Today I’m 47.
I think it’s fair to say that the past 365 days have been the most difficult of my life. The prior year wasn’t so great either. But with the pandemic and grief about Dad, it’s been a challenge. I start my 47th birthday thinking about the difficult roads traveled, literally and figuratively, that got me here.
Some of you may know that in the wake of Dad’s death, I moved my family to my home state of Tennessee. This was the right decision and I’m glad to be back in my (and his) stomping grounds. Seeing family I hadn’t in decades, and watching the kids bond with their relatives here…that’s all been really great. And meeting my grade school chums again after so many years has been a real treat.
There have been challenges aplenty, with new schools for the kids and readjusting to proper seasons. For the most part things have gone as well as they could. I saw fireflies again. Autumn was pure magic. Halloween was perfect, crisp and with bright stars, and so many houses were so inventive for the pandemic situation. It was a White Christmas. I discovered that there is a “neighborherd” of deer close by. I saw a coyote boldly prance across my front yard.
But we also lost additional family members that I cherished. So there has been more heartbreak.
While I don’t miss the city of San Diego, I do miss my friends there, and I still keep up with several of them via text or phone. It was time to make a change, in a time full of change, and now I need to navigate my future.
I finished Book Four of The Questrison Saga®, the final one, and the culmination of many years of writing and dreaming. It’ll be out in late Spring, and it still hasn’t sunken in fully that it’s over. I do have other stories underway in the genres which are vastly different.
Career-wise, I’m seeking a more stable employment than freelancing, or a traditionally published book contract, or both. Those will be new frontiers, and I’m eager to get started on them.
My birthday is not the same, without Dad to sing over the phone with Mom the “Happy Birthday Song.” But I have Dad in my memories and dreams and I plan to follow in his travel footsteps as soon as it is safe to do so. And I have Mom close by now.
I do not know how the next trip around the sun will be. I do know that I am grateful to the people in my life who bring me joy, who lift me up always, who are there when I need them. They make the travels on this blue sphere worthwhile.
Thank you for following my journey. I’m glad you’re here.