DYING TO LIVE: Running backwards through cancer, Lupus, and chronic illness has not only been a four-year journey of writing and re-writing, it has been a catharsis for me, healing many wounds that had been buried all my life. I am no longer the observer of my youth and now people will be watching me! I'm scared.
Many people say they feel lucky to have had a life-changing trauma because life become rosier - or we learn the hard way to take the time to truly smell the roses, as the saying goes. I do, too. However, life continues as usual with all the ups and downs - a veritable roller coaster ride of triumphs and tragedies. It's what we 'survivors' do with them that sets us apart.
- Accept each blow with as much grace as possible
- Celebrate every milestone heartily
- Find the funny in every day
- Know that sadness and/or depression and/or physical pain will pass in time
- Arm ourselves with medical knowledge, particularly relevant to our own chronic conditions
- Live each day as if it is our last - a trite saying but altogether too true
I received the actual PROOF of my book last week. I was joyous! I couldn't wait to show it to as many people as I could. And then I crashed, saddened that some are no longer here to share it's physical-ness with me. In particular, I think of my parents - both writers either professionally and/or personally. My father longed to write a novel and, although he published several work-related "How To" books, he never found the time to write his thriller.
My mother dabbled in creative expression through poetry. Her poems were hauntingly beautiful, much like she was as a person. She was especially thrilled when I sent her my first news story with a byline in the early 1980's. My extended family, for various reasons, is not near enough either physically and/or emotionally right this minute to have a hands-on experience with me even though this memoir could not be completed without them. I can't wait to send them their final hard copies.
And my husband simply cried at the rawness of it all.
So, I sit here today anxious for the book to finally be available for sale on Amazon and numb that the writing of it is over. Sure, I have set new goals (it's just what I do) and am doing as much traditional and social media marketing as I possibly can to raise awareness of how childhood maltreatment does lead to adult physical illness; plus how regular people, like me, can survive and live with chronic ailments without succumbing to disease or dis-ease, as I like to write.
Carry on, my friends. Just carry on...'cause I want to get old with you.