On Sunday evening, my mother-in-law passed away. Rose was a wonderful person, and I was honored to have known her. My husband and I got to see her several hours before her death. We were among the last people to talk to her, hug her, and tell her we loved her.
We bury her on Thursday.
On Sunday evening, one of our closest family friend's father died. Technically, he was our friend's step father, but in all things of importance, Geoff was his dad. Geoff was good people, and I was honored to have known him, too.
His family buries him on Friday.
We were in North Bay, Ontario, when we received word about Geoff's death. Several hours later, we received the call Rose's condition had worsened. We turned our car around and headed back. We didn't make it in time, but we didn't expect to; not when we were four hours away from the hospital.
Less than twelve hours after we reached my husband's home town, I returned to Montreal to feed our cats. (Yes, I drove eight hours to feed our cats.) My husband is with the family and dealing with the technicalities of death.
I'll blitz back up north for the funeral, making sure the kitties have enough food and water to last them for a few days.
Weeks like this one, I'm grateful for the family I have. In many cases, I have more family I chose than I was born with, but to me, there is no difference between a close friend and blood family.
When I let someone in, they're in. Blood isn't thicker than water to me.
It's all the same to me.
People think I'm a little strange because I have a very laid back attitude when it comes to death. I'd much rather celebrate the life than grieve the loss. I am always aware of the people who leave life-shaped holes when they're gone.
Maybe I'm dysfunctional, but I keep things of the people who are gone–not necessarily mementos, but rather reminders.
My first book was dedicated to my father. In some ways, he lives on in each page I write, because that very first book was published with him in mind. I see my books, and I remember. My mother's very much alive, but I collect crystal spheres, and that's the way I remember her when we live far apart–and afterwards. (Hi, Mom. Try not to get too cranky at me that I associate you with rocks. It's mostly complimentary, I swear. Even when you're stubborn. P.S.: I'm looking for an opal sphere. Several, actually… different types of opals.)
For Rose, I'll find something for my desk or keychain–an angel. She loved angels very much. She also loved opals.
I haven't spoken of this project, mainly because it's still in conceptual stages, slated to be written ‘when I have time.' I'm not sure if Rose's death will change my schedule for writing it, but it very well might. I've been sitting on this project a while. I have numerous pages of notes for it.
It's about a woman with cancer who drops everything and goes to discover what life is about again. It's set in the Witch & Wolf world, so there'll be magic–but not the magic most expect. The main character, Alice, isn't a witch or a wolf. Actually, she doesn't know she's something, although she is.
In real life, some people make miraculous recoveries from cancer. Many do not. Some make slow, painful, difficult recoveries from cancer, and every day they survive, they know just how fortunate they are.
Alice's story is one of hope. In her story, magic plays a huge part of everything that happens to her. In reality, the magic is in the hands of doctors, nurses, and health practitioners who sacrifice so much to save lives.
For those of us who have watched a loved one die from cancer, I'm hoping Alice's story will be a step away from the painful reality to a world where magic is possible, and sometimes, just sometimes, someone gets that miraculous roll of the dice.
With action, thrills, and chills because those are the stories I enjoy telling.
Alice's story, for me, just got a little more personal–it already was, as my father died from cancer, but now, it's even more so.
The story even has a tentative title, although I'll keep that to myself until it's time to start writing. For now, it's enough to know the story is there, waiting to be written.