Many of you have been following my recent, challenging journey. The book that took me 7 years to write, 4 Seasons in 4 Weeks, showed up at my doorstep the day before Thanksgiving. My mother fell ill that same week. What my siblings and I thought would result in routine medical care turned into a major thing-gone-wrong and to our shock, she was sent home on hospice care. Two days later I was to have my book launch celebration which was in full activation with many volunteers helping out and ready to roll. I lost my focus and mojo and began to take action to cancel, but a family decision was made for me to stick with it and then travel to Southern California the day after. The launch seemed “meant to be” as they say. It was far more successful than I had anticipated and felt right. I made it home to my mom and she passed away 5 days later on Dec. 17th.
Less than a week after that, we pulled together a funeral service with her 8 grandkids and which many of our high school friends came to—very beautiful and heartwarming—then had Christmas, and then flew her body to Nashville to be buried in a little town outside of there, next to my dad in the most gorgeous little cemetery with many ancestors. We’re now back to my mom’s home to continue organizing and settling affairs—I’ve yet to make it back to Ashland, Oregon, where I live. I have no car here since I flew down, but my brother has been gracious in loaning me his enormous and luxurious truck to use when I need to get away (parking is a challenge but so far, so good). I’m grateful to my daughter’s boyfriend who is house-sitting and taking care of my cat.
Book-wise, my son, Ian, and I were able to ship out many books since they arrived, but if I needed to sign them, those readers have patiently waited. Luckily the book is also available on Amazon and in Ashland bookstores: Bloomsbury Books, Soundpeace, and Treehouse Books. It is also on eBook in all the various formats. Plans to sell through other stores had to be put on hold.
But here’s the thing: Grieving is a strange thing. I’m feeling strangely unplugged, disconnected, checked-out; yet continue to be motivated by the book, perhaps because it feels so solid. The things that nurture me the most right now are organizing the many ideas and plans for my book touring (rather than taking major action on it), being alone, and being present for the gifts that surface after losing my mother (and actually feeling closer than ever). Perhaps this the place where the duality of grief, the suffering of what is now gone, and gift, the recognition of what is present, come together in passionate forward motion and alignment.
I also can’t help but notice how I’m being supported and gifted with fantastic connections without me really doing anything. Even my brother and sister marveled, while on our trip to Nashville, at the ease in which doors continue to open for this book. It’s been that way from the beginning. On the trip and under the most unusual circumstances, one individual after another seemed to get plopped into my lap for a short exchange that produced the possibility of a long-term association. Since the book has come out, I’ve been invited to speak or do a book reading in Salt Lake City, Santa Fe, Nashville (surrounding area), and up and down the entire west coast. On one of the short air hops, I sat next to a collegiate coach for women’s soccer and he was all over it. He wants me to come and speak at their university, which also motivates me to get my act together to continue with plans to do a college speaking tour. He gave me focus and encouragement. He must be a very good coach. 🙂 Anyhow, it’s wonderful to make connections with new, cool people, and be supported by friends and family I’ve known forever, especially at times when I’m not that strong on my own.
If you’ve tried to reach me or something went whacky with your order during this time and it was not somehow resolved in a timely manner, please forgive me. I continue to check the emails for your communication and want to serve you well. I am finding my center, gathering my wits, and feeling stronger than ever with this work. Every time I lose someone close to me due to old age or illness, I become clearer and clearer that it is important that we all do and give what we love without fear of failure or criticism. The message of this book seems to be mine. I look forward to knowing what yours is too.