Observations of life by author and poet Charles L. Chatmon
At this time last New Year's Eve, my father spent the night in a hospital, fighting a flu plus other ailments that caught up to him over time. In the end, his body broke down. A few months later, he left this earth. Chuck the Cook didn't die alone; he was loved by co-workers, friends who knew him and those close to him who really mattered. I lost not only my father but a man I could depend to bring calmness to my life whenever I needed it. Since his passing, that peace was hard to obtain, but I'm still here.
Rather than make a wild boast of what 2019 will be, I will just say that I plan to make a few slight changes in my life. Throughout the entire process of taking care of my father, I grew as a man who took charge when needed; making decisions when called upon. This is what my experience running the L.A. Black Book Expo taught me although the situation was entirely different. My father's death caused much sadness in me. I wish I could say I will get over it but when does anyone get over the death of a parent? That being said, the beginning of this new year is a great opportunity to make plans that I would like to see become reality if God wills it.
I can't speak for other writers, but tragedy can either force you to retreat into a shell which you will never come out from, or it can be the motivation to become a better person, one you never expected lived inside of you all of your life. This grieving process caused me to not be as motivated to write as much as I would like. I would retreat into sadness full of crying fits and painful memories of hospital visits, speaking with the doctors about the inevitable. This process is painful and perhaps I will never get through this. I do pledge in 2019 to use my time to become better, not bitter towards life and all that I've lost.
It's a brand new year and I refuse to crawl inside that shell to hide my thoughts, feelings from this world. 2018 provided me with opportunities I'm glad to utilize with my talents as they were an escape from the misery of losing a loved one. I only pray 2019 will offer more of the same.
If there are writers reading this entry faced with the same situation, know and trust our suffering won't be in vain once we decide to be motivated enough to purge this anguish out by pounding our fingers through the keyboard or writing our words on a piece of paper. The act of writing is the best remedy for our loss even though the memories of our loved ones will come back periodically, when we least expect it. The death of a loved one will always be painful. Only through the writing process, the grieving process won't hurt as much.
By the way, HAPPY NEW YEAR!