Thursday, April 14, 2011

Though my heart aches – feels not just broken but smashed into bits – and I cry at the drop of a hat whenever I see a piece of Marge's reddish fur floating around, look down expecting to see her at my feet, or still call for her to go on a walk – I try to remember what author, icon, animal lover and my friend Rita Mae Brown told me once again when I visited her farm – which was filled with dogs, kennels, horses and cats – last fall.
"Dogs don't know how much time they have left; they live in the moment. And what a blessing that is. Humans spend so much time fearing death, fearing the end, that we lose sight of the now, this very moment. If we could only be like dogs, even for a day."
I think of how blessed I was to have Marge for nearly 14 years. She changed me for the better. She taught me to love without abandon, to hug tightly, to live in the moment. Because that’s all we have.
I’ve been overwhelmed by the support Gary and I have received this week. Hundreds of you have reached out to us to express your condolences, your heartbreak, your sadness, your own stories. And, for that, I am thankful. We are linked not only by our love and kindness but by our pets.
I was struck by a number of stories this week, including a woman who lost her fiancée suddenly and hadn’t been able to laugh until she read one of my books. And there was a woman who expressed her sympathies about Marge and stated she wanted to attend my May writing retreat but was terrified to do so.
To her – and in honor of Marge – I say: LIVE IN THE MOMENT!
Life is short. Our time here is precious. An important part of our journey should be taking risk, tackling our fear, challenging ourselves, running – with wild abandon, as Marge used to – toward the future.
Right now, I am scared.
It has been a brutal past two years. First, my mom. Now, my Marge. My two best girls are gone forever. Why would God take my two best friends so soon? How could He test me so harshly and frequently?
I have lost so many, that I have become guarded. I worry that as soon as I become close to someone, I will lose him or her again.
But, I know I have to take that risk. It’s what makes life precious and special.

My mom and Marge were two of the few I could talk to without fear, knowing I would receive unconditional love. Take that away, and what are we left with?

I learned from my mom -- a nurse and woman of great faith -- that is the nature of unconditional love.
You take the good with the bad. Death is simply a part of life. Only by risking your heart, your soul, can you find true love, true joy, true happiness.
And, that’s what I hope to give back to aspiring writers coming to my workshop in May.
Only by risking your heart and your soul can you find true joy and happiness.
I can’t wait to lead my writers through exercises that will force them to tackle their fears, face their own discomfort, and unearth that unique voice that can change the world.
That’s what writing and loving is all about.
But it’s worth it. No matter how hard it is sometimes.
There is still time for you to take a risk, and live in the moment.
Wade’s Writers ( kicks off its initial, intensive multi-day writing retreat in less than a month (May 12) in Saugatuck, Michigan, my stunningly beautiful little resort town.
You will write. You will laugh. You will cry. You will become a different person.
You will write. You will eat amazing food. You will drink amazing wine. You will site-see. And you will take a risk.
I urge you to join me. As I learn to risk my heart again, I urge you to risk yours, too.
Let’s live in the moment.



Blogger That_One_Guy said...

What a beautiful piece! Thank you for sharing. It is great to discuss death and bask in the wisdom of its acceptance. I think that is probably the hardest test we are to endure, but the remedy is to remember we have each other. We all experience death and we will eventually have physical deaths too.

April 14, 2011 at 2:26 PM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

I am printing this blog and reading it each time I get down. I lost 2 younger sisters to cancer and moved back to northern WI from Chicago to be with family since then. (No they don't hear you scream in WI either). I've often wondered how you can turn so many stories into such wonderful humor. It is a gift. I hope to find that gift some day. You know Marge is still with you. Actually I am sure you will hear her barking at a squirrel one day when walking in the woods. Hugs to you and Gary.

April 14, 2011 at 3:46 PM  
Blogger Michigan Cottage Cook said...

Your girls are not gone forever. They are waiting for you on the other side. They will be the first to welcome you when it is your turn to pass through the veil that separates us.

April 15, 2011 at 1:47 PM  
Blogger Hilary said...

I am so sorry…. I know how hard it is to lose a pet, and a parent… But, your girls are not gone. A part of them is always with you…..

April 17, 2011 at 7:58 AM  
Blogger Janet said...

Dear Wade and Gary,

Please accept my condolences regarding your loss of Marge. I've had rescue dogs in my life and I understand how hard it is to say good-bye. I've had friends and family tell me "that's why I don't want a hurts too much." Well, maybe so, but I think our pets enlarge our hearts with the happiness and with the heartache of loss. They increase our ability and capacity for love by pulling & stretching it further out than if we left it alone...As a mother of a son, I would like to say (having read "It's All Relative")that a child even as an adult has a special,special place reserved just for them in our heart. Your mom sounded like a wonderful lady and I know that you know how much she loved you and was loved in return. You and Gary are beautiful loving men - thank you for sharing your special stories with us. Again,I am sorry for your loss and don't let anyone tell you how to grieve.

April 18, 2011 at 9:40 AM  
Blogger Stone said...

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I have never seen such bonding as you have shown here at and I am also looking of the kind of pet you have because they are more friendly and loyal at the same time.

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Creating your stuff while sitting next to your pets give you an energy that boosts your ind and thinking ability and that is proven as well so you need to get the facts and publish those so others can also read that.

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