If we were having coffee today I’m sure I’d wish you a happy new year. It’s something we all do. Seriously, I don’t care much about the philosophy of the new year. I understand the importance of noting the passage of time but celebrating the change? Really? It’s always seemed to be something of an arbitrary thing to me. But people like it so I go along with it.
2016 has been something of a mixed bag for me. It started with the inspiration of a young man’s struggle with heart disease. A boy, really. He’d lived his entire life with this Sword of Damocles hanging over his head … a bum ticker that threatened his existence every single day of his life. His name is Albert Jefferies, but everyone calls him AlJ, and he did get a new heart. This has changed his life and the life of his family in so many ways. Unfortunately, this is a miracle that has a dark side as well … another family had to suffer an unspeakable tragedy to allow this miracle to happen. AlJ and his mother Tina have gone on to embrace the donor family with a tremendous amount of appreciation and support. I tell you this about AlJ’s mom … if I ever get in a health crisis and need an advocate, I’m hoping I can somehow get her in my corner. Although I posted a bit about AlJ and Tina earlier in the year on my own blog (those posts are still there), you can catch up on his continuing story at https://www.facebook.com/Teamalj/
Speaking of heart transplants, I found out as I started typing this that a good friend of my wife, Kelly Wagner, received a new heart yesterday in Maryland. She has also suffered from a debilitating heart condition for a very very long time. Please send your prayers and good wishes her way as she recovers.
With two such momentous bookends to the year, my own struggles have seemed insignificant. I started the year seeing clearly … and I’ve already referenced the degradation of my eyesight due to cataracts. My last surgery was complete December 1 and I am seeing very well, thank you. I got up early this morning to watch the space station pass … it was an outstanding viewing and I was quite grateful that I could completely enjoy it.
In October our daughter got married, another event I partially chronicled in this blog … preparations for that wedding took up the rest of our spare time (and money!) for months and months. The wedding was lovely. What the heck are we going to do with all those shoes?
In the middle of everything else, I published my second novel. So far, the response has been lackluster, but all I can do is just keep writing and hope that readers will realize what a good story it is and that the combination of the two books (along with the 2015 debut novel) is an entertaining bit of reading. I have managed to attract a smattering of very loyal fans and I am grateful for that. My eye trouble sort of got in the way of starting book 3, but I’m ready to start hammering away at the keyboard again. Or maybe I should revise one of my other three completed drafts on different subjects? Hmmmm.
All-in-all it was a fairly good year. I know 2017 has a lot of question marks looming but my suggestion is to just set your own expectations low and keep things close to your heart and simple. Here’s wishing you a happy and safe transition to that arbitrary delineation we call the new year.
Thomas Fenske is a writer living in North Carolina. His somewhat undiscovered talent lies smoldering within the pages of THE FEVER and A CURSE THAT BITES DEEP … more information on them can be found at http://thefensk.com
They are both available in paperback from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Createspace and in ebook form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and for iBooks. Links for all of those are on the web page. Happy New Year.