This post is more than a bit overdue, but I think I’m finally ready to talk about it. The end of 2022 I somewhat vanished from the internet. I didn’t send out newsletters in October, November or December. My social media presence has been spotty at best. And I didn’t publish either of my anticipated novels. I feel that I owe my readers and subscribers some amount of explanation for these things.
My paternal grandmother, who I had not been able to visit for several years, passed away in late September. I received the news on October 1st from a cousin I hadn’t spoken to in… a decade? My cousin says she was ready, and that she went peacefully, surrounded by family… A family that hadn’t seen fit to inform me for over a week after she passed, let alone in time to say good-bye. I was hurt. And I was angry. Whether it’s at them or at myself, well, that’s open for debate. Family is often more complicated than it should be.
Why am I sharing this? I think the hardest part of this for me has been that there was no funeral. No celebration of life. Nothing. And I was powerless to change that. So I want to share with you all a little bit about the woman I remember.
Some of the absolute fondest memories of my childhood were spent with my grandmother and great-uncle where they lived in rural Missouri. Us children would catch crawdads in the creek, fish in the ponds, and run from the ornery old geese. Mamaw would call me in sometime after lunch to help peel potatoes or snap green beans for dinner. We’d watch her soap operas and The Price is Right. In the evenings, we might get a Cardinals game in addition to the Heartland News.
She taught me to crochet, and sew, and peel potatoes with a knife. Once she gave my sister, some cousins and me etiquette and dancing lessons, of all things. The information about 9-course table settings did actually come in handy later.
Mamaw also told a lot of stories, some of which were probably big fish tales. But she kept the memory of my Papaw, who died when I was quite young, alive for me.
She wasn’t perfect, of course. None of us are. We’re only human after all. But for me, nobody can replace her. The grief and guilt I feel will ease only with time.
Unfortunately, 2022 wasn’t done with my family yet and we dealt with additional medical emergencies and illness throughout the last 3 months. My father-in-law had a massive heart-attack from which he thankfully recovered. My husband and I both dealt with a bout of Covid. To say that I was not grieving under ideal circumstances is probably something of an understatement.
As 2023 ramps up, I am doing my best to shake off all the ill of 2022. I’m trying to get into a new rhythm. Writing, marketing, blogging. All those things that go into being an indie author. But my heart still hurts and my brain isn’t always ready to focus on the right things. In time, I will be the active participant that I once was in the #WritingCommunity. But grief is weird, and you never know how the timing will be.