Dear Friends, Readers and fair Countrypeeps (far and wide)

I owe you both an apology and an explanation.

Apology: I’m sorry you’ve been seeing me at my worst more often than you’ve seen me at my best. I never wanted this space to be anything-but healing, safe and welcoming.

Explanation: I forget that I’m empathic. Therefore, when the world cries, I cry with her. And the world has done its fair share of crying lately, hasn’t she?

But of course, it is more than that.

Yes, we’ve been going through some tough times on the homefront. To be clear… my husband and I have been going through it together. I am beyond blessed that he and I play on the same team… it wasn’t always that way for me, as most of you know.

Yes, the world is aching… none more than the families whose faces we’ve seen in agony on our televisions, online and in person. The mass shootings in the US affect us all. That I am an American in Canada actually *does* matter – to me! My entire family and nearly all my friends are in the States. My youngest daughter, her husband and my grandson have many friends of diverse nationalities in California. They were mere miles from the shooting in San Bernardino and one of the houses they rented was shot at three days after they moved in (and immediately out). Excuse my language in advance: It’s fucking scary out there!

And make no mistake: Canada is with you (us – since I am American)! Further, there may not be the numbers up here… but don’t think we haven’t seen some mass shootings! Don’t think there isn’t a manhunt for two murderers *right now*. Don’t think we’re up here saying, “Oh, good, at least it’s not us!”

It feels both personal and universal to me and I’m trying to wrap my head around it. Is it mental health-related? There are mentally ill people everywhere but not everywhere gets mass shootings. Is it about video games? There are violent video games everywhere but there are not mass shootings everywhere. Is it about angry men with guns? Where are the mentally ill women with guns? Think there aren’t any? Think again.

So yes, that’s one thing that’s been on my mind and in my heart.

Also, it’s been five years since 2014: Year of Pain. (I’ve written so much about it that I can’t link just one post.) As you all know, it changed my life. And here we are, in between two “anniversaries” of possibly the most significant thing that happened that year: the death of my children’s father. He died in July and his 60th birthday would have been this month. My children still cannot talk about it. I know this because they’ve all told me… two of them as recently as last week. My heart aches for their deep, profound loss!

Selfishly (or perhaps predictably), I have no-one to talk to about my place in the story. The death of an ex-spouse is complicated, especially after a long-term marriage… and even more so after a long-term abusive marriage where true forgiveness and amends were given only years before he died. What this means is that I saw the good in him again and I believe he saw the same in me. There was an opportunity there… a rebuilding of kinship in our later years as we watched our grandson grow… and it’s gone.

And so, I feel a heaviness… in spirit… because of it.

Death and dying. Grief and more grief piled on top of shootings and hating…  and beautiful, innocent people being targeted.

Shaking my head doesn’t feel productive but I don’t know what else to do.

So, in short: Everything I talked about yesterday is true. But it’s secondary. 

I think I’ll be taking a few days away to concentrate on sending my manuscript to publishers and taking care of myself. Maybe I’ll set up a few “Remember this one?” posts while I’m gone. Please don’t automatically pass them by… you may have missed them the first time and often, they’re about excellent books! Sometimes, they’re even worth a second read. I know, I’ve read them. 😉

Take care, dear ones…

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