multiples that I worked hard to give you.”
I laugh and slap his chest. “Sure, but that’s not the biggest thing I love about you.”
He wiggles his brows. “No? There’s something big you love about me?”
“Oh, most definitely. See, I have never met another man who has as big of a . . .” He grins, waiting for the rest of it. “Gray hair sticking up.”
“What?” Josh practically screeches and then lunges for me. “Come here, wife.”
I run around the couch, putting it between us with a grin. “What? Did you want me to say something else?”
“You’re going to pay for that one.”
I giggle and move to the right when he goes left. “Come on, old man, catch me.”
“Sweetheart, when I do, I’m going to show you something big.”
“I can’t wait, maybe it’ll be impressive.” He moves again, and I shift.
“Oh, it’s extremely impressive. In fact, you may never be able to be unimpressed again.”
“I have been waiting to be impressed . . .”
That gets him, he steps on the cushions and then jumps off the back. I manage to get around to the front, but he’s there a moment later, wrapping his arms around me and pulling me down. “I got you.” I laugh, squirming as much as I can, but he doesn’t let me go. “Now, would you like a chance to rectify your mistake?”
I shake my head. “No, honey, you really do have one.”
“I do not.”
“It’s okay, babe, we all age.” He squeezes and then rubs his scruff against my neck. “Josh!”
“Say what you love most.”
I shift a little, but he manages to flip me and then pin me beneath him. I look up in those blue eyes I love so damn much. I could keep joking, but the way he’s watching me makes me want to just be vulnerable with him. This man who I have loved for so long, even when he didn’t love me back. Didn’t see me, or at least it felt that way. The man who held me that night when I was sick, and then has been beside me ever since. Josh is my heart and soul.
I nod. “Yes, you are what I love most. I love the highs and the lows. I love the dark and the light. I love you.”
He kisses me softly. “Oh, Deals. I will never be the man worthy of you, but I am far too selfish to let you go. You, my beautiful wife, are the reason I am alive. Before I finally woke up and saw you, I was dead inside. Then, you brought me back, gave me hope, a family, and your heart.”
I reach my hand up to push his hair back. “We saved each other.”
He leans down, his lips against mine, and then he deepens the kiss. I close my eyes, absorbing the moment.
“Oh, gross! Dad!” Everett quickly reminds us why making out on the couch is a bad idea.
Josh gets up, clasps Everett’s shoulder. “Find a woman who makes you crazy, marry her, and chase her around the living room.”
Everett rolls his eyes. “You guys are so disgusting.”
We both laugh, and then I get up, wrap my arms around Josh’s waist, and lift up for a sweet kiss. “One day he’ll know that when you love someone as much as I love you, it’s these moments that remind us, when it’s hard, why we fight.”
“I have never forgotten, baby.”
“Aww, you love me.”
Josh laughs. “I do.”
Everett makes a gagging noise. “And we need a bigger house so I can avoid you crazy people.”
“Funny you bring that up,” Josh says with a hint of mischief.
God, not this again. I love our home. It’s small, but after all the work we’ve done to it, it’s perfect. The three of us are comfortable, have a lot of money saved, and since the Firefly Resort is always booked, it allows us a very low maintenance lifestyle.
Josh, on the other hand, keeps talking about moving close to the resort.
“We’re not moving,” I remind him of my stance.
“Okay . . .”
His head tilts to the side. “Now, don’t be angry.”
Immediately my shoulders drop. Those four words usually come before I am about to get very angry.
“What did you do?”
“I bought our other house.”
I blink, confused because we don’t have another house. “What are you talking about?”
He rubs his nose against mine. “Our house. The one on the mountain. The one we fell in love with and the one I promised I’d buy you one day.”
My heart sputters, and I stare at him. “How? What? That house? The house?”
Josh smiles. “The house.”
I don’t know how he did this, and I’m torn between wanting to slap him for doing this without talking to me and crying because that house is so special to me. “I don’t know what to say . . .”
“Tell me you love me and you’re happy.”
“I do love you, but how did you do this?”
Josh sits up, pulling me with him, holding my hands in his. “The resort has been doing well, and you know I invested heavily in it, so I got some of what was owed back each month. I put it aside, invested it, and I had enough to finally buy you the house I wished I could’ve all along.”
This man is crazy, and I love him with my whole being. “Oh, Josh.”
“I would buy you the whole world if it would make you happy.”
A tear falls down my cheek, and I brush my thumb against his scruffy face. “You make me happy. If we lived in that RV, it wouldn’t matter as long as I have you.”
“You will always have me.”
And I thank God for that, because I don’t ever want to live without him.
Thank you again for reading this book! I hope you’re ready to read the final Willow Creek Valley hero!
Seriously. Oliver is my FAVORITE!!!!!