Last Thanksgiving, my brother-in-law, Rob McLennan, said to me over the dinner table and in front of everyone (to my horror) something like, "So, I hear you're writing a book!"
My mouth dropped open, and then I heard him say how cool it would be to know someone that published a novel. He asked a lot of questions and told me to get busy. He was grinning from ear to ear, as was my sister, but not in a way that made me think he was being sarcastic or doubting me in any way. It was genuine enthusiasm.
Last Friday, he passed away. It was unexpected and tragic and a devastating loss. He was one of those rare people that was kind and generous to everyone, as is my sister. Apparently, when you're like that, other people of a similar spirit gravitate to you.
There's been an outpouring of kindness to my sister and her husband's family. The women in the area, my sister's close friends, have coordinated meals not just for my sister, but also for her husband's parents. We offered to bring food one day over the weekend, but my sister said her in-laws had been "food bombed." These lovely people even provided all the food for the memorial service and have been relentless in making sure my sister and her kids have the support they need. I could write paragraphs about all of the ways they've been there for my sister.
At the memorial service, there were three separate lines of people waiting to hug my sister for at least an hour. It was incredible how many people showed up to give their respects and to join in celebrating his life. I hope he was looking down and saw how many people genuinely loved him and his family.
As I wipe away my tears, I just want to say that I am not at all insecure about my writing. I know that if Rob had lived to see the next family gathering, he would have asked me how the book was going and would be disappointed if I said was off track or let other things stop me from achieving my goal or if I whined about my insecurities.
I wish I had known him better, but he's definitely the kind of guy that would be disappointed, and rightly so, if I gave up on myself. So I will write with even more purpose now and think of him and what he said that Thanksgiving before I write every day. I'm definitely going to dedicate my first book to him. I think he would have loved that.
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This post is part of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, a first Wednesday of the month opportunity to share what keeps you going or what stops you in your tracks. Most of my posts aren't this sad (I think...probably...maybe not), so please come back next month.