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10.15.2020 -> 10.15.2021

A year ago today, I started writing Darkness of Cliff House. The date stuck in my head from the beginning as if I knew it'd be important. Yes, when I came close to finishing my first draft back in December, I went and double-checked, but I had been right. I knew it all along.

On October 15th, 2020, my life changed for the better.

It's strange looking back because what my life must have been on October 14th, 2020, is entirely different than it is now.

I will be candid: I had a whole post planned on my excitement for this anniversary. I drafted it first thing this morning and planned on editing it later. In fact, that original text is still below what I'm typing now, yet to be deleted, and the title is still listed as, "Happy Anniversary (To My Book)! - though I'll have to get a new one now.

As I was re-reading, I realized I couldn't post this as it was. I tried to just edit or rewrite so I could gloss over what happened, but the truth is my life was different a year ago. A year ago, I still had my mom. She passed away this year, suddenly and young. Today, between my first draft and now, I went to spread her ashes in this beautiful spot I planned to take her when she came to visit me. I live across the country, and we hadn't gotten to see each other much. She was going to come to visit me in California for the first time this fall or winter. There was a good chance she'd have been here now.

I loved my mom. We had a complicated relationship like all mothers and daughters, but that doesn't stop me from missing her every day or from my grief being overwhelming at times. We were getting closer than ever, and then she was gone. And every day I write, I cannot help but think of her. She would be so proud of my hitting this one-year anniversary. When I first told her I started writing again, she was overjoyed. My first memory of wanting to be a writer, thinking I could, and realizing it was possible - was all thanks to her. Every word I wrote, she read, even if it was utter crap. When I finished this, she'd have been the first to read it, and she'd have said the same thing as always, "I loved it. I didn't understand a word, but I was so proud."

She was funny like that.

One of our last conversations was about the next book I was going to start. That one was more her pace, and part of it was inspired by a running joke of hers. Little did I know I'd end up typing out the start of that book while flying home after her funeral. That one will be her book. That's the one I'd want to dedicate to her.

It's been a challenging year. This loss has overshadowed everything else that could have been wonderful about this year. I should probably delete all this and not share it, but I've also learned this year that it's essential to focus on the good things. To spend time doing what we love, with the people we love. And to celebrate victories. Sometimes, I think that may be even more important when we feel as though we cannot see past our grief.

Writing has helped me get through this year.

I'm so sorry she cannot ever read what I wrote, but I know she'd be so proud.

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Dec 08, 2021

This is beautiful, written from the heart. Thank you for sharing this.

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