There is no teacher more discriminating or transforming than loss. Pat Conroy
One of my favorite authors died Friday night. Pat Conroy could write so as to touch me deep into my kidneys and down into my bone marrow. I deeply cherish each and every book he wrote. Like a hot butter knife that goes clean through bread, my heart is broken in two that there will never be a new Pat Conroy novel. He inspired me to finally follow my dream of writing, setting the perfect (or near perfect) example of story telling that stuck to me like crazy glue, haunting my dreams long after I finished each of his books.
I picked the above quote from him because I had to learn a hard lesson from his passing. Loss is indeed a transforming teacher. You see, in the past few years, I had many opportunities to see Mr. Conroy speak in person. But, I let life get in the way. I was too busy. Too tired. On and on. I thought to myself, it’s okay, there will always be another opportunity. I’ll see him when he passes this way next year. Well, the opportunity is gone. He is gone. So what have I learned? Not to squander opportunities. To live. To enjoy life. To make room for the things I want to do. So, as I finish up my novel, I do it in your honor Mr. Conroy. Even though I didn’t know the man, I like to imagine what he would say if he were looking over my shoulder as I write my book. “Finish this book girl! You can do it.” I hear you Mr. Conroy. I hear you loud and clear.