I’m not sure God uses irony to make a point but maybe . . .
For example:

I was born in Abington Hospital on Easter.
43 years later . . .
My dad died in Abington Hospital on Christmas.

These two days – the most important, in fact the basis for, days in Christianity.

Obviously the day of my birth is not one I remember, but my mother does. As the story goes, I was not due for several days but Mother went into labor and called the doctor. It was her third and she knew time was of the essence. Back in the day doctors were more personally involved. He came and picked her up and took her to the hospital.

To be clear, this was not necessarily the norm but my dad had to stay home with my two older brothers and it was early, early Easter Sunday morning.

Because this delivery was long, long ago, my mother was sedated and not until she awoke later, did she realize she had a daughter. 😊 She was overjoyed after having two sons. And, of course, after seeing me, what’s not to love! 😊 😊 😊
It was 6am Easter Sunday morning. The church people showed up later in the day bringing her the most beautiful Easter flowers from church that day.

Fast forward 43 years.

My dad had been sick for a while and I got the call to come be with my mother as this was probably the time to “say goodbye” to him.
They were in Philadelphia and I was in St. Louis.

It turned into a three-week vigil.

Finally I told my mother I had to go home to my hubby and two teenaged kids. It was three days before Christmas. My brother flew in and we passed the baton. It turned out that it was the last day Dad was conscious. I remember getting on the plane and calling him – one last time – to tell him I loved him. I then flew home, brokenhearted. He was 71 years old.

(That year was probably my first on-line shopping experience. Having not yet shopped for the kid’s Christmas gifts (and no matter what the age, kids expect to see gifts on Christmas morning 😊 ) I ordered on-line and paid extra to expedite shipping. No Amazon prime then. ☹)

On Christmas Day, back in Philadelphia, my dad had been unconscious for three days and my brother and mother decided to leave the hospital to get fresh air and have a nice Christmas dinner somewhere. However, on Christmas Day, not many choices so it was Chinese for them.

Having no cell phones, they didn’t get the news until they returned to the hospital. My dad had passed away.

We all flew back for the funeral, and afterwards, settled back into life as we knew it.

For the longest time I was dismayed that for all the Christmases to come, I’d associate it with my dad’s death.

Then I got older.

It wasn’t until probably 2 decades later that I realized the irony of the hospital and special holidays my dad and I shared.

And I thank God I can focus, not on my birth and my dad’s death, but on His birth Christmas and His resurrection Easter which means I’ll not only be with God when I die, but with my dad! PTL

Ironic. Huh?!


Excerpt #3 – Papa, Where Are You?

An organization called Readers’ Favorite was kind enough to give my book a review. This is part of it:

“Papa, Where Are You? is a wonderful, easy-to-read story that takes readers on a journey that young children should never experience. Author PJ Easterbrook invites you on her journey through sadness, uncertainty, and then triumph. She does an excellent job telling about the adventure at Grandma’s house one summer with the two sisters. The description in the first chapter allowed me to imagine the grand house with the wraparound porch before I even saw the photograph. I enjoyed reading about their Halloween costumes and felt excited as if I was at the neighborhood trick-or-treating block party. Unfortunately, I also shared in the sad news and fought the urge to mourn along with the rest of the family. What kind of man would leave his daughters when they need him the most – without saying goodbye? . . . There were many times when I didn’t want to put this book down. Either I felt their sadness and disappointment or I was thrilled that they got their well-deserved happy ending. Papa, Where Are You? is a very moving book.”
Reviewed by Barbara Fanson for Readers’ Favorite

new book cover
Be sure to read more reviews on my author website by clicking below.

Papa, Where Are You? paperback and digital


I experienced a delightful concert the other night. A granddaughter was in her first piano recital. She’s seven. I was so pleased and proud. I was also surprised because the two pieces she chose were duets with her teacher. reeseThat’s not an easy feat. I know. I’ve been there. More about that in a moment. . .

As I sat there watching her work those keys, I couldn’t help but remember another (probably the last) piano recital I attended. A junior member of our family at the time, maybe a bit older than my granddaughter is now, was preparing for a recital. The deal was the students were to play a piece for memory. Somehow the memory part wasn’t accomplished so she prepared a tiny “cheat sheet.” I’m not sure the teacher was aware of this before time and she obviously was not going to address it at that moment so up to the piano this gal went. She placed the little card, probably not bigger than a postcard, onto the music rack and began to play. She looked so pretty and so proper until   . . . the postcard fell to the ground underneath the piano. As all “professionals” know, the show must go on! So she kept playing, over and over, the same part until, not knowing how to end it, she just stopped.

I’m pretty sure I wasn’t laughing that day, but it really strikes me funny now. I brought it up to her recently and, yes, she remembered it all too well.

Back to my granddaughter playing duets with her teacher – I was so impressed because, as a child myself, I took nine years of piano lessons! It was NOT fun! My brother also took duet booklessons and my teacher had the idea that he and I should play duets. NOT a good idea. He was 20 months older than me and had an IQ way above mine – or so he always told me. He was the methodical legalistic one. I was the “play without rules” type. My mother cringed every time we sat on that dang piano bench together. She wasn’t the only one. My brother would count to the beat and I would “play with feeling”. Finally my mother put a stop to it as our practice sessions were more than she could handle. I will be forever grateful.

So seeing my granddaughter playing sweet duets with her teacher? I was happy because I was pretty sure she played with feeling. 😊


Don’t forget to order Papa, Where Are You?

Papa Where Are You – paperback and digital




A long time ago . . .

Well actually about 19 years ago, we sold our house – and we bought a house.

The business of sorting and packing didn’t keep our excitement bottled up as we were very much looking forward to this change.

As we neared the closing of one and then the other, of course the dates didn’t line up and we found ourselves with three weeks to spare in between moves. Homeless? Nope. A dear friend put us up – myself, hubby, daughter and son when he was home on weekends from college. Awesome. No problem. Except . . .

We had three cats! And we had to find a place for them.

(Yes, I know three cats are a lot. We, at one time had four! But that’s another story.)

We were happy to find a place not far from us. Country Acres
Their website description:

from Country Acres Resort website

This fit the bill for us and we settled our feline friends into their three adjoining cat apartments, complete with a picture window in each. 😊 We set it up that one was their bathroom, one the kitchen, and one the bedroom. 😊 To this day, I wonder if they really appreciated our thoughtfulness, as we walked away feeling very satisfied with this setup all the while listening to their caterwauling as we walked away.

As we settled in to our friends house, K.K (KitKat), Oreo and Baby Kitty tried to settle in to theirs, wondering, I’m sure, what happened to their cushy lifestyle back at home with their humans.

We visited often, not too often to get their hopes up that they were going home, but often enough to give them some comfort.

Now two of our cats adapted fine, but as seems to always be the case, one -K.K. – had some issues. She was basically a scaredy cat – in every sense of the word. Her biggest fear? Thunderstorms. She could predict/hear one coming before we could. And all of a sudden she’d be on her belly scurrying as fast as her shorter than natural legs would carry her, down the stairs, under the workbench. I always felt that if a tornado hit our home, she would be the only one to survive because of her built-in advanced warning system.

Remember those doggy pull toys that clicked as you pulled them. That is what I always thought of as I’d see her scurry across the floor and down the stairs. I always wondered if she’d get rug burns on her belly as she was so crouched down.doggie-toy
Now, wouldn’t you know, it was spring – thunderstorm season.

The first night, poor K.K. about had a heart attack and peed all over. The second night of storms, after discussion with us, the folks gave her an enclosed cat bed to hide in. She hid in it alright, and then peed all over it. The third night, after providing a new, clean cat bed, they put a piece of cardboard over the window, in a sense “boarding it up.” Still, K.K. was a wreck. The fourth night? They removed her from her kitty apartment and placed her in an interior room with no windows and a sofa to hide under. For extra comfort, they took Oreo and Baby Kitty with her.

from Country Acres Resort website

The place wasn’t the cheapest around – with three cats over three weeks to pay for. But it was SO worth it. I wanted to tip everyone and give all hugs!

The three weeks ended and we all settled into our new home. The first thing I did was show K.K. the way to the basement, where the workbench was.

I’m pretty sure she looked up at me with a smile of relief. 🙂

* * *

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Papa, Where Are You? paperback and digital

Book Signing #1

First of all, I feel major relief that it’s over – the first one, that is. 🙂

I researched how to do it, what to bring, where to have it and who to invite.

I went to other book signings to see the action.

One might think what’s all the fuss? Set up a card table, pile on some books, and go at it!

Sounds good but I’m an over-planner, insecure as I am.

And there actually are proper preferred guidelines/suggestions.img_4298

Google probably will give me some kind of award for “googling” the most on one subject! But it’s interesting how many different opinions there are out there.

Where I held the book signing was first. I picked the place but didn’t even know if they had signings there. It is a nice pub/café type venue. My pastor knew the owner so introductions were made. The rest is history. Bob couldn’t have been nicer to work with.

Of course I used every social media sight I had to convey the time and place. I even designed and hung a couple of posters in various spots. For those not on social media with me, I handed out a few post cards.

Prior to the day, being a list person, I made mine.

That day, I packed up and headed out. My friends Jean and Becky were my right-hand   (wo)men! I couldn’t have done it without them. Well maybe I could have but I wouldn’t want to! 

Set up was easier and quicker than I had hoped for, and we were ready!
Friends from church along with passerby’s came in and out over the two-hour span. I felt the love! I even met another new author.

All in all, I sold 19 books. Not bad for two hours.
Now I can relax . . . before I start planning the next event. 🙂

Want your own copy of Papa, Where Are You? click here: Papa, Where Are You?


As usual, we were having a delightful time with our Florida family on the beach. The kids20161022_123559459_ios were soaking up the sun while keeping an eye on their four young charges. Those young charges – my grandkids – were heading in all directions. Hubby and I were observing and loving each and every one of them.

One of my young grandsons came running over to show me all the pretty shells he had collected. I thought I’d turn it into a teachable moment.

“Isn’t it amazing how God made all these different colors and shapes?” I commented as I pointed to the different ones.

“There are one hundred Gods.” He proclaimed as a matter of fact.

“Uh,” I muttered. “What did you say?”

He repeated, “There are one hundred Gods.”

Now knowing this kid has been brought up with sound teaching in his home and church, I probed farther.

“Explain that. How can that be?”

20161024_154253180_iosHe patiently explained that, because God is everywhere, there must be one hundred Gods. It made sense to him. It was how he managed to accept the fact that God is everywhere, believing what he was taught, yet condensing it in his mind to something he could understand. Brilliant.20161024_151235992_ios

I realized my teachable moment was past and I’d share this conversation with the parents, because in a flash, he was headed back to the water. I’m kind of relieved, to be honest, because I wasn’t sure how to handle that, to explain to his sweet little heart about faith and acceptance. He indeed had shown faith and acceptance in what he had been taught. I know he will understand the ‘big picture’ eventually. His faith will grow as he does. I’ve no doubt.

And my love for him grew deeper that day.

“The eyes of the Lord are in every place,
keeping watch on the evil and the good.”

Proverbs 15:3

Excerpt #2 “Papa, Where Are You”

Today I’m sharing an excerpt of an editorial review associated with Readers View. This is an organization that offers reviews especially to those who are self-published. The catch is that once reviewed, it will be published to various social media sights.

Good or Bad!

I’ve actually scrolled through various reviews to make sure this was correct and not just all sugar and spice. While always professional, the reviews are well written and honest.

Good or Bad!

It was a gamble but with enough hopefully honest reviews up to this point, I submitted my book to them and held my breath.

It came back yesterday and, honestly, I was blown away. It was kind and accurate to the plot – in detail. I was feeling quite humbled and yet affirmed. I’ve posted the beginning and ending of the review so as not to give away the entire story to those yet to read it. 🙂

“Truth is indeed stranger than fiction, and this bizarre story captured my complete attention, invoking unbelievable strong emotions in me from the very start. The story is well written and captivating, and I couldn’t help but fall in love with the two little girls and pray for their well and pray for their well-being. . .
“How in the world does something like this happen? It really causes one to think how every little decision we make completely alters the course of existence.
“Kudos to PJ Easterbrook, for putting to paper a story that needed telling, “Papa, Where Are You?” will remain in the heart and on the mind long after the story is finished.” – Reviewed by Sheri Hoyte for Reader Views


This is a photograph of “Papa” with his three children – the only photo known to exist. The quality was not good enough to be placed in the actual book.



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“Papa, Where Are You?”          “Papa, Where Are You?” digital format


Let’s Go to the Zoo

The weather was unseasonably pleasant and warm for the beginning of November in the Midwest. My brother was visiting from Florida to help celebrate my mother’s 94th birthday. Taking advantage of the weather, we three decided to go to the zoo, a favorite of my mothers. I figured my mother would need to work a scooter since she was only able to walk with a walker.

The day before, I needed to take my brother to the ER because of a serious problem with his feet – swollen and painful and barely able to walk on. Although he was improved, we decided that he, too, would need a scooter to ride on.

I was alone, with two disabled family members on scooters. I was outnumbered and I could envision all sorts of issues popping up throughout the day.

I called my friend Jean and asked if she’d like to go to the zoo with us. Of course, she saw through my invitation and, thankfully, was delighted to jump in and help.

We arrived and immediately rented two scooters.zoo4
Except that my credit card was declined! That’s a whole other story. Sheesh.
We used an alternative card and proceeded to give operation instructions to our two charges. As we began on our journey, my mother took off. I mean took off rapidly. There was no catching up so we just stood there, hoping she’d stop eventually. She did and looked around to see us way, way behind her. As we caught up, Jean adjusted her speed to slow. My brother meanwhile kept hanging back and circling around. I tried to keep my eye on him while Jean took charge of my mother, making sure she didn’t drive over any kids.
It actually was a lousy day for spotting the animals. It must have been siesta time.
But it was a pretty day and we four established a routine. Then mother spotted the train. She was always a softie for a ride. We obliged, not sure how this would work with the scooters. As it turned out, accommodations were made for one scooter on the train. Of course my mother was the chosen one. My brother’s scooter was parked and we agreed to ride the entire way around without getting off at any of the stops since we wouldn’t have a scooter for my brother.zoo2

Mother was treated like a queen! These guys (retired railroaders) put up special ramps and opened secret gates for her to enter. They then strapped her in. She rode right behind the conductor with my brother directly behind her and Jean and I in the next seat. Again, barely an animal anywhere! But fun, nevertheless.

Until. . .

First we went through a tunnel. I had a brief moment of panic but then could immediately see the daylight at the other end so was ok. Then, another tunnel. This time longer, with no daylight to see. My claustrophobia began to creep in. I closed my eyes and we emerged safely. As we then stopped at a station to let people on and off, I looked ahead. Another tunnel!

I deduced that if the first tunnel was short and the second tunnel was medium, then this tunnel must be . . . you get the picture.

Leaning over to Jean, I whispered, “I need to get off.” I don’t think she took me seriously at first until I pointed out the upcoming tunnel and told her I might punch someone if I go in there. So. . . she and I got off and told the others that we’d meet them at the end. That was not easy as there is no straight path at the zoo but we ended up there just as they were getting off. No one dared mention my phobia so we proceeded our zoo tour.

As we rounded the corner and passed over the railroad tracks, I noticed my brother not with us. Stopping to look back, I saw him sitting on his now very still scooter on the railroad tracks. I booked myself back to him. He said it stopped. It just stopped. I’m about to scream, “Don’t you know people can die like this? Car stopped on the tracks with a speeding train coming towards them?” I chose to keep my mouth shut since he didn’t give me a hard time about the train issue. We then pushed it off the tracks and flagged down a zoo employee. He used his walkie talkie to summon another one. zoo3While we waited, directly in front of the polar bear exhibit, there unbelievably, was an actual polar bear! The highlight of the day!

Back safe in the car for the ride home, my mother declared she had a delightful time and would like to go again sometime. Of course, she said, we didn’t need to take the train the next time. “Why,” I asked. “Because of your scardy cat baby girl?” “No, just because we’ve now done it.” She explained.
She was just being nice, but I appreciated the thought.

Under my breath, however, I was uttering “never again!”


Excerpt #1 ‘Papa, Where Are You?’

“Each of us grieved in our own way. Papa shed nary a tear but acted somber all day. I could tell he wanted to comfort us, but no soothing words came from his lips. Hugs were all he could offer.”


A view of the old homestead, as described in ‘Papa, Where Are You?

A couple of reviews:

“I finished your book last night. Great, great job! it was captivating throughout. And the ending was perfect!”

“I just finished your beautiful book! Wow! I am sitting in my kitchen, crying tears of both sadness and tears of joy. The family went through so much joy, then heartache, and finally (and gratefully) redemption. I love how in everything they went through, God was present and kind. I am both undone and blessed to read your story.”

To read more reviews, click on link below.

Papa, Where Are You?