Distracted Writing

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Dad swinging my daughter Elisabeth

I’m distracted. My conscious thought is pinballing between dozens of logistics and social commitments, regrets and what ifs, bits and pieces of about six works in progress, the memory of an arcade pinball machine that my dad once brought home as a surprise, and wondering whether I brushed my hair today and what my kids are eating for dinner and how my mom is doing and…

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Dad & Mom: forever love

My daddy died. He was 86, ambulatory and lucid right up to the end. He and Mom had just celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary. He died peacefully in his sleep after an evening of visiting with family, including playing on the floor with his great grandson, whom he adored. Not a bad way to go. Still. My heart is broken.


I had been making great progress on an e-book that I’m writing. Then, suddenly, it didn’t matter anymore.

Usually in times of stress, I immerse myself in writing and editing. Work focuses my mind and gives me a break from overwhelming feelings. But that is, for now, impossible, so I put aside my work in progress and decided to write my feelings instead, to turn all that emotion into a new creation. But the only word that came out was sad.

Daddy used to tell me, “Girl, there ain’t no reason on this earth that you cannot do exactly what you wish, if you put your mind to it.” (He pronounced the wish like whoosh.)

So, for my dad and for myself, I won’t stop writing. I’m carrying around a pad and pen and scribbling notes–even one word notes like “sad”–as random events and emotions come to mind. They’re not cohesive, but who knows what may come of it? And I’m writing this blog post, which I know isn’t formatted correctly to look right, but I don’t care today. At least I showed up.

I’m new to this phase of life, and I still have lots to figure out. But I “whoosh” to write. And I’ll find a way.

How about you? How have you dealt with following your dreams in the midst of soul-crushing distraction? I’d love to hear from you.

And if you’d like to leave a comment on my daddy’s memorial page, I’d appreciate that, too. It isn’t finished, because I’m distracted, but I’m working on it.

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Always a prankster. Dad with my kids (L-R): Angela, Michael, and Elliot.



2 Comments on “Distracted Writing

  1. It’s so hard to deal with writing in the midst of loss, isn’t it? I know exactly how that distraction feels, and honestly, Kathy, I think that you walking about and writing your thoughts is a very good idea. Working out the emotion, no matter how randomly it comes out, seems to bring about healing in the most profound ways.

    I’ve struggled with it off and on since the deaths of my paternal grandparents, who, in many ways, helped raise my sister and I. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think of them, pondering the things they taught me, special memories, or regrets. On the hard days, it seems that my brain can’t formulate words, let alone cohesive thought. But when it comes…as it inevitably does…it comes out in a flood.

    It sounds as though your father was a great source of inspiration to you. What a blessing to have someone like that cheering you on and pressing you toward your writing dream. You’re fortunate to have had that in your life, and to carry such a legacy with you. I pray God continues to use that to inspire you to press on through the heartache until you see your daddy again in Christ’s presence.

  2. I’m so sorry about your dad, Kathy. We all understand. You will get through this…just allow yourself to grieve the way you need to.

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