Defining my life fell into two separate and distinct periods of time; life before my daughter was born with a terminal disease and the path life took after. The single defining moment for me, was that second, that single moment before she was born (via C-section) and that long moment when I realized she wasn't crying, that something was very wrong.
It sticks with you, these defining moments. Sometimes you can find yourself as a victim of the moment and let it drag you under, or you can use the moment to step forward and redefine your life and your dreams.
I fell somewhere in between. I found a way to move on, to raise my other daughter, have another child. While moving on, I seemingly found myself a victim of my circumstance, stagnating and letting that single moment define who I was.
I read Harry Potter. I loved Harry Potter. It did more than entertain; it woke up a passion in me that I hadn't realized was there.
That, coupled with a meeting of a former classmate at a twentieth class reunion, forced me to look at my life and the choices I made and something inside of me changed. I no longer wanted to let life and the bad things define how I lived my life. It was time for me to take control.
I remembered for the first time in years, that I had a dream. One that I cultivated since I was seven years old. I wanted to be a writer.
I tried over the years to write a book. I stopped at chapter 1 or paragraph 1, never completely understanding how to craft that story. Never really understanding what it was that I even wanted to say.
But this time, the jealously that my classmate was a published author and my sadness that had accumulated over a lifetime, forced me to open the book and really think about what story I wanted to tell.
It wasn't very good or very long and it took many attempts to reach the published versions I have online. I look back at the first time I typed “The End” on that very first draft and I can't help but be proud, I can't help but realize my life is no longer defined by one single event.
Now I'm a writer, who is a mother, one who lost a child. I write about the loss and how it affects me, but not as a single defining moment. It happened and it makes me sad and it always will. But it won't always make a victim of that circumstance. I finally found the confidence to truly move on and I now weave those emotions and memories into my writing to give it depth and meaning. I'm no longer defined by it, I define how I use it to motivate and move on.
I've been around for seven years, tirelessly working to bring my books to the public, share the stories I love so much. Find a platform that inspires others and garner a bit of publicity.
As I worked with a publicist to bring my new book to market, she became aware of a new angle to find an audience. I had an opportunity to write an article about one of the most difficult times in my life; the death of my daughter. It is an emotional experience that I'm willing to share with others, because I have a unique insight. It's also a form of publicity, one in which I benefit in unexpected ways.
The article really wrote itself. Words flew from my brain and out my finger tips and on to the screen. I was nervous to open up and put it all out there, but I did it and it reminded me of the struggles, of the love and of the loss.
This is about turning tragedy in light and love. I put it all out there and opened myself up, freeing myself.
I had no idea in my quest to get noticed, would be helped by writing what I knew. Faced with my past and the memories that linger was a welcome pit stop on my quest to write books for a living. I got something so much more.
It was a story that needed to be told. Memories, feelings, scents, so vivid when I retell the story. I needed to finally stand up and speak out and tell the story.
There's so much more out there, and not so much time. But on the anniversary of my daughter's death looming closely, I realize that I shouldn't hide what had happened, I should embrace this as part of my life, and yes, even use what I've experienced to help sell books.
It is what shaped me and makes me who I am. All I can do is open up and let it all hang out.
Find me in cyperspace at the following links:
Modern Mom: Of Life, Loss and Finding Joy http://www.modernmom.com/?s=sheryl+steines
Besteveryou.com: Of Life, Loss and Finding Joy http://www.besteveryou.com/single-post/2017/03/16/Of-Life-Loss-and-Finding-Joy
Goodmenproject.com Black Market Review https://goodmenproject.com/arts/black-market-blends-worlds-together-jsnk/