Every year, I plan my summers for last touches on new plays so they will be available for the September 15 deadlines. Spring is spent going through rejection letters and reassessing where to send plays for the next go-around and getting a start or finish on any piece I think I can have ready for that next go-around. This year was the first time I was contemplating poetry manuscripts into the mix. This year, like every year, I asked for grace to make it through the madness. Things were going well until I was rear-ended twice between April and July, the injuries have made it hard to sleep (muscle spasms in the middle of the night suck) and the time it has taken to go to the doctors is very disruptive – I have never been to the doctor this much in my life. The lack of sleep has been cutting into my writing time but up until August, I still felt I could dig down and make my deadline goals. Then the unthinkable happened, I lost my 35 year old niece on August 16.
My niece, Tracie, had a kidney transplant in early summer; the kidney was working when she passed away from other complications. She left behind a daughter, TéAnna, who turned 9 yesterday, October 4. Working through the pain of lower body and upper body spasms, has made it challenging to sit long enough to hit a flow in my writing. Losing Tracie has forced me to have to consciously talk myself into putting together all my packets because I really did not feel like doing the drill. Not now. But if I didn’t, it would be a year till the next window and Tracie was always so excited about my writing…
What do you do when your world collapses on you and you have a deadline or two to meet?
Focusing on tasks can be a great distraction and writing is always in itself, a peace-giver, a life-saver, a place of solace.
My niece was in pain every day, yet she took care of her daughter and was a very good mother. While cleaning out her apartment, we found that Tracie wrote down her prayers. What we learned was that Tracie was always thankful for each day…she always had a Praise for God in her heart. She loved music and all her baby sister’s missing CDs were in her possession. She was beautiful and we miss her… I am so glad that I end my calls with “I love you”…
Have you ever written down your prayers?
I write my dreams and visions down but my prayers, I say them and go on. They’re something I speak into the atmosphere.
In September, I went back home for a wedding. It was bittersweet. Death has a way of pulling things together or tearing them apart. There is no neutrality. We, my family and I, choose to pull together.
I know that I will write about Tracie in some way. I can feel the story forming. I’ve had a few bad days but mostly, I haven’t really grieved yet. I am hoping to do it in the writing…
Do you find you use your writing to work through issues?
Everyone grieves differently; there is no set way to take that journey… I find that writing is the best way for me to find, maintain, and be my self in the middle of a raging storm… It’s also my saving grace… It’s times like these where I am reassured that writing is something I must do – I survive and thrive by writing…it is the greatest gift of grace….