Let me start by saying, we are not omnipotent. It doesn’t matter how much you might fight it, life, or fate, sometimes puts you smack in the middle of where you need to be. Many times over the years I’ve bemoaned a circumstance or event, only to realize, sometimes months or even years later, that I needed to be there. There are lessons to be learned, even if we don’t think we need to learn them.
When writing a fiction book, the author is God-like. We make omnipotent decisions for and about our characters, their lives and their choices. We manipulate circumstances to bring about desired events and we put people in places they may not normally be. We give them emotions, thoughts and flaws to make them human (even when the characters aren’t necessarily human at all). When writing, re-writing, editing, and throughout the entire process of crafting a believable story, we do this. We place our characters and the supporting characters where we want them to be so we can hopefully tie all the pieces together for a cohesive, enjoyable tale.
What power! We can’t do that in our own lives. We are subject to the same whims, peaks and valleys as everyone else. We struggle with health issues, fears, love, failure, successes as any other. We are eminently fallible. We have no more insight into the whys of our lives than other people. We are human. But human nature wants to control. We want to make the decisions and postulate on the right to choose our destiny. As authors, we brave fear and possible failure and rejection every day. We wouldn’t have it any other way. But sometimes we fight where we are in our lives. We push and shove to move forward.
A prime example is what’s going on in my life right now. Several months ago my husband and I were struggling financially, so we opted to sell our house (at no profit), reduce our bill payments and start over financially. Like so many others, we were drowning in debt, and it didn’t matter what we did or how hard we worked, the numbers just weren’t lining up. Add to that some health issues I began experiencing due to the increased stress. We decided to man up and make some hard decisions. One of those was getting out from under mortgage debt. Goodbye my lovely little home. We maintained our seasonal park model trailer and stayed there for the summer while we strategized our next course of action. By summer’s end we’d decided to continue the breather we’d taken and move in with my parents, who encouraged the decision. Dad was finding it harder and harder to do the odd jobs around their 1800 square foot home, and my mother’s health had been less than optimal for quite some time.
I love my parents tremendously, but I didn’t want to move in with them, even temporarily. I wanted my own space, my privacy, and my own way of doing things. I was adamant we would only stay a short while as we began looking for permanent living accommodations. Everyone agreed. Okay, I was on the road to recovery financially and emotionally. We had a short term plan in place and were moving ahead. It was all good.
Then last week, at my mother’s seventy-fifth birthday celebration luncheon, my father experienced a mild stroke. We rushed him to the hospital and although greatly shaken, were relieved he seemed to have suffered only minor damage to his left side. Throughout the last week we travelled back and forth between my parent’s home an hour away, my sister’s house, and the hospital. We brought clothing and toiletries to my mother who opted to stay in the city at my sister’s, drove her to the hospital when we could, and visited my dad. Scary stuff. I was supposed to attend a major trade show in Las Vegas for business this week, but it’s a no-brainer. I’m needed here more than there. Sure I’m disappointed. I’ve never been to Vegas before and was really pumped about going, but hey, trade show vs dad and family. No contest.
My dad is my hero – my rock. He’s the one who keeps us on track and laughing (he loves to laugh). I remind myself it could have been so much worse, and it could. We are very lucky. We got a whopping wake up call and thump upside the head to remind us no one is immune. Not even my father.
Here’s the funny thing though. It occurred to me about mid-week that it was a very good thing we were here with them. A very good thing we were able to help out however we could this week. And perhaps a true blessing that my parents won’t return home alone. Over the course of this past week, my mother has said many times how relieved she is that we will be here with them when my dad finally comes home. My dad has expressed the same thing, as have my siblings and children.
Two days ago, on the way home from the hospital, I heaved a great sigh and said to my husband, “I guess it’s a good thing we’re going to be staying with mom and dad for a while, huh?” All the fight had gone out of me. I realized I was right where I needed to be. Life was teaching me another lesson despite myself. It’s all good and well to fight, to strive, to move forward, but sometimes there’s a reason we are where we are. Sometimes we may have to accept that God, or fate, or whatever you want to call it, places us right where we are needed so the story can continue as it should.
As an author, and as a person, I get that. For now, I’m content to do what needs to be done and be grateful for the lessons learned. I am willing to accept change and let go, for a while, the need to control everything, yet even my decision to do so is solely within my control. Today, I’m just a daughter who is needed by her parents. Each day, each week, each month, I’ll pick up the threads and continue weaving my life’s story, learning as I go.