For My Father On Father’s Day

I’ve been writing fiction for years, with various degrees of serious intent.  Sometimes I thought I wanted to become a published author.  Sometimes I thought it was just too bloody much work.

I was having something of a crisis of faith about 2 1/2 years ago.  I was working on a romance manuscript that never seemed to be finished.  I’d written a number of science fiction short stories that never seemed to go anywhere (mostly because I really wanted to write romance).  My life was too busy, too stressful, and I was too tired.  I had been diagnosed with diabetes.  I had a lot of debt. I was going nowhere.

Then my father died.

Until I was about twenty-five, my father and I had a rocky relationship.  I don’t think we understood each other very well.  And the adolescent and young adult years were hard on us.  We’d patched it up, forgiven each other, and moved on.  Then he got sick with Lewy Body disease.

In case you don’t know, Lewy Body disease is a delightful combination of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s symptoms.  You can’t think straight. You can’t talk. Your body won’t move properly. But, unlike Alzheimer’s, you actually remember. So you know that you can’t think, or talk, or move. And it’s sneaky. It’s misdiagnosed a lot of the time, so you don’t even know you have it.

Looking back now, we figure that Daddy had the disease for about 5 years before we even knew there was something wrong.  We thought he was slowing down, that he just wasn’t active enough. We didn’t know that he was really sick.

Eventually he ended up in a nursing home – his body so stiff and unresponsive that it took 3 aides to get him into bed each night.  He was there for 2 1/2 years before he died.

After he died, and after the grief had diminished somewhat, I thought about my life.  I realized that I was foolish to turn my back on my writing. I wanted to continue.  I wanted to finish the romance manuscript I’d been dickering around with for years. I wanted to push it to the next level and see if it could be published. I wanted to do it for myself, because life is too short and too precious.  And I wanted to do it for my father.

Now that manuscript is indeed being published.  I dedicated it to him.

Happy Father’s Day everyone!

 

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Comments

  1. Beautiful post! Thank you for sharing this. It will make reading Hold Me even more special!

    • Betsy Horvath says:

      Thanks, Lynda! I’m not sure that Daddy would have actually read the book, but I know he was happy I was writing. 🙂

  2. Erin Marie says:

    Oh, Betsy…I didn’t realize till the other day that your father had passed away, and I just now read this post. I’m sure he would be so proud of all you’ve accomplished so far! I know I am…and I’m excited to see how high you can soar! I can’t wait to tell people “I knew her when…”. 😉

    Wait…when what? haha When we went to the Met and I didn’t take a cheese sandwich! That’s when. I will never forget that as long as I live! I was starving!

    • Betsy Horvath says:

      @Erin Marie: Thanks, Erin! He’d be puzzled, but I hope he’d be proud too. 🙂 BTW – you are forever known in my family as “the girl who went to the Met” LOL I am polite and do not mention the cheese sandwich. 😀

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