This has turned out to be an interesting weekend. I took Friday off from work so I could get out to Mahoney Park on time for our writer’s retreat. I have been looking forward to this for months – jotting notes of things to work on, making sure I brought things that I had hand-written to be able to transfer to the computer and as few distractions as possible. The evening before, I received a call from an old friend who was going to be in town so I set up a lunch to meet and catch up.
I had a great time catching up with him. His life might be going through some changes, I wish him the best. I am glad that it seems to mean as much to him to remain in contact with me as it does for me to maintain that contact with him. He was another friend from work whom I enjoyed working with and developing a friendship.
I arrived to the cabins later than expected – just in time for dinner. It didn’t go as I had expected and I was a little grumpy (plus I think I was fighting a migraine). There was a lot of sharing and then some reading and critiquing – the reading/critiquing was nice, but the sharing was a little frustrating as I had so many plans to write. It was a relaxing weekend though and I woke early and stuck around the cabin. I worked on a short story I have been working on and got two chapters of one of my novels – transfered to the computer. I felt really productive. I went up to the main conference area and joined in on a critiquing session and then lunch. The afternoon was filled with more writing, watching a reading of a script and another critiquing session. I read this time – short chapter from my book – it was well received. I really appreciated this. One of the benefits of getting some of this stuff transfered from the page to the computer, is that I found a bunch of notes that help me in the direction of this story.
I actually got more done once we went back to the cabin and then joined everyone for more reading/critiquing and eating together. There was a lot of story-telling and talking, but it was okay since this was supposed to be game time anyway. I read again (which I think surprised some since it has been awhile since I have read – I need to get better about that). I stepped a little outside of the box and took a couple of my blog posts and attempted to convert them to an essay. It was again well received but told that it was too long – I did get some good direction on this though, so hopefully I will get that done soon.
Each night I received a call from my mom’s home but when I had called, she said it hadn’t been her – that it was probably my sister notifying me that the parent of several of my sibs friends had passed away. It seems to be the month. In the past 3 weeks I have attended the wakes and/or funerals of two of my friends parents and while I did not know this family enough to attend – it’s a lot of grief. I did not return the call to my mothers as it was late in the night before I noticed it and figured it was either and accident or something that could wait and this is why no message was left.
We left the retreat Sunday morning and I really did feel that I accomplished a lot. Shortly after getting home, I received a call from my mother and learned that my great uncle had passed away. My Uncle Wayne was a great man who had a strong influence in my life. He owned the farm that I worked on for a couple of summers when I was in high school and was a wonderful man. The last several years has been hard on his family as he has suffered from Alzheimer’s. I am sad, even though he had no real idea who I was the last couple of times I saw him – and wasn’t even around the last two times I visited the farm – death is hard.An hour later I was checking up on all my pets and learn that one of my turtles has passed.
It was probably a good thing that I had today off for the holiday because I have been having many ‘moments of self’ as another friend has said in the past. I’m not sure I would have been a nice person to be around. Today was a bit of healing and prayer. I received a call from my cousin and good friend and talked with him for awhile – both left that conversation thinking we need to be better about getting to gether. I miss him. Then I received an email from a friend whose lovable canine companion of 15 years passed away on Saturday as well.
If I look at Saturday, October 11th, it has such importance for me. It was my grandfather’s birthday, a cousin’s birthday, now my uncle’s passing day, and the loss of two pets. On top of this, it was National Coming Out Day. I am not even sure what to think about all of this.
To end this odd note of the sorrow. I have to admit that none of these things this weekend brought me to tears, until I received a note from another cousin and learned that she had given birth to her third child on October 10, 2008. I was brought to tears as I thought of the old thought that as one life ends another begins.