Sorry I've been MIA from commenting on the blog this week. It's been a rough week. Apologies in advance if this isn't the uplifting post I'd hoped it would be. My mind just isn't in an "uplifting" place right now.
I've spent a lot of time over the last week thinking about what I want to talk about with regard to beginnings and I keep coming back to the same thing even though the optimistic side of me warns I should spare you from my rambling. You see, I haven't been thinking all that much about beginnings. I've been focused on endings. Last week, a friend of mine was murdered by her husband in a domestic violence altercation. She was a beautiful 38-year old woman with two daughters, ages 12 and 5, and her life was cut short because of one violent moment that can never be undone. This tragedy has hit my family extra hard as not only were we friends with this couple, but they went to our church and their 12-yr old daughter is close friends with my 11-yr old and the two share a locker at their middle school.
I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, but I'm having trouble seeing the reason behind all this. Two little girls have lost not only a mother they loved, but a father they adored who will likely spend the rest of his life in jail. Four lives will forever be altered and a family has ended. And no amount of hugs or well-wishes or even condolences can ever change that.
I don't have answers as to why things like this happen. I'm not sure we're meant to. I do know this tragedy has forever changed me not only as a person but as a writer. Over the last week, when my head wasn't in a writing place, I found myself reaching for a book, and I was reminded that I could lose myself in a story for a few hours and regain hope. Hope that seems more often than not to be lacking in our world. But something else happened that I didn't expect. While reading I saw similarities between these little girls and the heroines in my books. And even though I wasn't looking for it, I realized that what these girls have is a new beginning. Not one they might have ever chosen, but one that they will adapt to and recover from. They are survivors, just like the characters I was reading about. They will get through. And they will be stronger because of all they've endured.
I've gotten letters from readers over the years telling me my book helped them through an illness or a family loss or a variety of trials, but it wasn't until this week that I realized just what kind of hope we really give our readers. We're not just telling stories and weaving words on paper. We're giving our readers the kind of hope they need to see not only that everything will turn out all right in the long run, but that new beginnings really are possible.
And the promise of a new beginning...that's uplifting. It's heady. Sometimes, it's exactly what a person needs to keep on going.