Sitting at my desk, ready to start writing a new chapter, I snapped a picture.

I posted the picture on Instagram/Facebook with the caption “The view from my office chair. Ready to work on #writing that book.”

Computer open on desk, a large clock on the wall outside office doorway large
Everything I need to #write. Ready, set, GO!

I received several positive responses – especially since I posted this after a day or 2 after my last blog post.

One of the comments was from someone with whom I recently became friends on Facebook. We met in a support group. She replied, “instead of writing a book you should become a personal growth and development guide.”

Honest words usually come out when they are written or spoken quickly.

My own response to her comment surprised me and I have been thinking about it a lot for the last 48 hours.

I’ve had this book idea in my head a long time. It is an overdue final gift to my husband. 

my quick response to a comment on a photo on facebook

An overdue final gift to my husband. A FINAL…..GIFT……

I have been digesting those words and wondering “Is that true? Is this my final gift?”

NaNoWriMo Winner Badge
Official “winner’s badge” for NANOWRIMO 2018.

As many of my friends know I have been working, on again off again, on this book idea for 2 years now.

In fact, I started writing my novel during National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo) in 2018. I even got the badge for “winning”. Meaning I wrote more than 50,000 words in one month. A feat I never thought would happen since I have never written a book before.

Everything about the book is a dedication to my husband. The names I use are intentional and have meaning. The main characters are so familiar to me that I have not had to sit down and list out their character traits. Every bit, down to the last page, has been written as if he were sitting in the chair across from me while I write.

Now, as I contemplate the words of this book being a “final gift” – setting aside the whole “I don’t know what I’m doing or how to write a book” fear that every beginning writer has – I understand why this book is an ongoing project that I can’t quite wrap up enough to send to an editor.

If this is a final gift, what does that really mean?

It has been over 4 years since my husband passed away. Sometimes it feels like a millennium ago (especially during 2020 and a pandemic), and other times it feels like yesterday. Even now there are mornings when I wake up and look over to the other side of the bed to see if he is still sleeping.

So, if I finish writing this book that has been so lovingly written as a gift for him, and by some miracle I can talk a publisher into publishing the book…What happens next?

Will I continue to feel his presence in the chair across from me if I move on to a different project?

In all honesty, I have no idea what will happen. But I would like to think that every day as I continue to grow and become this new person without him here he is still my cheerleader sitting in that chair.

Maybe the real gift has no finality to it.

Perhaps it is to continue to move forward. And if one of those steps is completing this novel, then I hope he will unwrap it with all of the love that I will have poured into it, send me a little nod and say “That’s my girl. Keep going!”