Late spring, early summer of 2015 I began working with an author team on the 5th edition of their textbook. This was the third edition I would be completing with them. I had been working with them for over 15 years. Judy had retired from teaching and this was to be the final edition she would complete. Donna planned to continue for at least another edition, with perhaps contributors or a new co-author.
When you work with folks for this long you get to know them well. They both lived in the Pacific Northwest and I travelled there many times over the years to do photo shoots for the various projects we were working on. I met their families and their students, whom they treated like extended family. They were always warm and welcoming, and loved to show me around to various venues. On one of my visits Judy even had to take me to the emergency room because I sliced my thumb with a scalpel and needed stitches. We often had conversations about the things that were going on in our lives, comparing notes about the weather, recommending books, and chatting about the visiting wildlife. Donna was frequently visited by moose and would send me pictures of them in her yard.
In early 2016, Donna was diagnosed with a rare form of stomach cancer. It had gone undetected for quite some time. At the end of March, she passed away. She was only in her early 60s.
My last correspondence with Donna was in late January. It was light and breezy. She mentioned being very ill but was hoping for a speedy recovery. She thought it was the flu. Judy told me of her diagnosis about two weeks later. It was shocking to say the least. We all kept hoping and praying for her recovery but it was not to be. Her passing hit me particularly hard. Perhaps because it was so unexpected. She had such a vibrant personality and was so full of life. It all progressed so fast. There really wasn’t even time to say goodbyes. It reminded me just how short life can be.
Let’s Get Emotional
My goal with the challenge this year is to use it as an exercise to write something focused on a particular emotion. I hope to convey that mood or feeling through word choice in the story. I welcome your feedback on what worked or didn’t for you in each piece.
Once upon a time...
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