GOODBYE FOR NOW - 1010 Park Place
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GOODBYE FOR NOW

Lionel Richie & Brenda Coffee. Photograph courtesy of Lionel Richie, 2019.
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Dear Friends, This will be my last regular blog post for a while because I’m stepping away to work on my memoir. Writing a blog and a memoir requires different writing muscles and voices, and I can’t do both at the same time. This hasn’t been an easy decision. In fact I’ve put it off for several months, but the time has come. 

Did you know you are the ones who’ve encouraged me to write my story?

Over the years many of you have asked how I’ve survived the things life has put in my path and how I’ve managed to remain so strong and upbeat? It’s been a conscious decision, not by faking it, but by doing the necessary work on myself to recuperate from whatever took me down. It’s not always been easy, but I realized to do otherwise was not in my best interest. 

My friend and former 1010ParkPlace blogger, Esther Zimmer, once left a comment on one of my blogs that was more perceptive than she could have known: “If these are the things you’re willing to share with us, what are the things you’re not telling us?” The answer, dear Essie, is a lot!

I’ve always contemplated writing a book, but for a long time I thought it would be about my first husband; a brilliant man who was revered and admired and whose life–and my life as well–took a turn no one could have predicted. A turn, until now, I’ve kept secret. And then there was my being taken… my kidnapping. I now realize it is my story, the choices I made and that I’ve survived it. All of it.

“It was a fairytale until it wasn’t.”

That I went… 

“ …from being an overprotected only child with asthma—who wasn’t allowed to take PE or go barefoot—to becoming Ramborella and the last one standing.”

That said, this isn’t totally goodbye. Look for me in your inbox, because from time to time, I will send things for you to think about and snippets from my memoir. I want to know how each of you are doing, so I hope you’ll let me know with your comments. Just like you know some of my story, I know some of your stories as well, and I will miss hearing from you, my friends.

Lionel Richie, August 2019. Photograph by ©Brenda Coffee

I’ll also send things that might interest you like my visit with Lionel Richie a few months ago. My first husband and I financed some of Lionel’s early concerts with the Commodores. He is a genuinely sweet and charming man. When you’re talking with Lionel he has a way of leaning in and taking both of your hands in his, laser focused on every word you say. 

I don’t know how long this book process, revisions and finding an agent will take, so I don’t have a timeline as to when I’ll be back full-time. It also means I won’t be posting anyone else’s blog post so look for Jill Anthony and her “silver-haired girl on the go,” Hildie Plumpepper, on Instagram, Donna O’Klock on her blog, SexyPast60, and Kim Alexis on Instagram. I’m so grateful for their friendship and thank them for being part of 1010ParkPlace.

Thank you for the privilege of writing for you, and thank you for reading. I hope in some small way I’ve lifted you up when you’ve needed it because you have done that for me. I love and appreciate you more than you know. 

The days are flying past faster and faster, so promise yourself you’ll make each day count. Draw only good things and people into your life and let go of what doesn’t serve you well. Have confidence in your abilities and step outside your comfort zone. Do things that challenge you along with those things you’ve always wanted to do, and do them with the knowledge God is with you. Until next time…

Love, Brenda

55 Comments

  • Reply Josehpine November 9, 2019 at 2:14 am

    I shall miss your blog. Good luck with the book and I look forward to reading it when it is published.

  • Reply Debra Shriver November 9, 2019 at 5:26 am

    Brenda, the blog was the warmup for the book you were meant to write. Make it juicy. Make it true. Make it yours. I can’t wait. Godspeed! XoDeb

  • Reply Tara Dillard November 9, 2019 at 5:58 am

    Exciting, wanting your book since forever.

    Writing my books, brain certainly had demands. Mornings till noon, writing. Lunch, in the garden, gardening involved. Afternoons, editing. Morning brain and afternoon brain, separate entities.

    Love pushing the gas on this V8, you can feel it when you drive, aka my brain.

    BTW, for all of my books, I stopped doing design work, writing was full time. More, I could feel the changes in brain wiring.

    Happy for you, and selfishly awaiting my copy of your book.

    Garden & Be Well, Tara

  • Reply Terri Jackson November 9, 2019 at 6:21 am

    Wishing you peace and light as you journey through your writing. Much love to you, Terri

  • Reply Shannon Johnson November 9, 2019 at 6:22 am

    I am already missing your voice in my mailbox Brenda but am beyond eager to hear the rest of your story. You’ve encouraged me to re-consider how I view my own story and for that, thank you. All the best until we hear from you again

  • Reply Doreen McGettigan November 9, 2019 at 6:44 am

    I will miss you but I am SO proud of you for telling your whole story! I cannot wait to read it and share it!
    If you need to do any venting, need inspiration or advice call me xxxooo

  • Reply Joyce Sullivan November 9, 2019 at 6:45 am

    Love, adore and admire you, Brenda. Honored to call you my friend. You may be writing this book for you, though all of us know you are writing it for us. As you move into this next part of your life, you give me the courage to face and embrace the unknown, and to know that there is nothing I may face that can break me. We are all here for you as you move to this next part of your life’s victory lap. Hugs from NY.
    Love, Joyce

  • Reply Colleen Fuller November 9, 2019 at 6:57 am

    Lionel Richie makes me swoon. The photo is great. I’m going to miss you and the blog every week. I look forward with anticipation to reading your book. Best Wishes and Love to you Brenda.

  • Reply Donna November 9, 2019 at 7:13 am

    We will all miss your weekly posts but this is for a good cause…your book! Wishing you all the best in this great endeavor. You are in my prayers. xoxo

  • Reply Patricia November 9, 2019 at 7:56 am

    I will miss your blog, but will anxiously await your book!

  • Reply Cindy White November 9, 2019 at 8:00 am

    Like everyone else, I will miss your blog – but look forward to reading your memoir. Enjoy the process and hurry back to us!

  • Reply Lora Watts November 9, 2019 at 8:09 am

    Brenda: I have enjoyed reading your blog for so many years now. Your frankness, honesty, insightful perspectives have entertained, informed and enlightened me is so many ways. From shaving your face, to talking about dryness for women of a certain age, to sharing your many life experiences, your move, your dogs, your fashion ideas, hair challenges, health insights, all your losses (husbands, mom) and on and on–I looked forward to your posts each Wednesday and Friday. I wish you the best and look forward to hearing from you in the future. I am proud of my fellow Trinity University alumna!

  • Reply Deborah November 9, 2019 at 8:14 am

    Brenda, I too will miss your blog, in a lot of ways it was the voice of reason in this crazy world we live in. I will be waiting for your return and anxiously looking forward to your book. Take good care of yourself and godspeed, we will be cheering you on from the sidelines!

    Deborah

    P.S. I have always loved Lionel Ritchie, he seems like the real deal and a true gentleman.

  • Reply Elaine Parisi November 9, 2019 at 8:28 am

    I will miss seeing your smiling face come across my inbox … but I am excited for what is ahead for you! Good luck with your new endeavor! I know you will shine. I enjoyed participating in your blog and appreciate your friendship! Godspeed Brenda! Keep us posted! xoxo Elaine

  • Reply Anissa November 9, 2019 at 8:39 am

    Well damn! I really look forward to your insight! Not many good blogs left out there and yours has given me a lot to think about, not to mention that cute Vince skirt! However, your book sounds extremely insightful. Good luck and know that you will be missed. You are one courageous woman! Thanks for sharing your adventures, life, insight and life lessons with us all.

  • Reply Leigh November 9, 2019 at 8:41 am

    While I will miss your wonderful blog, I am so glad you’re writing your memoir. Best of luck as you continue your writing and I look forward to reading your book. You have given such good advice on many topics,. This fellow Texan having just turned 70 has been encouraged by your words many times. Take care!
    Leigh

  • Reply Julie Anne November 9, 2019 at 8:42 am

    I’m a silent follower who will miss you. At the same time, it’s totally understandable why you’re doing this. When you first mentioned that you were writing your memoirs, I was excited because it will be a fascinating book. Best of everything.

  • Reply Lisa Froman November 9, 2019 at 8:48 am

    You are such an interesting woman! I look forward to reading your memoir. Wishing you the best!

  • Reply Sherry November 9, 2019 at 9:12 am

    I will miss the blog but so look forward to the book. I am positive it will be with the wait.

  • Reply Sue Burpee November 9, 2019 at 9:30 am

    What an exciting path you are taking, Brenda. The decision to commit to the book full time is probably a good one. I wish you all the good luck in the world. xo

  • Reply Renee November 9, 2019 at 9:45 am

    Yes , I join all the others , We Will Miss You ! , but at the same time hope you will enjoy writing your book … please pop in once in awhile and let us know how you are ..

  • Reply Taste of France November 9, 2019 at 9:55 am

    You have been such an inspiration to me. The snippets you’ve dropped here and some of the stories you’ve told, like your adventures in Mexico, made me wish we were in the same city so we could meet for drinks. I look forward to buying your book. Good luck with everything!
    PS: Now I’m thinking about who should play you in the movie version….

  • Reply Haralee November 9, 2019 at 10:10 am

    I will miss your blogs but I can’t wait to read your whole story! I wish for you the best!!!

  • Reply Judy November 9, 2019 at 10:20 am

    Oh gosh — I miss you and your blog already as I just read your last posting. I am sure your book will be worth the wait, but please don’t make this Wait too long. (Can’t wait to read your book though)

  • Reply Cindy Graf November 9, 2019 at 10:47 am

    The time is now Brenda, so glad you’ll be devoting all your efforts to your memoir. Before you know it you’ll be back with us with even more insights on life and love and how our past sets the course for all that happens in our future. As Socrates so wisely said “The unexamined life is not worth living “ I for one cannot wait to read about your life and what has lead you to us and all the the people who love and adore you. I’ll miss getting to read your insights on a regular basis but knowing something even far better and more powerful is on its way makes it’s okay. It’s worth waiting for! If you need a change of pace and you and your sweet puppy need some new and inspiring scenery I’ll leave the key under the mat in Telluride, just say the word .
    Much Love
    Cindy

  • Reply Sarah Katherine Gomm November 9, 2019 at 10:59 am

    You will be missed, however, will be on the lookout for messages to come and books lining the bookstore’s best sellers.

    xoxo,

    Sarah

  • Reply Martha Edmundson November 9, 2019 at 11:46 am

    I will miss you and your blog feature. I will also look forward to reading your memoir. Blessings on you and your work.

  • Reply Evie Squadrille November 9, 2019 at 3:22 pm

    Love you Brenda! I’ll miss you but I’m so excited about reading your memoir…I wish you the best and will keep you in my prayers.

  • Reply Juliet November 9, 2019 at 4:16 pm

    Bittersweet news, Brenda. I applaud you for stepping away to focus on this monumental project. I, like so many others, eagerly anticipate your book! xo

  • Reply Alana November 9, 2019 at 4:33 pm

    I will miss you, but all good things come to an end. May your memoir be a big success!

  • Reply jeannette November 9, 2019 at 4:45 pm

    I will miss my visits with you here, however how wonderful for us that your book might be coming to us sooner than later! I’m sure this is not an easy task but you will succeed. Take good care of yourself and best of luck.

  • Reply TJ November 9, 2019 at 5:08 pm

    Much love and well wishes with your project Brenda. I have loved your blog, although I have only been following you for the last year or so. I have felt a connection with you across this electronic forum and like many others, wished we lived closer so we could be gal pals IRL.
    May you be guided and inspired. Always, TJ from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia Xxxxxxxx

  • Reply Wilma Kempinas November 9, 2019 at 5:30 pm

    Missing your posts already! Write your book and return with your brilliant light soon! Warmest regards from the South Hemisphere XOXO

  • Reply Mithra Ballesteros November 9, 2019 at 5:31 pm

    Good for you!! This is a big step and I applaud you for taking it. We shall be here ready and waiting when you’ve finished. Now go sharpen those pencils and call me if you ever need a pep talk! xoxo

  • Reply Sharon Ellis McCuistian November 9, 2019 at 5:52 pm

    Good Luck with the writing! I know I’ll sure read your book when you get it published!!

  • Reply Sally Leonard November 9, 2019 at 6:46 pm

    Oh, how I’m going to miss you. Some of your posts have been extremely influential to me. Your enthusiasm and generosity of spirit have been such a gift to us!
    Please write quickly as we can’t wait to read more about your life!!

  • Reply Marika Burton November 9, 2019 at 7:30 pm

    Will miss keeping up with you via the blog!!! Make sure you let us know when the book is out!

  • Reply LA CONTESSA November 9, 2019 at 7:33 pm

    THERE SHE GOES…………….OFF TO DO HER THING!
    WE WILL BE HERE WHEN YOU RETURN and ENJOY ANY LITTLE SNIPPET YOU SEND OUR WAY!!!!!!
    WE WOULD BE HAPPY TO PROOF READ A PAGE OR TWO FROM THE BOOK!!HA!!!
    HOW EXCITING YOU ARE REALLY DOING IT!!!!!!!
    I WISH YOU THE BEST AND ABSOLUTELY NO WRITERS BLOCK!!!!!!!!!
    GO FOR IT!!
    XOXOX

  • Reply Terry November 9, 2019 at 7:40 pm

    Brenda, while I am sad to see your blog on hiatus, I’m more excited that you are writing full-time. We will all be waiting with baited breath for your book release. You and Annie hunker down over the winter and get’er done!
    P.S. When you reply to my comments, I feel like a celebrity is acknowledging my presence!
    P.P.S. Lance Rentzel/Joey Heatherton!

  • Reply Cynthia Hamilton Urquhart November 9, 2019 at 7:46 pm

    I am so excited for you Brenda. What a brave but necessary step. There are so many more words in you, waiting to be let out. I had the privilege of hearing some of them at Haven and still remember thinking what an incredible book this is going to be. You go girl… I will be waiting with bated breath.

  • Reply Rebecca Forstadt Olkowski November 9, 2019 at 8:44 pm

    Good luck with your book. You have to go with your gut on things like this. I’m sure you’re making the right decision.

  • Reply Sandra Sallin - apart from my art November 9, 2019 at 11:02 pm

    I’m so torn. I can’t wait for your book and I can’t bare not reading your blog. So happy that your doing this. We can all learn from your past. So go to it. We’ll be waiting.

  • Reply Sheila-Merle Johnson November 10, 2019 at 1:34 am

    Blessings to you on your journey through your inner and outer life. Can’t wait to read it! Godspeed, Sheila-Merle

  • Reply Beckye November 10, 2019 at 8:23 am

    So proud of you, Brenda, and excited to get to read your book! We will all be here waiting when you get back. Even my husband will miss you in the meantime! I often read him posts you’ve written, and last week he asked if I’d seen anything from you lately! Can’t wait to hear your snippets! Love and admire you so much, and am grateful you’re focusing on your memoir. Godspeed, friend! Praying for you!

  • Reply Diane November 10, 2019 at 10:37 am

    I will miss your positive, straight-up attitude and your stories. But I take comfort in knowing that, after the pain of separation will come the rewards for our patience! 😉 Have fun writing!

  • Reply Cindy November 10, 2019 at 11:25 am

    So happy for you. I will miss you. Thank you for your sharing life and light. I really look forward to a little snippet coming via e- mail. Please update as well your beloved pup. Looking forward to the book.

  • Reply Judy Freedman November 10, 2019 at 4:10 pm

    Good luck with your memoir! Can’t wait to read it.

  • Reply Teri November 10, 2019 at 9:55 pm

    Your words may resonate more than you know – thank you for your honesty, grace and humor – will miss your writing but so look forward to your memoir – good luck, best wishes and godspeed

  • Reply Kathy November 10, 2019 at 10:07 pm

    Brenda, You go girl!!!! Write your story the way only you can & we will all be here to cheer you on!!!! Can’t wait for your best seller!!!!

  • Reply Charlotte November 11, 2019 at 10:53 am

    Can’t wait to read your book! I’ll miss this blog in the meantime.

  • Reply Nancy L. Stordahl November 11, 2019 at 11:33 am

    Hi Brenda,

    I wish you much success with your book – all aspects of the process. Writing my memoir was certainly a learning experience for me. There are a few things I’d do differently if I were writing it today, but I’m so glad I went through the process. You were the first “real blogger” that read and commented on my blog, and your encouragement meant the world to me. So again, thank you. Women writers supporting other women writers is so important for so many reasons.

    I look forward to reading your book, Brenda. Good luck writing it.

  • Reply Lauren November 11, 2019 at 1:52 pm

    Wow! Exciting times ahead! Good luck.

  • Reply Penny November 11, 2019 at 3:52 pm

    You are a courageous woman! I look forward to reading your complete story… but will miss your blog…
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts, hopes, memories, kindness, bravery… the list could go on and on…
    I think brave and courageous describes you best…. You’ve encouraged me along the way
    and I thank you for that.

  • Reply Laurie Stone November 11, 2019 at 4:47 pm

    Brenda, Selfishly I’m sad you’re leaving. I’ll miss your wonderful blog. But I’m also happy I’ll get to read your writing in another form — a memoir! Can’t wait. Sounds like you have an amazing life story.

  • Reply Cat November 11, 2019 at 11:22 pm

    Bitter sweet! Praying that it’s a smooth (as possible!) process for you, Brenda. I love Lionel! When I was in college at a lonely time, God used “Once, Twice, Three Times a Lady” to speak to me! A college friend (not remembering her name) said she sat at an airport bar and the Commodores were there and she talked with them for a while and they were wonderful and mentioned they hoped they could show God’s love in their songs. Waiting for your “snippets”!!!

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