Gone But Still Breathing

I’ve been out for a while. Maybe you’ve noticed. Maybe you haven’t…Awe thanks you missed me…oh, okay, you didn’t know I was gone…r-i-i-i-ght…awkward.

A few health issues including a clogged artery—which collapsed, was operated on, then collapsed again, and ended up turning into a full-on artery bypass surgery—kept me in the healing / recovery stage for way too long.

Once I had (mostly) healed up—getting around fairly well with my new handy-dandy coffee-colored, folding cane (which kinda made me feel like a ninja assassin)—I only had a few weeks with my son Josiah, before he was to head off to San Diego to become a Marine. This hit me really hard and so we took off to Colorado (his choice) to cram as much sightseeing and quality time in as possible; hitting many of the beautiful places around Colorado Springs; including Manitue Springs, the Manitue Cave Dwellings, Garden of the God’s, Red Rock Canyon, the Royal Gorge, Seven Falls, Pikes Peak…I did mention that we crammed as much as we could in, didn’t I?  (You can read a few of my reviews and some of the horror stories—along with some magical experiences at my travel blog.)

We even managed to break away from the Colorado Springs agenda for a day and took the beautiful two hour drive to Estes Park to visit the truly magnificent Stanley hotel.

Once we got back to our house in Wichita Kansas, the week flew by way too fast and next thing I know, I’m standing before my eighteen year-old boy on the first floor of the Military Government building saying “I love you my son, I’m so proud of you and you should be proud of yourself,” and then the dreaded, though inevitable, final hug and “see you soon.”

Although there were several parents that didn’t show up to see their children off, and others dads that were joking, ‘now that they’re finally gone, mom and dad can start having fun again’, I’m not that kind of dad. I was a bit more emotional. It was hard saying goodbye to my son, who I’ve never gone more than a few days without talking to. Leaving Oklahoma City was the hardest thing I had done in a long time…and saying “see you soon” to my boy who was leaving for basic training (Boot Camp) for the hardest and most challenging 13 weeks of his life, was the hardest thing I’ve EVER been through.


Between the surgery, the recovery, traveling, and my son leaving to the Marines, that’s a roller-coaster (and at times a hurricane) of emotions for anyone to go through. The one constant, however, is that I am a writer. Through it all, I never stopped writing. How could I? It’s the way I exhale. I inhale everything from the universe around me, my mind processes it, fondles it, folds it into a million paper airplanes and origami creatures of living thoughts, emotions, stories, and levels of understanding, and then my fingers expel them as literary oxygen: words, sentences, phrases…stories.

I don’t know how long you can hold your breath, but the pressure that builds inside becomes painfully impossible when held for too long.

So I write. I write through the physical pain. I write through the emotional pain. I write through the sleepless nights, and I write through the mental chaos. When the world feels like it’s crushing in on my and I can’t seem to catch my breath, I write. When I’m feeling depressed and don’t want to see anyone, I write, and I write, and I write.

Sometimes I can’t figure out what to write, so I created a catalogue of feelings, as a writing resource. It has also turned out to be a positive way to acknowledge and deal with what I’m experiencing in a way that helps me to understand myself better.

Even though I disappeared from SamTheWriter’s blog for a time, I never stopped writing. If anything, I’ve written more and learned more about the art of writing while I’ve been stuck for months in recovery on my living room couch, than I have in the last several years when I was trying to write for syndication.

I’ve learned more about myself. I’ve come face to face with personal fears. I’ve discovered passions and dreams that had been hidden, dormant, deep inside me, just waiting to be rediscovered and released into the air. I learned the meaning behind writing to live and living to write, and these two ideas are not at odds with each other, if properly balanced and purposefully prioritized.

I hope you will continue to journey with me on this literary adventure. Writers need writers. It’s not about just one voice, one story, one dream, or one idea. It’s about a moving, living, breathing universe of creative thoughts, stories, experiences, dreams and imaginations that can only be born within the vast expanse of so many brilliant minds, working together; like an infinite cosmos of colorful dreams weaved together by our support and passion for the success of one another.

If you have never heard me say it before, or this is your first time visiting this little shot of literary caffeine, I hope you take to heart this most important charge: Write, Write, Write!