Thursday, January 1, 2009

Writing Through Loss, Again

2008 has been a year of losses, six to be exact, half of them young people under forty. These losses are unsettling to be sure, because isn’t it a law of nature that the old die first? Well, we know that’s not true. Look at what happened to young Abel, Adam’s son.

2008 has also been a high top experience for my husband and I. In January, we sold our home when the market said we couldn’t. The day after we got our house money, I flew to Oregon to say goodbye to my ex-sister-in-law, who was also my friend. I believe I will see her in heaven. Three weeks later, my baby brother, Eric, a sergeant in the Army, died. Those two deaths happened within days of one another, and they hit our family hard like rock shattering glass.

Did I stop writing? No, although I got stuck unable to write a thing for a month. I prayed for God to help me. Write Where You Are, is what I felt the Lord saying to me. Once I wrote about my brother, I could work on my novel, again.

Somewhere between January and August, we lost two young cousins. One was even Eric’s friend. I know what it’s like to lose a son, and so I was grieving for my dad, aunt, and uncle. I didn’t stop writing, though, and somehow it has helped saved me from dropping off the face of the earth.

In August, we found a small property and moved to Oregon. This was a long time dream of my husband’s and mine. We worked hard winterizing our place before the snowstorms. Then in December, my husband’s father, James Thomas Cavitt Williams, was pronounced terminal with days to live. We waited out a snowstorm, and in between storms, we drove to California to say goodbye to him. Within the week, we buried James and went back to his house where it was vacant of his smile and glow.

Surprisingly, the night before we left to go back home (in between storms, again) Mom said one line that sounded just like a blurb from a middle grade novel. She said something that I added to and our granddaughters added to, until I announced, “This is like a story. I shall write it.” That turned every head my way and smiles, too. I could see the hope in their eyes.

I’ve been hitting the keyboard keys every day since, writing a story that came from an old woman’s stubborn resolve to be independent. A story I hope will show the courage it takes to live even when the one we adore most is gone.

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