By Keith N Fisher
Several years ago, at Christmas time, my wife and I attended seven funerals or wakes. Wendy lost her brother, and we lost many other close friends and relatives. I remember repeating the joke that; the cemetery is a popular place---people are dying to get in there.
Kidding aside, it was a sad time for us. A chance to evaluate our lives and relationships. An opportunity for gratitude in the good memories we had.
A few years later, I lost both of my grand mothers within four months of each other. Again, it was a time for reflection and gratitude.
Maybe it’s a byproduct of getting older, but since then, I’ve lost many more friends and relatives, even my father, in 2009. For some, death came suddenly. Others died of cancer, a couple of them killed themselves, which is never easy to deal with, but I’m grateful I had the chance to know them all.
I do, however, regret the death of one our pets. The cat didn’t really like me, but he was my daughter’s best friend. He gave her companionship he would never have given any other soul. She misses him, and I feel for her. Well, I guess I miss him, too.
Through all of this, I was drawn into contemplation and I’m learning a lesson. In most of the cases, the victim fought long and hard. They didn’t give in to those entities who would destroy them.
Leaving that for moment, I have a confession to make. I am a writer. It’s what I do, but because of health issues, and the struggle of earning a living in my day job, I’ve found it difficult to write lately. My work ethic forces me to ignore my health and keep going, but I admit to contemplating my own demise. Not suicide, but wondering how my loved ones will make it without me.
In the past, retreating into my writing has provided solace, but focussing has been difficult lately. Then I thought of the lessons learned from my late friends and family members. There is great power in fighting, never giving in to what I call the wrecking crew. (Those who would have me fail.) I vow to keep going. Writing for me has always been a personal thing. I can’t wait for the solace to return, and it will return. I’ve attached a poem that might help us all.
Good luck with your writing---see you next week.
By Frank L. Stanton (1857-1927)
If you strike a thorn or rose,
If it hails or if it snows,
'Taint no use to sit an' whine
When the fish ain't on your line;
Bait your hook an' keep a-tryin'--
When the weather kills your crop,
Though 'tis work to reach the top,
S'pose you're out o' ev'ry dime,
Gittin' broke ain't any crime;
Tell the world you're feelin' prime--
When it looks like all is up,
Drain the sweetness from the cup,
See the wild birds on the wing,
Hear the bells that sweetly ring,
When you feel like singin', sing--