2019 wasn’t meant to be a winning year for NaNoWriMo. I signed up this year for one purpose – distraction. I didn’t want to face the fact that my writing mentor-neighbor-friend would die before Thanksgiving. She questioned my decision to sign up for this challenge, insisting that I was avoiding the publication of my memoir, the memoir that she had finished editing a couple of months ago. “Just publish the damn thing,” she said about the 9th of November. Instead, I went home and added more than 2400 words to the NaNoWriMo project.
Things turned for the worst the next day. My friend began to fail. Suddenly bedridden, she looked out her window at the autumn leaves. “Do you remember the story ‘The Last Leaf’ by O. Henry?” She asked. When I admitted I had no recollection, she offered a brief synopsis. I followed the gaze of her eyes to see only a handful of leaves on the branch outside her window and asked if she was watching for the last leaf to fall. She smiled and closed her eyes.
The next few visits were painfully silent as that one last leaf swayed in the wind. On the 21st day of November the final leaf drifted slowly to the earth as my friend took her last breath.
My takeaway here is not about not finishing the novel. It’s about making the right choices for each moment. Time is precious and I was blessed with the time to sit at my friend’s bedside during those final days. Sad as it is, she died with peace, grace and dignity – just the way she lived her life.
After making a resolution to put writing on my calendar, and carving out two hours to keep this resolution, Microsoft thinks it’s appropriate to update my Windows 10. I thought these things were supposed to happen at night while I am fitfully trying to sleep. We are now forty-five minutes into my two hour appointment with my keyboard and only 32% finished. No other party but the god of Microsoft would dare to interfere with MZ’s calendar. Just ask my family.
I resorted to working on my bosses computer. We won’t tell him. However, if I happen to turn on this computer under duress of a work deadline, especially on payroll day, and find this red screen of dread, I’m fairly sure there will be hell to pay. Which reminds me, I have this catchy little tune in my head The Bells of Hell Go Ting a ling a ling thanks to a post on my pastor’s Facebook page. No, we did not sing this in church this morning. Hubby wishes I’d stop humming it and get on with my writing.