Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Sadness . . . but there's always Jacob

A friend's husband is dying today. He's the son of people I knew, and I was particularly fond of his mother, but both are now long gone. And I actually took tai chi from Armin--he said I was a good student, but I think he was just being kind. His wife is a contributor to Grace & Gumption, and since that group of contributors has bonded like family, we are all feeling Ruth's grief. Lately, it seems to me that too many people are seriously ill. Jeannie's husband is doing well but still in the hospital until they can wean him off oxygen; Katie's husband is recovering well at home; Melinda's father faces serious surgery; and Ruth's husband is dying. I am at a loss to know how to help, what to do, but I pray a lot these days.
I think your reaction to illness in a friend's family is a really individual thing. Knowing that Ruth is surrounded by family and has her minister with her, I have not gone, not wanted to intrude. Some of our group have expressed the same feeling to me, but others have gone to her and been welcomed. Today I sent my hugs with one of them. I have emailed and told her I am available for whatever she needs, and now it's like waiting for the other shoe to drop.
And Armin and tai chi remind me that I am going to start yoga. My former student worker (now a long time ago), Elizabeth, has a private yoga practice and comes to your home, so I have scheduled three appointments (you get a discount if you do three at once). I expect it to be magic, of course, and I will immediately be limber, thinner, livelier, all those things. Elizabeth (the whole world except me calls her Beth) will disabuse me of that notion. And the nice part is that after our first lesson, we'll go out to dinner.
The problems my friends are dealing with make mine miniscule, but I have analyzed my mystery problem--though I've found no solution. I have confidence that the mystery is good--it's been read by people who know, and I have a track record of writing successful fiction. Plus I have a really respectable record of awards. So, okay, it's not as though I can't write. The problem is finding an agent, and I don't know how to go about that. Websites are full of generalities and lead you to lots names you can send blind queries to--a process I've so far found useless. And many of those lists cost you money, so that's not good. I've joined Sisters in Crime and then signed up for a senior sleuths chat room, which seems to have both seasoned writers and beginners, all wanting to write mysteries with protagonists who are "senior." That's not what my Dead Space is, but I have an idea for a senior sleuth, and, hey, I might learn something.
Jacob brought his mom for dinner tonight, and my neighbor Jay came for drinks, went home and got his macaroni and cheese which Jacob loved, and he and Jordan planned a Sunday night supper which will apparently feature Jay's veal piccata. Jacob decided Jay was his favorite person in the world and kept calling him B (which may be he's mixing him up with his Austin Uncle B). When Jay was leaving, Jacob ran after him for hug after hug, but my jealousy was modified when he gave me a big kiss as he left tonight. After supper, Jordan, that girl on a diet, announced a craving for chocolate, so she and Jacob shared an ice cream cup with chocolate sauce on it.

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