Next week is Thanksgiving in the U.S., a time to reflect on the things we are grateful for. Usually we think of new things that have come into our lives–new baby, promotion at work, new car.
We’ve had several of those in our family this year, the latest being our older daughter marrying a wonderful man last month. But I’d like to talk about the “bad” occurrences that end up having good results. We’ve had a few of those too.
In March my husband had a mild stroke that put him in the hospital for a week. Turns out that one of his carotid arteries was 90% blocked and had been affecting his health and abilities for a while. Cleaning it out has given him lots more energy and clarity. He feels so much better. The experience also spurred a renewed emphasis on taking care of his health and evaluating the options. And that seems to be the only after effect of the stroke, for which we are extremely grateful.
Just two months later our landlord informed us that he was going to sell the house we’d been renting for a few years. We were faced with the unpleasant task of moving while my guy was still recovering and didn’t need the stress, or buying a house we’d never considered purchasing. After weighing the options we decided to take the plunge. Long term it should be a good investment. It feels good to be able to fix things the way want them. (Can’t wait to get rid of the outdated wallpaper.) It also feels good to be settled again. Each year when it was time to renew our lease I would start looking at other places to see if it would be worth moving. I won’t be doing that for a long time now. Instead I’m spending my time redesigning the landscaping and planning inside changes.
Of course we’ve also had purely bad things happen with no silver linings apparent. A nephew with cancer that has metastasized throughout his body, family and friends who’ve lost their jobs and haven’t found new ones, my horse Glory who is going blind from cataracts. (Unfortunately, unlike with people and dogs, surgery isn’t an option.)
The same kind of thing happens in our stories. Our protagonists are challenged and by facing the problem are changed for the better.
In my book Wyoming Escape, Mikela runs and hides from a killer at a dude ranch. To her surprise she encounters a man she can trust (a new experience) and who is willing to risk his life for her. She also finds a “family of friends” that accepts her at face value, which in turn helps her change how she interacts with her real family.
In my current WIP, when Callie Burns finds a dying man, the ranger who answers her 911 call is the epitome of the type of man she avoids at all costs. By the end of the story, she has changed her views of him and a number of other things.
How about you? What are you grateful for? Any mixed blessings?
Healing is her life. Will it be her death?
Two dead bodies. One dirty cop.
Is she next?
Images – A Love Story
She’s learned to hide from life.
Should she hide from him?