For previous posts on the contributors, see these:
Sally Palmer Thomason
Sally was the inspiration for my first anthology, A Second Blooming: Becoming the Women We Are Meant to Be (2017) and is also an important mentor in my life. And not only as a writer. Sally lived across the street from us for several years and our regular visits over coffee at each other’s breakfast tables are times I will always treasure. She’s over a decade ahead of me on life’s journey and introduced me to new and important ways of looking at life in general and aging in particular. Her book, The Living Spirit of the Crone: Turning Aging Inside Out, grew out of her PhD in aging, which she got when she was 65. As her bio in the back of All Night, All Day says:
Sally Thomason, Ph.D., retired from dean of continuing and corporate education at Rhodes College, is a lifelong student/teacher/administrator/author with an interdisciplinary approach to culture and history. She has written four books, all after age 65: The Living Spirit of the Crone: Turning Aging Inside Out, The Topaz Brooch, Delta Rainbow: The Irrepressible Betty Bobo Pearson, and The Power of One—Sister Anne Brooks and the Tutwiler Clinic.
In addition to A Second Blooming, Sally contributed an essay to another anthology I edited, Southern Writers on Writing.
“Letting Joy In”
Sally’s brief “essay” in the book is actually an entry in her personal journal from July 29, 2021, seven months after her 91-year-old husband died. Here’s a short excerpt:
Choosing to let in joy is a revolutionary act.—Valarie Kaur, See No Stranger, Chapter 10.
Seventh months ago he died on Christmas Eve. And the hollow spot within me that fills with unexpected, nearly daily tears is very deep. I long for a visit, some indication from “the other side” that we are still connected. But he has not come. . . . In our partnership/marriage of sixty four and a half years we liked, as well as loved each other. . . . Yesterday as nine of us gathered for dinner and stood at our places around the table, my daughter asked me to say the blessing. I had not done my usual mental preparation, but as I asked for everyone to join hands, words came. Although I have no memory of those exact words, I felt his presence and a surge of joy—of love. Somehow, for a beautiful moment, joy blossomed in my heart.