Wednesday, March 21, 2012
What Touches My Heart
At the moment my heart is grieving. Last week a dear friend and colleague passed away unexpectedly. His pen name was William Neale, a relatively new author but a skilled and talented writer. His work improved with each new book he wrote and his following grew very rapidly.
Bill wrote m/m erotic romance, just as I do. His death was shocking, even devastating for many in our small niche in the romance writing community, not only because he was a fellow author. Bill was a man in his prime, a contemporary of not only mine, but many authors. In his mid-fifties, he was active and vital, involved as one of the five authors organizing the highly successful GayRomLit Retreat, taking over a slot for the second annual event this October when one of the original five left to start a family. He was establishing a large, loyal readership. He was always willing to lend a hand, share an idea and brainstorm on a new project when I asked for his advice in anything dealing with my press, ManLove Romance, aka MLR Press, his publisher. He was a generous and kind man, and with his partner of many years, in the process of adopting a child. He was a family man, a friend and colleague.
He was very similar to me in so many ways. And frighteningly, it points out that it could have just as easily been me as him whose life ended last week. It was sudden, unexpected and swift, a heart attack that gave no warning and hopefully was mercifully quick. It reminded me that life is short. Life is wonderful and should be cherished. Time spent with friend and loved ones should be valued every time it occurs.
This week I have found myself ending disagreements with my children before they even got started because as I start to speak that sharp word or give that disapproving glare I thought about how tiny and ultimately unimportant the subject was and how fleeting enjoyment of life can be. Do I really want to waste even a precious moment of it? No, I don’t. Not over small things.
Yes, the kids get away with a little bit more than before but I get to enjoy a little less stress and more of their time. A good trade off. I owe Bill that realization.
So this week, like last week, what is touching my heart is the loss of a friend and a reaffirmation that I need to take in as much of the good in life as possible before it slips away, whether with age and time or claimed by the unexpected.
It’s a beautiful a day. I’m going out and enjoy it.