Until 2020, my life had been pretty average. We married young, started our family and then I helped my husband with his businesses. I finally began a writing career when I was over 60 and had my fist published book out three years later when I built-up enough nerve to allow others to critique my ‘baby’.

When the pandemic began and everything we took for granted was taken away or limited, I kept writing. I have lived a lot of years with a lot of changes so I figured this was one more thing to get through. Then my daughter died suddenly and my heart broke.  How could I write about love and happy endings when hers would never occur?

Since then, I have lived through a year of firsts. First Thanksgiving without her, first Christmas, then New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day, Easter, – Mother’s Day.  A big one was her 50th birthday where the family got together and ate cake and I unveiled the Star I had named after her.

This week is the anniversary of her death.  It isn’t one day but several since we weren’t seeing one another due to COVID 19. She lived alone as she had always done as an adult. She hadn’t gotten back to me after I left a call so her siblings texted threatening a MOM visit.  We didn’t hear back and went over to check on her.

My five children were usually talking with one another or visiting each other all the time.  Even with COVID 19, they were in contact, while protecting my husband and I due to our age.  I hadn’t seen my daughter since Christmas 2019, but spoke with her for hours on the phone pretty much daily. I regret not bucking the system and seeing her.  I wonder if I could have prevented the problem which caused her death if I had been with her.

My husband recently collapsed and as I sat on the floor with him, I feared he was dead. He didn’t respond. Not even to pain. He was taken by ambulance to the ER. After having a heart cath, they discovered he needed a triple by-pass and a replacement valve. While in hospital waiting for surgery, he tested positive for COVID 19 and placed in solitary confinement on the COVID 19 ward. He never developed any symptoms nor has anyone in the family including myself. The second test came back negative, but they don’t use any other tests.  Once he was positive, he was treated as positive and had to wait over 10 days for the surgery.

I thought I had lost him after 60 years together.  Not sure if I would be writing this if he hadn’t made it. He is home with me and getting stronger.

I don’t know if I’m odd, but I would find solace with my characters during these times of crisis. I would read works I had written years ago. I would add to the many manuscripts I have in process. I would find new people to write about.  It was my escape from worry although worry was never far from me. 

I know others have had tragedy in their lives this past year. I hope they find the strength to continue writing once they catch their breath. I found solace in mine. I felt I was surrounded by friends who understood. I hope my worry is behind me and I can get back to my family and friends like I did in the past. I hope we find ourselves in a new and better world soon. I am wishing all of you comfort and support in all you may be facing.

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