Friday, January 1, 2016

Year End Closeouts...Part Two

Happy First Day Of The New Year!

...If you're reading this post wondering what's going on, here's a quick recap: Instead of discussing everything I failed to accomplish in 2015 on my list of resolutions I'm doing the opposite and remembering certain events that happened during each month. You can scroll down to catch part one or read it here.

July--This month started slowly. About midway through the month I was well into book two of the series I am writing when I contracted the Crypto Virus that totally destroyed my computer and everything on it. Luckily, I didn't lose the first manuscript but I lost many of the supporting files and notes that went along with it and everything I had written in book two. It was my second virus in six months and I learned a valuable lesson: backup. Backup! And backup some more.

I stopped by the post office where I worked for nearly ten years to see an old friend. Rose was my closest friend there and we kept in touch after I left in 2007. We saw each other a few times a year and texted regularly. She was the biggest supporter of my writing and my number one fan. Shocked couldn't begin to describe my reaction when I saw her--our two previous attempts to see other had fallen through--she said she wasn't feeling well and had pneumonia the previous month. She just couldn't shake it, she said. A week later I found out she admitted herself to the hospital and they were running tests that came back with terrible results. It was cancer. We spoke on the phone before I left to spend the last week of the month with my family on our annual vacation and I planned to visit when I got back.

August--The Sunday after I returned from vacation I was contacted to participate in two book signings. The first--at FoxTale Book Shoppe was two miles away from the post office where we worked together. I hoped that Rose might be able to attend. The second event was through the Atlanta Writer's Club and would be at the Decatur Book Festival held over Labor Day Weekend. Sadly, Rose wasn't well enough to attend but Friend videotaped it and you can watch my presentation here.

The day after the book signing I finally made it to see Rose. We spent the entire afternoon, a Saturday, laughing so much that we brought ourselves to tears. The prognosis was grim, but Rose never lost faith and was in good spirits. In fact, it was she who joked "I'll do anything to get out of work."

Rose died four days later. She had a three-year-old grandson and her beautiful daughter, Elizabeth was seven months pregnant. How can you find the words when your very breath has been sucked right out of your body? You can't. You go on. You must.

September--Mom and I were leaving late in the month for another of our trips we have been so blessed to take. So we spent that time making plans. We were travelling once again with Preferred Travel where we always have a great time. If you're looking for a great vacation experience, give Sam a call and tell him I sent you--I might get a discount on my next trip! We travelled by bus up the East Coast and hit D.C. (where I met my childhood best friend, Christina, for coffee one morning.), Philadelphia, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Maine with visits to several of the top sites in each location. We had an amazing time!

October--My friend Rose's daughter, Elizabeth had her baby and it was a girl. They named her Catherine Rose and she truly is a blessing for this young family.

I was able to start again on book two and rewrote everything lost in the virus mishap.

I returned to Ohio later in the month to attend the funeral of my first cousin, Kenny. He was who Dad always called when he needed an extra hand to work out in the tobacco. He battled cancer for three years. You will be missed.

November--NaNoWriMo. They have it every November and this year, I decided to participate. It's basically write a novel in a month or 50,000 words. I also updated the blog for things I was grateful for every day and walked 30 minutes a day. Accomplishing all three of these tasks took a lot of effort but there are times when you have to put in the extra work to see results. Several mornings, I was writing at 3 am and sleep walking around the house trying to get that last five minutes of walking in before the new day started.

December--One thing I learned from participating in NaNoWriMo was that I was unable to write hardly anything else for the next 30 days. And I'm not kidding. This blog post is the first thing I have written in a month. November took everything I had to say. I needed a break, a chance to enjoy the holiday and I've had a wonderful holiday season.

One thing I perhaps am most grateful for this past year is my health. I have multiple chronic health conditions and I give myself multiple injections and test my sugar every day. I'm happy to wake up in the morning and eager to continue on with what I have started. Don't get me wrong, not every day is a walk on a sunny beach, but health conditions are like opinions--everyone has one but no one really wants to hear about it. Especially if it is different from yours.

Life is short. Live now, not tomorrow, because tomorrow may never come.

Happy New Year!

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