Theo sat on the bench across from the cemetery and pulled his jacket close to his chest. The service for his old friend had ended an hour ago, but he would wait. After everyone left, Theo would go into the Friedhof, place his single rose atop the freshly turned soil, and say goodbye.
Now he sat in the cold and felt old. Life was such a temporary place, and he knew he could not wait any longer to do what needed to be done. He had to write down all he’d put away years ago, memories buried somewhere deep in a private place. He needed to reach beyond the comfort of these new days and unwrap the terrible; the hurt and anguish, of love, found then lost, and all the regrets locked away but never forgotten.
Twenty years later and a continent away, family secrets revealed to Rick Dahlman demand he control his disbelief and anguish as he travels to Europe to unravel over thirty years of lies and deceit, a journey steeped in history. In a quest to find answers to his identity he will meet the classic, elegant Anna.
As Rick demands answers to his very existence from ghosts of the past, his emotional resolve is blindsided by the beautiful, headstrong Karlotta. Lost in a whirlpool of passion and desire so strong only their love and the surprising answers Rick finds in Theo’s diary will guide them to the awakening of a new life.
And so begins Theo’s Diary. The reminiscence of love and pain, war and regret . . . A life that spans two world wars, two continents, and almost ninety-one years. In his simple way, Theo will share the good and the bad, dreams and devastation, relationships so filled with passion you will stop and draw in a breath, just to slow time. And lives will be changed.Read and Excerpt
I am really excited about my new book. I have picked a scene from the diary, an excerpt to share; just a bit, a tease, for a love like this cannot be rushed.
Over the next few weeks I will share more, but for now, I hope you enjoy.
Theo is a soldier in the German army. Although wounded many times, he is given a chance to go home for the first time since the war started three years earlier. These are his words.
In late April of 1917, orders came down that all soldiers were to return to the area where they were born. Why? I never found out. At least, Joseph was given a reason why he had to take Mary, who was about to give birth to our Lord and go to Bethlehem. But I certainly did not argue; it really didn’t matter.Würzburg was not that far from Oberweinhausen.
We arrived in Würzburg and were sent to barracks on the south side of the city. No one knew why we were here. I recognized a few men I had met on the train, but no one from home. The atmosphere was not good, so much tension and concern among the troops. I did not involve myself as I was told I could go home, to Oberweinhausen, and I was overjoyed at the thought of seeing all my relatives and old friends if any friends were still there.
I was lucky. I found a man with a wagon who lived in Karlstal, and he was more than glad to give me a ride. This was more than luck, for my home lie just on the other side of the river.
As I walked across the bridge over the Main, my thoughts raced back to my Oma and my childhood, to the many times she cautioned me to be careful as I hung over the railing wishing I was a bird… able to fly off into the sky, or a big fish that could swim all the way to the Rhine and beyond. I closed my eyes and breathed the scent of my birthplace. My God, it was so good to be home.
I passed under the arched Tür, down the cobblestone street toward home, to the Main Gasse and our house, saying hello to those I met on the street, some I had known all my life. But I saw only older residents of the town, I did not see many young people until I saw her. I think I stopped dead in my tracks. I do remember thinking she was as bright and shiny as the spring day, her curly blonde hair dancing about her shoulders like ribbons on a May Pole as she ran up the side street. I also remember thinking no bird’s tune could sound any more delightful than the song she sang, and as I listened and watched I knew I had to talk to her.
“Guten Tag, Fräulein. Was für ein schöner Tag.” How stupid! I am sure now that we both knew it was a beautiful day, but I couldn’t think of anything else to say at that moment. Then she smiled and said.
“Theo? Theo Dahlman? Ist es Ihnen wirklich?”
All I could do was stare at her as she asked if it were really me. She knew me, but for the life of me, I did not know who she was.
“Emma, ich bin Emma Meyer.”
I could not believe it. When I left Oberweinhausen three years before, the Emma I knew was nothing but a bean pole, all legs, and pigtails. The woman who stood before me now was more than beautiful. And at that moment, she reached out and stole my heart.