Life and loss… topped off with a bit of writing for the soul.

Slap me on the hand because I’ve been a terrible blogger as of late…

Well…let’s just say, this past year and a half have been the worst for my family. My grandmother passed, her health had long faded and I couldn’t make it to the funeral. That was hard, since she was so supportive of my writing and just so dear to me.

Months later, my twenty-five year old cousin–who was more a brother to me– passed unexpectedly last March, and my world shattered. I remember the very moment so vividly and painfully, the loss of breath and the squeezing in my chest as I begged for it to be a terrible dream.

It was not.

My husband, daughter and I traveled across the country for the funeral. As I got my daughter dressed and combed her hair (we didn’t have a sitter so we were forced to bring the little one), I still prayed I’d wake up from the horror. Walking into the funeral home with my daughter on my hip felt like the most impossible feat. The air seemed to congeal as I struggled to take in air, my heart raced and my legs refused to walk forward, like lead weights forbid the action. My husband, noticing my struggle, gently took our daughter from my arms and held onto her as my mother and sister helped me forward.

That moment I turned the corner and his face came into view, out from the coffin, once vibrant and mirth-filled eyes cold and closed, hand clasped over the other in his favorite suit, I lost my footing the second time that month ( the first when I received the call he’d passed). My husband held onto our daughter, worried and sorrow-filled gaze on me. I didn’t want to go into that room, like if I’d stepped five feet forward, it would be the end, the pivotal moment where I’d have to accept he was gone. I’d never again be able to ask him do the home alone face (he looked so much like macula caulking as a child). But then I saw my aunt, uncle and their youngest son, tear-stained faces devastated. I had to pull it together. He would have wanted me to. For them.  So I did.

Slowly, the pain didn’t take my breath away anymore, although still present whenever I thought of him. Life, for us, went on. We had to move on. He’d want it that way.

Four months later, on our wedding anniversary, as my husband came home from his night shift at around four a.m. he  told me he’d received a call that his mother had a brain aneurysm. And she was across the country. Those cracks in my heart deepened, but I still had hope she’d pull through.

It’s happened on many occasions, you know.

I had read up on all kinds of situations.

The whole family flew across the country and stayed at the hospital for two weeks while she was in a coma, taking turns holding her hand every day, hours a day. We prayed and prayed. We did not want to give up hope that this wonderful soul could have such a thing happen to her. Why her?

How to describe my mother-in-law…. think of a person, that whenever you see them, your spirit lifts, and you can’t help but smile or want to be around them. That person, that when they laugh, you can’t help the chuckle–or straight-out cackle and snort if you’re me–from escaping. That person that makes funny movies hilarious, scary movies comedic and thrilling as you watch her more than the film, in anticipation of what her reaction will be. That person that you can be yourself around. That wonderful person that listens first. That person who belts out tunes with you on joy-rides as you both sing the wrong words and bust out laughing about it. That person you just cannot help but love dearly upon first meeting.

You got it?

That’s her.

Two and a half weeks later, she passed. My husband’s mom, my other mother and friend, my daughter’s “Mimi”, was also gone.

I thought, how many times can a heart break until it decides to stop beating from those painful shards incessantly piercing at your chest? Why did they have to die? Why all in the span of a year?

Why?

I couldn’t seem to write, writer’s block taking hold as my emotions crashed through me and halted that creativity bug. Writing makes me happy….and it felt like being happy was wrong, like I was betraying them somehow.

Then I remembered how they supported me, truly believed in my writing and ambitions. They would have scolded me and demanded I start writing again. That instant.

So I did. And I smiled again.

***

So, now I’m left with even more determination and motivation–which before had been a steady rhythm–to write. Every day.

I’m on the path. I’m getting there.

Writing is a long process, guys. The revisions seemed endless, but I’m proud of what I have. The last I posted, the story still needed a ton of work. But it’s been a while since I’ve finished The Conduit, my YA Paranormal Suspense/Romance novel, the first in a planned series, and I’m actively searching for the right fit for representation.

Just a tip for my fellow writers: make sure you research the agents you query to–in depth. There were some I was sure would be a fit, until I found some updated MS Wishlist posts, and there were little details that made me sure they were not. I want someone I can mesh well with, a companion. Not only a business partner.

Writing isn’t necessarily about the money for me. I mean sure, realistically it helps and is a nice bonus. But I write because I enjoy it. The creative juices flow, and the ideas for future novels have been coming often (so excited to start writing them!) Building a world  and creating characters with depth and backgrounds of their own make them seem real to me, and I want to do their stories justice.

I want to make my grams, my cousin, and my mom in-love (she called me her daughter in-love :)) proud.

I promise to do better at posting! Don’t give up on me just yet. Hey, I’m only human, and life happens.

What I have taken out of this past year and a half, is that terrible things happen that are out of your control. But there is still so much in this world that should be celebrated. So much wonder out there. My job, is to make sure love, strength and goodness shines through me, and my writing. To hope that maybe a little bit of it will help someone–maybe even one of you–going through even a hint of what I’ve experienced.

Keep on keeping on, ya’ll!

Much love!

~Angie~

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