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Where have I been??

Not here writing Betsy’s Blog that is for sure.

So, I’m breaking my silence finally after 2 years! It’s 2013. How’d that happen?

Ok so what have I been doing, you might ask, in the last 2 years? Or maybe you don’t care. That’s fine, too.

But just encase you are a bit interested…the biggest thing I am proud of is the fact that I participated in and completed a whole novel last November during National Novel Writing Month. Wrote just over 50K words.

I didn’t think I could do it and probably never would have attempted it but for my friend Von who just days before November 2012 told me she’d entered. Whatever Von does, I want to do? Maybe…but I hadn’t written much of anything up until then beyond extremely long emails full of fancy.

It was my attempt to restart my writing engines. And, it felt really good to meet the word goal by the deadline.

Needless to say NNWM does not require one to polish a novel in 30 days – only finish a very very rough first draft of at LEAST 50K words.

Truthfully, I didn’t think I had it in me to do. And, once again I was wrong.

Now, what I need for continuing work on this novel is something like, National Novel Revisions Month!

A million hugs…

My last post was entitled “Shining lights” and I realized later that I meant to call it “A million hugs.” The title yesterday was supposed to describe how I have seen my 12-year-old nephew over the last week. Every step of the way, he has tried to be comforted by his positive take on life. Thankfully, he does allow the people around him to comfort him as well.

And, though not a million, I would guess that over 100 people showed up to comfort him. Teachers, administrators, and support staff from both his elementary and current middle school came to the visitation Tuesday night to see and comfort him. His Boy Scout leader and some of his troupe members were there. Many, many neighborhood members came. Not to mention the congregation from his church. I felt deep gratitude. After meeting the Pastor of their church at the hospital and seeing how much of a support group my nephew has, I wrote the following email to her and the congregation:

“When I lost my sister this past weekend, I was given the gift of being comforted by the knowledge and realization that her family have had your love, support, and compassion for a very long time. I know that they will be held up by the congregation of their Church and their Pastor. I couldn’t pick a better Pastor to guide us all through my sister’s funeral and burial. I couldn’t ask for a better and more supportive family for them as they grieve. And, I thank all of you more than I will ever be able to express with words.  I am eternally grateful that my sister is with (her) God. I am eternally grateful that my brother-in-law and nephew will continue to be with all of you.”

I have realized and come to believe that I experience a Source I choose to call God in my times of meditation, and also very strongly through my interactions with people. For a long time, I cut this channel of strength off because I was hurt or disappointed; felt neglected and unloved. In my effort to protect myself, I also cut off the people who showed up to love, accept, and comfort me. Under my imaginary and righteous shield, I became judgmental, withdrawn, lonely, and miserable.

Through healing and listening to the wisdom of my loving friends, I have become stronger and more confident in the love I receive from them and am, myself, more able to give love. And, I accept that I am not that good at it yet, that I have a long way to go.

I felt a quiet core-strength last Saturday when I walked into the hospital knowing that my sister’s condition was critical. I noticed this strength, knew where it originated from, and, though not surprised by it, was astonished and grateful that it belonged to me. Not by any work or gift of my own.

My nephew is an amazing, spiritual channel and he is only 12-years-old. I am so glad he can receive a million hugs from the people around him now. I understand what he means by this, and how he feels.

I am held by a million hugs today. I can hope. I can grieve. I can try to help and love someone else. In my sorrow, I can heal.