In 27 days, it will be one year since my mom passed away.
One year since anything in my life felt the slightest bit normal.
Since 2015, the early months of each year have started with an extreme medical diagnosis for someone close to me or a death. This year was no different...the only difference is in how I am trying to deal with it.
Writing has always been an escape for me, but when the days become incredibly heavy, my mind typically stops me where I am. Journaling, blog posts, and any actual writing stop altogether. The time when I most need words and the act of writing is when the ability leaves me. Maybe I can't stand seeing the reality of what has happened laid out in words. So, all those years have resulted in a series of stops and starts.
Sometime after my mom passed away, I found my way back to a story that I had stopped working on months before. I wish I could tell you the exact moment, what it was that helped me sit down and start. I don't know what, if anything, was different about this story. Why was I able to sit in front of it and add words, sentences, and paragraphs that I couldn't before? But I did. In between paperwork, phone calls to vendors, and emails to lawyers and realtors, I managed to put together sentences. One after another. In November, I signed up for NaNoWriMo (National Writing Month) to push myself toward the finish line of a first draft. While I didn't complete it, that finish line is actually in sight.
During that time, I received critique notes on an earlier book that had been left waiting patiently for me to come back to it. Those notes and a fresh look at the story pushed me to keep going and finalize it. Last week, I started the official querying process for it.
I still don't know what's changed things. It could be the realization that every year brings terrible along with good and that I'm not the only one it happens to. I can't keep waiting for things to be easier because they never are. Maybe it's that I needed something that was just mine, something good that was moving the time forward, something that would give me distance from the pain.
Time is short - it's such a cliche, but it's true.
All I know is that the more I wrote, the more I wanted to write. I started journaling again. Some days, I can only manage to write notes: three things I'm grateful for or what would have made a day better. Sometimes, it's full pages of whatever is crowding my mind. But either way, it is moving me forward. I can't believe it's almost a year since one of the worst things happened. It still feels like yesterday. It feels like someone flipped a bunch of pages on the calendar by mistake. I can't slow it down any more than I can stop it.
I can only write one word after the other... for today, that is enough.