Part Six: A Dedicated Life
When I was a little girl, my grandmother, Eliza, would take me to the park to hunt fireflies at dusk. She would watch me dance about, trying to capture the bugs in my small hands. I remember the smile on her face, and the love I felt from her in that moment, and it’s a knowledge that I’ve carried my entire life—the absolute truth that my grandmother loved me more than life.
As I was growing up, I lived on the other side of the country from her, but I also felt connected to her. She would call. She never forgot a birthday. She often wrote letters, and every letter ended with her name and XOXO (hugs and kisses). I would call and write her too, making sure she knew that, no matter how far away I was, I, too, loved her more than life.
As an adult, it was no different. I would visit Ohio when I could, she would visit Oregon when she could, I called her frequently, I shared my life’s big moments, and even the not so great, because I knew she would listen non-judgmentally and hear me when no one else would. She was the first person I called when I got engaged, and the one that encouraged me to write.
When my life blew up at the end of 2014 and I had to push pause on everything, including my writing, my grandmother kept asking me when I was going to publish Fire Wolf, and I told her I didn’t know because I was just trying to survive. She encouraged me to finish the edits on my book, no matter what, and when I did, she would be the first in line to buy it.
Not long after that, she was placed in a care facility and then the hospital. I didn’t get to speak with her during that time frame. She was often sleeping when I called, but my grandfather and dad kept me up-to-date on what was going on. It wasn’t the same as hearing her voice, but at least I knew she was okay.
My December 2014 conversation with her about my book was the last one I would ever have with her. She died in April 2015, further altering the axis of my world.
I have never moved beyond the grief, and I’m not sure I ever will.
But her words stayed with me, and I knew I could not keep sitting on my book, leaving it unpublished, crippled by the things that rocked my foundation. I knew exactly what she would say to me: Publish it. Don’t live with regrets.
So, I am, and I will keep publishing, no matter what changes upend my world in the future.
Because the love she showed me my entire life is still with me even though she is not.
And so are all her encouraging words.
This one is for her.
Coming Next: Fire Wolf will be released through Amazon on May 21, 2019, in print and e-editions, and will be available through Kindle Unlimited. Look for release week giveaways and fun stuff May 21-25, 2019.