We begin 2014 with the excitement of another new year ahead…that’s the way we try to approach every new year. A clean slate. Time to renew life, or live it, or something. Do something with our life, differently, perhaps…it seems we are starting off right so far.
Morguie is pretty sure C J is really a cat, underneath that human exterior. A cat going into her 5th or 10th life…sheesh! And C J is pretty sure Morguie has been the little cracker thief around here, at night…
The mouse was trying to say that C J always manages to land on her feet, even at the last minute…and she is good at re-inventing herself, when times demand that of her. C J says she agrees with that, but that it seems to get a little harder each time. When it’s rewarding, of course, it’s a challenge happily met.
Mousie says he can certainly agree with that: especially when that challenge involves big, fat, rewarding crackers!
It was a little ego booster to open the mailbox yesterday, finding the January issue of Mortuary Management — C J’s second article since becoming a ‘regular monthly contributor’ across two pages! She had struggled a lot with the piece…a bit of gnashing of teeth, personal hair-pulling, some items found themselves flying about before hitting the floor, and yes, the shredder worked overtime grinding unacceptable drafted copy into confetti. A few un-lady like words slipped out, coffee spilled, and days turned into nights…well, you all know how it gets when you endeavor to churn out something readable and fantastic, only to see or believe that it’s neither, after all your effort…
C J finally turned in the piece, apprehensive that it was less than worthy of pressing. In her mind, what she submitted needed to be better than ‘good enough.’ And, at this very moment, she still feels that it isn’t “her” and it isn’t her best. She writes in a different ‘voice’ in the magazine. Not the easy-going free-flowing style as this comfortable blog affords. If the two writing styles could be compared to shoes: the blog is a pair of Hush Puppies slip-ons; the magazine is a brand-new pair of 4-inch patent stillettos, one size too small.
After all, kids — this is for a magazine that she first discovered in — a funeral home restroom — on the bathroom reader rack, as she occasioned to pop in and wash her hands one day. She picked the beautifully covered mag up and flipped the pages, marveling at the interesting stuff she saw. She wasn’t in the business at that point, mind you. She was a first-call attendant for a transport company, a ‘body mover.’ A veritable newbie, getting her first look inside the profession, C J was just about to embark on her dream.
So, she decided to…stuff the magazine under her coat…and TAKE it!
C J felt guilty. But she got over it.
She loved that magazine and read every single word of it…cover to cover. Over the years, she came to rely on it. She met the man who owned and published it. She went to him to ask for help when the state took money for exam registrations but didn’t offer the embalmer’s licensing exam when she finished mortuary college. That man, Mr. Ron Hast, became a friend and comrade. Without his help hundreds of students would have been left high and dry for who knows how long. C J knew she was dealing with a ‘biggie’ in the funeral service profession. Of course, together they were victorious.
Her friend the publisher — he died in August 2013. C J hadn’t quite gotten up enough nerve to personally approach him about submitting something to print in his iconic publication. She mentioned this in her regrets as she wrote a tribute to him.
Much to her surprise and great joy, the magazine approached her. Her first piece debuted in the December edition. She wrote about the evolution of funeral transportation in modern America.
This could not have happened without her blog. C J started her blog in May 2013. Not sure anyone would want read what she had to say, she wrote anyway. She felt she had stories to share. She needed to find something to do with her time. C J was sinking into the abyss of despair; long-term unemployment with no end in sight, family members dealing with illness of the most serious kinds…writing pulled her out into the light and gave her a new purpose. It gave her a sense of renewal.
It is the readers to whom we owe our purposeful days of reading, researching, thinking, sharing, commenting, and caring. The over-due housework will attest to our time spent on new purpose. 😉
***SPECIAL GRATITUDE and ACKNOWLEDGMENT go to those VERY SPECIAL friends here that were so kind to help me with their thoughts and opinions about how they wanted to be remembered when they passed. The ‘survey’ was impromptu, and with just hours to spare, you were so very gracious to lend your personal thoughts and that was so incredibly appreciated.
Those thoughts shared about what to do with your own ashes, as well as some you may be safekeeping, were thoughtfully presented, in anonymity of course. The editor was great…he put it all together so nicely.
The article also spoke of our special friends, Bonnie and Butch Dean. They are hospice angels. Bonnie hand-makes beautiful keepsakes, Memory Bears, from loved ones’ clothing. She and Butch lost their son to cancer and this is their ministry, helping others through the grief of loss.***
Thank you ALL, for helping us to become purposeful and excited again for what may lie ahead. We appreciate the love and friendship and fellowship (followship, too) we have found here. We enjoy the treasures in each of your unique blogs, as well, to those of you that write. To those who visit, we hope you’ll return, often. We hope all will eventually exchange ideas and thoughts about things here. We sure hope that our readers will look at the blogs we follow and discover the great stories of others, as we have.
Our world, our lives are much brighter merely because of YOU.
May 2014 Be Shiny For All, ♥C J and MORGUIE♥
©2014, C.S. Thompson.