My nanowrimo word count on November 2 sits at 16,343. I am pretty happy with how the book is coming along. I actually know most of the major plot points and the ending. There is still plenty to make up along the way. My 11-year-old daughter was sitting across the dining table from me today doing homework while I was typing away. She interrupted me and asked, “Who is the book to, Mom?” I thought she was asking what audience I was writing to, so that’s the question I answered. “No,” she corrected. “Who are you dedicating it to?” Then she cocked her head and winked at me and gave me the dorkiest grin I have ever seen.
I guess I’m dedicating it to Lucy. As if we need to worry about dedications right now.
At any rate, I plan to get to 17,000 words before I sleep, which will be a whole lot easier now that the Astros are world champions. For crying out super loud, I got nothing done last night.
Before I could write tonight, I needed to clean off my camera’s sd card so that I could have a clean slate for a school event tomorrow. So I popped that puppy into my laptop and starting flipping through the pictures. I came upon last Christmas and had to pause and take that in. SO MUCH has happened since last Christmas. My parents moved into a nursing facility so that my dad could better care for my mom. My mom went from communicative, while slow, to almost unresponsive. And last Christmas day was the last time my mother was in my house. It’s really the last time she went anywhere, unless we are counting the hospital. And who wants to count that? On December 29, everything changed.
If I had known everything was going to change—and that quickly—you can be sure last Christmas’ pictures would have been far better than the ones I took. In fact, I only have one of my parents from that day and my camera chose to focus on my dad in the foreground. But though the quality is subpar at best, it is still a picture that gives me pause. And I am still thankful I took it. And it does remind me of when I could speak with my mother and she would speak back.
I had no idea how much I would miss that.
The holidays are approaching. Mine will be vastly different this year. Blessed, still, because God has given me so much. But bittersweet in the sense that Mom is no longer even an echo of who she was. I can’t shop for her. I can’t tell her the latest thing Jenna said to insult me. I can’t tell her that I’m 16,343 words into meeting a really massive goal.
But I can meet that goal and she is part of every word I type. She is in me. She is all around me. I am proud of that.
I think I know who I’ll dedicate the book to.
But don’t tell Lucy.