Finishing or just getting started?

My glamorous mother Shirley and the photo I chose to display in her hospital room in 1997.

I’m nearing the corner of putting my book on Amazon. Honestly, I didn’t believe I would ever finish writing my book. Like a lot of my stop and start projects, it began as a whimsical idea, a fantasy, a nice-to-have for my bucket list, a dream, a wish; a hope that I could write a book that would interest people.

The idea for my book started in 1997 when my mother was hospitalized for cancer and shortly after lost her life. During this time, I found myself at odds with some of the hospital staff and wanted to find a way to encourage compassion and understanding for my dying mother. I decided I would bring a beautiful picture of her and post it in her room for everyone to see.

I chose a stunning black and white photo of my mom when she was about 25. Closely resembling Marilyn Monroe, she is facing the camera holding a cigarette in her small petite hands. She has full ruby lips, is wearing a silky luxurious polka dotted gown, and smiles with a sultry grin that says ‘I have it all going on.’

I wanted those attending to my mom to see beyond the incapacitated person lying in the bed and see the stunning, talented, beautiful and bold person she really was. It was just the magic bullet I needed and for me, it told her story in a way I never could.

From that day on, I wanted to write about compassion, understanding and forgiveness.

The book went well beyond this and turned into a rich compilation of a memoir entitled, I see Old People. It’s a memoir about love in all forms – motherly love, extraordinary love, caring love, marital love, and love that inspires giving back. It’s funny, sad, poignant, raw, and yet hopeful and aspirational.

I don’t know how I got from point A to point B and actually finished it. It was 10 years in the making with several stops and starts in-between. When I picked it back up about a year and ½ ago, I re-read my “first half” and thought hmmmm, this isn’t bad, maybe I should finish it.

I wondered why I hadn’t. Then it dawned on me. I had a love story to write. I had a second act. Intermission was over and it was time to start the play. It was then I knew it was time to write more and finish what I started.

I believe nothing is by accident. The same is true for the timing on my book. It’s not by accident that I’m publishing something in this season of my life.

It makes me wonder about my third act. How thrilling it is to find passion in life and still have countless things left unfinished. I think I’ll start something very soon. Maybe I’ll finish it or maybe I won’t. Or maybe I’ll just surprise myself.

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