2018 has been one tough year. In fact, it’s the tail end of a few tough years. At the end of 2016, a seemingly mild rear-end auto collision resulted in the most severe sciatica pain imaginable … which resulted in triple spinal fusion surgery in early 2017 … which resulted in nerve damage causing left leg neuropathy and foot drop. 2017 was a frustrating year of deceleration and intense rehabilitation. I took on 2018 with a surge of hope and determination. January was spent creating a vision board that depicted a full range of health, finance, career and writing goals. With the help of this magnificent universe, I planned to tackle it all! 2018 would be MY year! By February 14th, I was on a roll. I had my daily rehab exercise plan in motion. I was following a solid clean eating plan. I had my fourth novel, Restitution underway. My “day job” was perfectly manageable. I was expertly juggling it all together with the business of living. The future looked bright! THEN February 17th everything came to a screeching halt. While I was enjoying my Saturday morning massage, my iPhone pinged. One ping followed another. My massage therapist asked if I wanted to answer it. I said, “No way! What could be so important?” Within the hour I learned that my brother, Rich, my “baby” brother, my favorite brother … one of my all-time favorite people in this world, had died in his sleep. Oh my God! The news was inconceivable. We were going to live next door to each other in elderly housing one day! And, he was supposed to bury us all! He was 56, going on 36, and in excellent health … or so we thought! A massive heart attack had stolen him in the night. Neither my mind nor my heart knew how to bear the blow. The pain and sadness that ensued brought back memories of my father’s tragic death when I was ten – a massive heart attack in the night had stolen him too. In the days and months that followed, my emotions catapulted between heartache and gratitude, and everything in between. My mind struggled to comprehend how I could possibly live the rest of my life without him in it. Since then, he has sent so many astonishing signs proving to me that when we leave this earth, we do not die. Those signs have brought me comfort. I feel him with me every day and I’m grateful for that. I’ve learned that gratitude has the power to change any situation, even grief. And, I have learned, absolutely, that love never dies.
In my grief, I kept telling myself that which does not kill us, gives us something to write about. But writing was the last thing I’ve wanted to do. Being an emotional writer, I feared that writing would leak my devastating emotions and I would certainly die under their weight. I couldn’t get myself to write a thing … not my fourth novel … not a post … not even a thought. I’ve spent the last ten months, like all those in grief, surviving each day. Some days are good. Some days are bad. And, as soon as I think I’m over it – I’m not. But life does go on.
Yesterday, I received a gift from the Universe in the form of an email from N.N. Light’s Book Heaven, which “has been matching books to readers since 1990 with 30 million social media reach and growing”. I was notified that Once Broken received its 2018 Best Women’s Fiction Award!!!
Thank you N.N. for reminding me that I am a writer and writers write! It’s time to pick myself up and start over again. So, it’s 2019 that will be the banner year!
Wishing you all Happy Holidays and a banner year in 2019!