Some deadlines are more important than others.

cemetery-angel-in-graveyard-1398705207Pm4 publicdomainpictures.netWriting is art. As Stephen King wrote in his book, On Writing, “Life isn’t a support system for art. It’s the other way around.”

Since I first started writing professionally in 2007, I’ve taken pride in the fact that I’d never missed a deadline. I can’t say that anymore.

I do my prayerful best, whether I’m editing devotionals or writing product descriptions. Still, some of my work has been downright cringe-worthy. I know I could have done a better job if only I had more time. We all could. But there’s an old editor’s saying that applies to pretty much everything in this industry. “I don’t want it perfect. I want it done.”

I have written instead of sleeping, while in pain, and with fever. I’ve edited from my bed on the same day I had surgery. Why? Because this is my job. If you want to write on a professional level, you have to deliver professional-level work, on time. Deadlines matter.

But I won’t be making one deadline that, until recently, I supposed was very important. I had carved out time to write an e-book on Biblical holidays, which I’d planned to finish before November. That isn’t going to happen, because I haven’t really written in a month.

Not since that morning when my dad wouldn’t wake up.

At first, doctors thought he’d had a stroke, but then they said encephalitis. He didn’t wake up for about a week. After waking, he had a heart attack and developed a lung infection. Now he’s in isolation with a “highly contagious bacterial infection.” But he can eat on his own, when he will, and he seems to know what’s going on much of the time. He also has congestive heart failure, kidney failure, and diabetes. I don’t know if he’ll make his 86th birthday in December, and not knowing breaks my heart.

Here’s the thing: Deadlines matter. But some deadlines are more important than others. It seems that the deadline is nearing for holding my dad’s hand, for kissing his forehead, for showing him that I love him. Whether that deadline comes this week or years from now, when it does, I will no longer be able to add to or change anything in our relationship. It will be done. Will I have regrets? Of course. We all do. I could do so much better if only I had more time. Deadlines always seem to come too soon.

The e-book will get finished when it gets finished. Or not. A more important deadline is pressing, and I intend to prayerfully do my best in the time I have.

If God brings us to mind from time to time, I’d appreciate if you’d say a prayer, too.

UPDATE (11/2/2015): Dad is home and growing stronger everyday! My darling sister has been staying at his house, and he’s getting visits from a physical therapist until he can maneuver on his own again. I’m still just doing my best to love on him.


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