I Am Still Processing — How About You?
In April 2019, my wife and I traveled to Grand Bahama Island for a much needed vacation. Almost everything about our trip was wonderful, especially the people we met and the food we ate. The daiquiris weren’t so bad either. My nose had pretty much been to the writer’s grindstone and it felt good to leave my computer behind. We so enjoyed “GBI” that we had every intention of a return visit.
Then, on September 1, 2019, Hurricane Dorian slammed into the island with sustained winds of 185 m.p.h. Virtually everything was destroyed. Many people died along with (obviously) pets and livestock. Many more people were displaced, billions in property damage was sustained and even though the island is making heroic efforts to come back, my understanding is that some people refuse to come back. And I understand that too. Sometimes you must just decide to give up and walk away.
This year 2019, will go down as a year of loss. I have borne witness to friends dying, friends grievously ill and friends moving away. My main personal writing project has been rejected by several publishers, the shortened summer reduced the yield of my garden and I had no choice but to go through some surgeries myself.
In the course of 2019, I did make new friends and reaffirmed old friendships. I was also surprised and saddened to encounter a few people who have lost the goodness and compassion that should be in their hearts. I am not angry at them, only terribly sad for them. However, they are fighting their own ghosts, and such fights are intensely personal and lonely.
I am still processing this year, but one thing I know quite well is that the friends I have lost, those who are ill and those who have moved away would not like me to stray from my mission. I have given up a great deal to pursue my writing career. At times, the pain it has caused me seemed not worth the time or trouble.
It is so easy to “give up.” Sometimes all we need is one of the mean-spirited types to make us want to sit on the couch, curl up and eat ice cream. However, I have lost nearly 30 pounds since I started my diet and I don’t want to be heavy again nor do I enjoy sitting on the couch reminiscing about the good old days. Screw the good old days; these, right now, are my best days.
To Perry and Bill, I will remember that people can be friends despite huge differences; to Bob, I want you to know I will not quit my work; somehow the book will get published; to Dave, I will always keep the faith. To those extremely ill, I will pray that God annuls the evil decrees against you. If it doesn’t happen, I will never forget to mourn you.
I will remain a writer, writing as much truth as I can muster. I will not be dissuaded. I am processing all of the losses. Maybe I don’t always do it so well, but I am still in the fight.