Trips and Twists
May 7, 2015 2 Comments
Ed and I have recently been taking lots of short trips around Oregon, with our Jack Russel Terrorist, Arkkade. She is great with our grandchildren, though she’s not yet acclimated to all the other dogs around us. She seems more content with us as “her people” and is revealing that she was trained to have manners. We’re learning how to communicate with her via consistent hand signals. This is good because we’ll be hosting the annual meeting with our airplane association, taking a multifamily trip to Yellowstone, and giving our kitchen a face-lift, all before the 4th of July. Fun times!
I was settling into a new routine for crafting romance novels, and I even increased my online activities during March. Our spring has been long and mild so Ed was focused on trimming trees and clearing overgrowth. Then we heard the news that close friends had lost their son. We’ve been neighbors for 17 years, both at our home and our weekend place on the lake. We kayak and trail ride together.
We knew their youngest son more through them, and heard of his adventures fighting forest fires by jumping out of airplanes, and then deep-sea diving. Finally he found a less extreme passion, and was three weeks to graduation as a biochemist, when he died in an accident. Yet, our connection to this young man was even closer than we realized when one of the men from our daughter’s bridal party was also one of the speakers at the Celebration of His Life the day before Easter.
This is one of life’s twists that ripples through many, for a long time. As soon as I heard the news I didn’t want to believe it and immediately walked to their home, and learned it was true, and was able to perform at least one task to help them that day. Then I came home and packed away my romance novel projects for a few days.
When I was ready to work on a novel again I pulled out an old one, one that was a bit too personal, one that I had chosen to maybe never revisit again. It was both grueling and inspiring, as it made me revisit not only my personal past but my journey as a writer. And I stuck with editing it all the way to The End. I’m not happy with the ending but it’s now readable and I’m willing to submit it for objective feedback.
Some of us have stories that we know so well, because we lived them, that we cannot view them with any objectivity. Like my friend, who in those days between learning her son was dead until after the private burial, told me how thankful she was that she had kept a journal about her son his whole life. And she was the final speaker at the Celebration of His Life because it was the first time she’d ever gotten the last word with him.