Carpe Diem, my friends!

Posted at Feb 27, 2017 1:55 am

Earlier this month, my father passed away. He had been disabled since I was 10 years old and I’ve been told many times since then to say my final goodbye to him. One can only stand at their Dad’s bedside and grieve his passing so many times before you think you just can’t do it anymore. You think you’re all grieved out. You think you’re ready…

But you’re never ready.

My dad was an amazing person who was hit by a drunk driver while on a lawn mower, thrown 90′ down the road, was physically broken in more ways than I can tell you… but never gave up. He had a phenomenal drive and he never let his situation get him down. He never became bitter. He became a wood worker and made  beautiful things from his wheelchair. The past few years, he’d gotten slower at that. He’d stopped smiling as much. His endless pain had finally worn him down. When he developed kidney failure on top of all of the other things wrong with him, he just couldn’t face one more thing. After a brief go at dialysis, he stopped taking it. As his doctor predicted, he passed very quickly. But not before we were able to have him a “good-bye” wake. Yes, he threw a party at our church and asked everyone he knew to come and say goodbye to him, rather than coming to his funeral. It was beautiful. The church was packed. People offered wonderful stories of my dad–mostly about how they had been inspired by someone so disadvantaged by fate, yet optimistic and loving by nature. He passed away only four days later. My birthday feel between his passing and his funeral. And the event I had thought I’d been ready for was far more devastating than I’d expected. It made me think of all the times I should have spent with him, all the wasted opportunities. It made me think about how much I want to be like him. And it made me think about how much I need to slow down, hug my kids more and appreciate my family for all their love and support.

Two weeks later, a very close cousin of mine was killed in a car accident. My father’s passing, though hard, had been expected nearly my whole life. Not so much when a someone nearly your age, someone who shared so much of your childhood and experience, someone who wasn’t supposed to die yet… does.  He had minor children and a wife. He had plans and dreams. He had a smile on his face whenever I saw him.

Life is fragile and fleeting.

I have been writing my whole life. I have been seeking publication for longer than I care to admit, since I have yet to achieve that goal. In that time, I have also raised two children, opened, operated and sustained a funeral home, been through numerous life challenges and maintained a household (for the most part–though my kids would argue otherwise!). I have let life complicate my success. But not anymore. This is my year. Carpe Diem.

I will live more, love more and laugh more…

I will write more, read more and create more…

And I will pass from a student of writing craft into the realm of publishing. My agent believes I can. My family believes I can. And most importantly

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