Endings and beginnings

Craig and Karen.

Craig and Karen Potts

It’s been a rough year. My sister recently lost her husband, Craig Potts, father to their only son, Chris. And the pain is still raw. Craig’s death came just a few months after we lost our mother, Hazel: two dearly-loved souls passing in just three month’s time.


Hazel Coffey.

Mother Hazel


Though we’ll always have fond memories of their personalities and the years spent together, it’s still difficult to believe that we’ll never see them again in this life. Both are endings that are hard to bear–and yet, what choice do we have? We take deep breaths and live one day at a time.

Changing with the seasons

Endings–and beginnings–are on my mind. Just this morning, I took my daughter to the airport for a flight to her junior year in college. And later today, my son and his friend, who boarded in our home during an internship, will pack up and leave the house to drive south into their senior year of college. It will be quiet around here without their comings and goings; the washer and dryer will get a rest, and the meals I cook will shrink again to portions for two: my husband and me.

Yet every ending is a beginning: the beginning of life without the ones we’ve lost, the beginning of new adventures and relationships, of news from children and friends, of chapters we’ll add to our own lives. A while ago, as I sat writing this, the high school bus stopped on the street outside to take this year’s students–no doubt some new–off to their second week of classes.

While beginnings are hopeful, they aren’t often easy, obscured as they are with distractions of the unknown: What challenges will come? Will the good times outweigh the hardships? You can try to live right, make lists, load up your phone calendar, invest in the latest technology, you can plan and you can pray, but nobody’s ever going to develop an app that shows you the future.

The day to day

Autumn leaves in the sun.As for me and my writing endeavors, I start the new season with a plenty of unknowns. I recently invested time interviewing with literary agents. It went well, though I’m still waiting for something concrete. Meanwhile, I continue to work on my second novel–talk about beginnings and endings. My goal is to finish it by the end of the year, and I wonder: Will I get there? Will it be what I envisioned? If only there was an app for that.

Outside, the summer is coming to a close, my days of writing on the patio numbered for the year. The high in Portland will climb past 80 today, but the morning was brisk, and the trees, already tinged with red, tell us what’s coming.

What will the future bring? How will I handle it? How will we all handle it? Yet another ending offering a place to begin…