Monday, January 02, 2017

Susan Sands: So Long 2016!

I'm not one to bemoan a year its insults to my life, but the same as many of my friends, this one's been a challenge. It's not because talented celebrities passed, several far too young. No, it's because of the changes the year has wrought on my life and those I care about. Nothing is ever all bad, though it can certainly seem to lean that way sometimes.

My dad has a very aggressive form of dementia that has become the major focus of mine and my mother's lives. I have no siblings to help, so I'm the one who helps with decisions and heavy lifting, both physical and emotional. Most of you have some experience with Alzheimer's or dementia--it's just a fact of our culture today. It touches everyone. I helped moved my parents from my childhood home in Louisiana to an independent living senior apartment near my home in Georgia. It's worked well for me because now I don't have to travel or worry nearly as much, but it's not without its learning curve for us all. I can't imagine being ripped away from everything and everyone I've known for over forty years, in addition to spending every waking moment caring for someone who was, until very recently, partner, support, and strong shoulder to lean on. My mother is grieving for all she's lost in the past year, as am I.

The writing has been
hard this year. The third book in my Alabama series took on a deeper tone, as books do when authors are in emotional turmoil. It manifests in the story. That's not a bad thing, unless you're trying to keep it light. Hopefully, by the time I finished the book, I managed to strike a balance between the newfound gravitas and what my readers enjoy about my humorous, hopeful, and Southern family fiction. Oh, and there's romance, of course. It's all still there.

So, while I'm sorry to hear about the uber-talented famous folks leaving the earth, I tend to look inward and grieve the loss of my own, and those whose losses are closer and more personal. My sweet friend lost her brand new husband and soulmate, and a writer friend has battled fires, floods, and mudslides. No, I don't blame the year, but I'm certainly looking on the bright side for the upcoming one for so many reasons.

My wish this year is that we all achieve our secret wishes and goals. The ones we are afraid to say out loud. The ones that might sound selfish because of all the bad things happening in the world. I wish for positive changes in our attitudes toward the future and one another. Have hope--about everything. Find a way to make someone's day better--every day. Treat the invisible as if they are the most important person you've met all day. Good things happen to good people. We are all we have, folks.



Janine said...

I hope this year will be better for you. I am the one who has to help my mom when she needs it as all of my other sisters live too far.

dstoutholcomb said...

Best wishes for 2017!


susan sands said...

Happy New Year, Janine!! :-)

susan sands said...

Thanks, Denise! Happy New Year!

Liz Tyner said...

Best wishes to you and your parents!