I Did It , Even When I Wasn’t Sure I Would Be Around To Finish…
I am sitting in my bathroom with a few candles lit, just got out of a hot bath and feeling a bit overwhelmed. You see it was six years ago in this very bathroom, in the very bath I just got out of that my story idea flashed through my mind. It was like a quick flash of a movie of a story that was being born and ready to take life. It was in the steaming hot bath that I had my aha moment. Six years ago I ran down my hallway buck naked, (yes naked) dripping with hot bath water and yell whispering (you know that loud but quiet voice us moms have when we have kids sleeping but need to get our partners attention) “I have it, I have my story. I finally have the story to write.”
You see since I was a child I dreamed of being an author. I wrote several short stories as a kid and wrote in many, many journals. But it wasn’t until that night in 2007 when I thought it may be possible. So that night I began to write, I began to my journey as an author.
Being a wife, mom of four and business owner life is busy and takes over at times. You see for two years I worked on a story about a mom who was saying goodbye to her family because she was terminal. I wrote and wrote. Then in 2009 I was diagnosed with cancer. My story became to eerily close to home. But I continued to write but then I stopped, my life and my story was all too similar. I wasn’t sure if I could keep writing, it was scary at times. I didn’t want to end up like my character. Yet I had the same emotions, the same questions haunting me.
Over the next four years I went through breast cancer, opened more businesses and life moved on. My story was stopped and started over the years. Sometimes it became so incredibly emotional and hard to write, my characters were taking me to places, I never imagined and asking hard questions. Many times I would come out of my office in tears, and just needed to take a deep breath, because my sadness was so real. What my character was going through was so incredibly hard, and yet life is hard sometimes and we all must die one day. My character was teaching me to face my own death and in facing my own death I have realized that is when I truly began to live. Once you let the fear of death not haunt you doors open and life becomes more exciting and more fulfilling.
I faced my own possible death through my characters, I wrote and said my own goodbyes through my characters. When you get diagnosed with cancer you just have no idea what is in store. As I seen others diagnosed around the same time as me pass on, my story became an urgency.
This past spring I was getting tested, poked and prodded again and I was truly scared that my cancer was back. This past spring it hit me that I still had not finished and what if I could never finish my story? What if I got to sick to finish? After all my testing and new medicine in me I found my strength again and my energy was coming back. Cancer was not in me and I was told by my oncologist to go and live my life… death will find us all at some point so don’t waste anytime young lady and go and live a wonderful life.
So I felt as though I had a second chance and I had to finish even if it was hard, but for me, for my kids and I need to finish what I started. I had to accomplish the dream of my childhood and I had to finish so I could say I was an author.
Tonight I just sent off my manuscript to my first editor. Tonight I went back into that very bathtub and it some candles and cried. I cried because part of me can’t believe I did it, I actually wrote a novel. I cried because I am also here, alive and experiencing life every day. Others are gone they have passed they weren’t so lucky to have the extra time I do. Tonight I celebrate unlimited dreams and life. I had no idea where my story would take me and how it would change me as a person. I also had no idea that I now see book two and three in my head and I have already started book two. This time however, it will not take me six years. Life is too short, to wait and hope we accomplish our dreams. It is only up to us to make it happen with hard work and determination.
Tonight I celebrate my characters and I celebrate my health and that I was here to see if through, I was healthy and alive enough to finish. I am also a changed person, cancer changed me and the past six years working on this story has changed me. I no longer worry about what others think, I celebrate life in the little things, the smile on my child’s face as he scores a goal. The new colors on the fall colored leaves. The smell of a morning after the rain. A night out with friends laughing together. Life is beautiful and I celebrate life and all it has to offer.