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What are we thinking?

2Close was originally inspired by a country song about how those among us who can soar often meet their mortality in unexpected encounters with immovable objects, such as mountains and earth. These are the stories we seek to tell, particularly when

they include forgiveness and redemption. And
sometimes when they do not.

John & Joyce swinging
Life Is... book cover with a rose

Life Is...



Diagnosed with a brain tumor at age 89, Joyce Samples was a bit embarrassed when her son discovered these writings while helping his dad sort through some long-stored memorabilia. Together, mother and son did some minor editing and added a few pages to update the telling of her life. 

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from verified Amazon purchasers 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ a love story

I read it cover-to-cover in one sitting. Two normal people face life’s ups and downs together, perfectly imperfect at times. It left me wanting more! Details like what they first said to each other, how they courted, and most of all, about changing their son’s name!!

–IJO (an Amazon review)

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I got to read this wonderful book tonight.  It is full of “Life Is” quotes that Mrs. Samples had written down for Mr. Samples, and then on each page, Mr. Samples responds to each one of those quotes with a “Life Was” quote of his own. The book is a 72-year (almost 73-year) love story, one that includes family and friends, as well as each and every person who ever met that wonderful lady. What a blessing she was to everyone.  Me included.  

As I was reading through the book, I was so honored to see a picture reflecting a moment where I got to be involved with that magnificent family.  

The book is available on Amazon, and it is wonderful!

–an Indianapolis realtor from a Facebook post


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The Father, The Son, and the Brother's Ghost book cover

The Father, The Son,

& The Brother's Ghost



A sensitive exploration of common emotions and experiences through the grief that surrounds the unexpected loss of loved ones.


An easy read about a difficult subject, the book also serves as a tribute to the author's late brother, a rising star in the exploding world of computer sciences of the early 1990s.

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from verified Amazon purchasers 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Genuine Look at Grief

I don't usually give reading material to those who are grieving right away ... but this is one of the books that is certainly going on my list, especially for those who have experienced a tragic or sudden loss...

–a Grief and Family Counselor


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ An inspiring and comforting look at loss and grief

As someone who lost his father suddenly and unexpectedly seventeen years ago, I nodded in recognition while reading both the initial responses to the death of the author's brother as well as the materials thatt reflect learning to live with a sense of loss that may subtly change over time but never really goes away.

–from an Review

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Zona Samples' poetry book cover


Her Collected Works



Born in 1902 in Lee County, Zona Chapman grew up on Bear Creek near Beattyville and Canyon Falls, Kentucky. Here she learned of country ways and, thanks to some Missionary school workers, she also heard the luring call of higher thoughts early in life. That led her to write at an early age—one of the most moving pieces collected here was written when she was only 17—and she continued to write and influence and color her world with words until the day she died.


Her son and grandson gathered, edited, and produced this together.

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from verified Amazon purchaser

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ She Speaks with Wisdom and Faithful Instruction

Beautiful lady with great wisdom and wit. I've been blessed by her words and by the children she raised and many more will be blessed and influenced by her wisdom. A great read.

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Scott Butler Cover

Scott's Journal



When you connect with one of your best friends from 30+ years ago and it's just in time to walk with him through the death process, you feel like you have to do something when he's gone. This is what John did. Using Scott's own words, and with notes from their frequent lunches and additional thoughts from his wife Jane, Scott's Journal chronicles the last three years of Scott Butler's life, and what his friends expressed about him in Memorium.  

Also from 2Close2TheGround Publishing
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from Amazon verified purchasers

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Not a journey that you would wish for anyone, but Scott documented his experience in a beautiful way. I have recommended this book to friends that are now experiencing this same horrible disease, and they have been thankful for the information that Scott provided as they also face this wretched battle.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I worked with Scott for many, many years...he was an awesome attorney, an interesting man, and a very caring person. All of these traits are reflected in this very special book. For anyone affected by cancer, and who isn't anymore, this is a must read.

For Church Groups and Faith Applications


The Books
JSamPlays book cover
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from users around the world

The "All My Fathers" script remains relevant here in the Philippines! The team liked it, but the problem was - who's gonna act? The Lord provided. The grandpa, dad, and teen had no clue what they got into. The grandpa couldn't even use Zoom, to begin with.  It was a family effort; his son set up the cellphone and sent the file to me... and we all are learning along the way. We're just grateful to have scripts to use...


–Joan Menco, Drama Ministry Leader

Youth Gospel Center

The Philippians.


In particular, the Father/Son scripts that you did with your dad were highly impactful. I remember thinking (and telling others) after one of the sketches, "That's about as good as it gets!"


–Rev. Howard Brammer

former senior Minister at

Traders Point Christian Church

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