Sunday, April 13, 2008

On Gratitude by Lois Winston

When Barbara Quinn asked me to write a post for the Year of Gratitude blog, I immediately agreed. Then I panicked. What exactly did I have to be grateful for lately? The last few months had been totally sucky. I’d been wallowing in a huge vat of self-pity and wasn’t feeling the least bit grateful about anything. Too much within my control hadn’t panned out for reasons that turned out to be completely out of my control, and the rest I had no control of to begin with. Why, I whined, did the Karma gods visit everyone but me?

Then I realized what was happening. I was scared, scared I wouldn’t accomplish everything I wanted to before I ran out of time. I’m not a kid, but I have reached that point in my life where statistically the time behind me is greater than the time ahead of me. I had my Bucket List, but would I have time to check off all the items on it?

Morbid thought, huh?

Usually, I’m not this pessimistic. I’ve always considered myself a pragmatist. However, back the end of August I lost my critique partner to a sudden illness. Over nearly eight years of friendship we’d never met in person; an ocean separated us. But thanks to the Internet we’d become as close as sisters. Until Karen entered my life, I never had a friend who was so much like me in so many ways. We shared many of the same life experiences, the same talents, the same likes and dislikes. We thought so much alike that it seemed we had to have been twins separated at birth.

Then she was gone, and I felt cheated. My grief overwhelmed me.

So there I was, thinking about what to write for this blog and not feeling all that grateful. Then it hit me. I realized how much less a person I would be today if my life hadn’t been enriched by Karen’s friendship. I had nearly eight years of this extraordinary woman’s intellect, humor, and compassion. Many people will live their entire lives without being touched by someone like Karen Davenport. The Karma gods had indeed blessed me.

In the song For Good from the musical Wicked, Elphaba, the Wicked Witch, and Glinda, the Good Witch, are saying good-bye to each other for the last time. Glinda tells Elphaba that she’s heard people come into each others’ lives for a reason and that knowing Elphaba has shaped her into the person she has become. Elphaba tells Glinda that she’ll always be a part of her, like a handprint on her heart. I will be forever grateful that Karen came into my life, and she will remain with me forever as a handprint on my heart.

* * *
Award-winning author Lois Winston writes humorous, cross-genre, contemporary novels and romantic suspense. She often draws upon her extensive experience as an artist and crafts designer for much of her source material. Her first book, TALK GERTIE TO ME, was released in 2006 and was the recipient of the Readers and Bookbuyers Best Award, took second place in both the Beacon Awards and Laurel Wreath Awards, and was nominated for both a Reviewers’ Choice Award and a Golden Leaf Award. Her second novel, LOVE, LIES & A DOUBLE SHOT OF DECEPTION, was a June 2007 release and so far has been nominated for a Golden Leaf Award. Lois contributed to DREAMS & DESIRES, VOL. 1 and 2 and is a contributor to HOUSE UNAUTHORIZED, a November 2007 release. When not writing or designing, you can find Lois trudging through stacks of manuscripts as she hunts for diamonds in the slush piles for the Ashley Grayson Literary Agency. Visit Lois at


Angie Ledbetter said...

I'm glad you had your friend for the eight years, and hope you'll soon find another to fill the void. Thanks for reminding me to be grateful for the special people in my life. Sometimes we take it for granted.

Kathryn Magendie said...

Very nice post - thank you for being our guest!

Nannette Croce said...

It's a different world we live in these days. Some of my closest friends are cyberfriends, like the lovely ladies with whom I share this blog, only one of whom I have met, but all of whom I would miss deeply if they weren't there.

Karina's Pen said...

Isn't amazing how a friend changes you and marks you? I myself have learned that some friendships are for life, and others for a very short time (for many, many reasons) but that they are all equally important in the impact they have in your own life.


Barbara Quinn said...

Lois, One of my friends recently told me that one of the things that upsets her is the thought of not having me around to talk to. Even though I figure on living till at least 120 I'd like to have some people around that know me and can tolerate me. We do need and cherish our friends. I'm glad you had your buddy for the time you did. Thank you so much for posting with us here at the blog.


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