“You honor me when you do your work” — Robert to Joan

As much as I enjoy and believe in my work, it’s often hard to concentrate on writing my book with Robert gone. After more than a year and half, I still can’t breathe in and out without missing him mightily. He is always in my thoughts and in my heart.

Almost right up to the end of his life, Robert actively supported my dream of this book. “You’ve got to keep doing your work,” he told me earnestly, knowing he would not live to read it. During the last weeks that we were able to walk in the park together, we discussed this book—what would be in it, how it would expand on topics brought up in Better Than I Ever Expected, what new topics it would need.

I would read him excerpts from emails and interviews that were coming in, and he would listen compassionately. Sometimes he would sit down in my study and start talking, and I would scramble to type what he said.

I hadn’t yet come up with a good title for the new book, and Robert left me little penciled notes with ideas on used envelopes and sales receipts (he never started a new piece of paper when an old one would do). We brainstormed together incessantly. It wasn’t until a few months after he died that Naked at Our Age suddenly struck me as just the right title.

Although my beloved Robert died before this book could be written, it will be as much his as mine. “You honor me when you do your work,” I hear his voice telling me.

So, Robert, my angel, this book will be for you, in your honor, with memories of our great love.


  1. Robert Hutton on March 24, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    Hello Joan,
    Your story is truly filled with great emotion. Everyone who is still married or living with someone in their old age faces this situation at some point. This is a terrific blog.
    Talk soon,
    Bob Hutton

  2. help4newmoms on March 22, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    I'm crying over here. Thank you so much for sharing such personal jewels with us.

    PS. I think the title of the new book is fantastic! (just like all the work you do!)

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