Seems like I need to introduce myself to everyone again. It has been months since I have blogged. Trust me, the reasons/excuses are many and legitimate, but I can’t help recalling the words of the wise, talented, and divine Mrs Velda Brotherton. Early on, during one of my first meetings with the Northwest Arkansas Writers’ Workshop, someone commented, “I haven’t written this week. Who has time?”
To which Velda replied, “You WRITE. Everything else goes to the wayside.”
Dusty Richards piped up and said, “No husband has ever died from making his own sandwich for dinner.”
Velda added, “And no one has ever been killed by a dust bunny.”
Clearly, Velda has never been to my house. A dust bunny ran out from under the couch the other day and tried to choke the dog. Then again, house cleaning has NEVER been an excuse for me not to write. Good lord. You should see it now. Hideously disgusting. I keep the kitchen clean since I cook a lot, but the rest of the house is a disaster. Yes, it bothers me. Yes, I do clean, but this past week has been particularly difficult. Instead of sweeping, mopping, slaying dust bunnies and folding laundry, I’ve spent every moment with my cat, Dax.
Prior to this past week with Dax, I’d finally gotten back to my writing schedule. Petty, little things had impeded my creative process such as organizing the Oklahoma Writers’ Federation, Inc. Conference, establishing Sunflower Heritage Farms, and assisting in the births of rabbits, lambs and pigs (trust me, you do NOT want to now about that particular experience!)
Finally, back on my writing schedule and Dax gets sick. Some folks don’t get it, but my pets are like my family. I love them. I care for them. I cherish them. Dax moved with me from Alaska along with Leo (who passed in February 2009,) Cedric and Jasmine. Dax was diagnosed with cancer last week, but was too weak to do a biopsy to determine treatment. Dr. Larsen at The All Cats Clinic in Fayetteville was very kind when she informed me that the blood test results came back and the only thing we could do was keep Dax comfortable until he passed.
So instead of writing, cleaning, cooking, eating, breathing, I held Dax. Mama would come up and sit with him while I fed critters. I didn’t want him to be alone. Yesterday, my other brother, Darryl and I were supposed to go to Cove, AR to get a load of goats. I refused to go. There was no way I was going to leave Dax. My other brother, Darryl, agreed to meet the goat lady on his own and take notes.
About 4 PM yesterday afternoon, I knew Dax wasn’t going to be with us much longer. I took him into the bedroom and we laid on the bed together, his furry back pressed against my stomach. My hand barely touching his hip, not wanting to hurt him, but needing to touch him. His breathing slowed. My tears increased. For fourteen years, that little guy brought me joy and happiness. There was no way I was going to do anything other than provide him solace as he had for me for so many years.
He passed peacefully in his sleep, in my arms.
Did I write last week? Not a word. Do I regret it? Not for a second.
This week though, no excuses. The hero from Loch Lonnie (God, he’s hot) has been yelling at me. The heroine in Desert Dreams, Grace, is really, really mad at me because I left her hanging. Desert Dreams is a Luna Zega story and stopping in the middle of a sex scene is just cruel–or at least Grace keeps telling me that.
So, look out world. Claire Croxton and Luna Zega are back to their writing schedule. Great literature is on its way!!
Thank you to all my friends who have been so very supportive and kind during this trying time.
Giant furry, gray, Dax hugs to you all.