I didn’t think I was going to write a Thanksgiving post this year, not because I have nothing to be thankful for, but because this year has been so rough. Honestly, the past eighteen months have been some of the worst of my life.
I won’t rehash all of those details here. But in summation: I lost my editor at Running Press; one of my daughters was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder; I did my best to help my wife through the decline of her father’s health and her own very invasive surgery; I then, helplessly, watched my father-in-law’s descent into dementia and death; then we tried to heal.
The summer was wonderful, including our trip to Ireland. The fall brought the release of Look Past, but also the death of our 14-year-old chocolate Lab, Nola. Then there was the election.
This story isn’t tragic, though. It’s life. And I’ve been fortunate enough to continue my work, which allows me a voice and supplies me ways to foster more empathetic generations to come. I’ve had numerous school visits so far this year, and my daily work with my students is always something I enjoy. I’m lucky, in spite of these past eighteen months.
We’re all still healing but my family is intact. I’m currently writing a story that addresses so many of the social and political issues that are in need of discussion right now. I don’t feel as powerless as I did a year ago.
But this year has changed me. It opened my eyes even wider to the things I value. I’ve had to accept that there’s so much professionally and personally that I simply cannot control. All I can strive to do is tell a great story. Not just with the words in my novels, but with the actions of my life. I can do better. I am thankful for coming out the other side of this with that revelation.
I have no intentions of being cynical. I have every intention of working hard. This life is not necessarily fleeting, but damn does it move quick. I have every intention of embracing the good and the bad, and taking it all in stride. It’s grist for the mill.
So, thank you, to those of you who read my work, who find that I have something valuable to say. I’m humbled by your existence. Because when I look at myself, I do not see Eric Devine, Author. I’m just a 38-year-old man, whose trying to leave this world a better place through my words.