Sunday, January 10, 2010

A Lesson In Perspective

This weekend I got a hard lesson in perspective, and it was sorely needed. My mother-in-law was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer, and over the past week things have deteriorated at a faster rate than we had expected. My husband's whole family and all the grandkids went to the hospital to visit her yesterday. Under the circumstances she's doing pretty well, but her pain level is starting to increase. And I guess you've got to understand my hubby's family. They all have an extremely strong faith in God, but they're a little odd sometimes. As an example, my hubby is the first born and considers it his job to be the prankster of the family. He wanted to get his mom a card that said Have a nice trip. He couldn't find one (thank God), so he went in and said it to her instead, and added she should pack a bathing suit since it's hot where she's going :) They all laughed hysterically while my sister-in-law and I shook our heads. Gallows humor, I guess.

Anyway, this weekend I also started sending out queries to agents for my newest manuscript, so now I'm kind of on pins and needles and bracing for the rejections that are part of the querying process. Last night my MIL asked about my latest book, and I told her all about it and that I was shopping for an agent. When we left her sitting in her robe in her hospital bed, I had a huge knot in my throat because I know it's only going to get worse for her from here out. I don't want her to suffer, and I don't want her family to have to watch it happen. I've lost loved ones to cancer and it's always a wrenching experience.

Last night's visit was a pointed reminder to me about what's really important in life. First, our health, which we take for granted as much as we do our freedom and sometimes our loved ones. I'm extremely lucky to have my health, two healthy boys, and a husband that loves me. Those are the important things. When you look at it like that, everything else kind of fades away into the background. Having my books published by a NY house would be nice, but it's not that important in the grand scheme of things. I need to remember that, and I need to be consciously grateful every day for all that I do have.

So for all of you out there struggling to attain your writing dreams, don't give up, but make sure you put the rejections into perspective.


Katie Reus said...

Aww, I'm so sorry about your MIL. I'm w/ you though, I don't have that kind of humor, but as long as your MIL is okay w/ it, that's what matters. I'll definitely keep her in my prayers :) And you're definitely right about what's important in life!