Twenty years ago today, CJQ and I stood in St. Cecelia’s church in New Jersey and said “I do.” All three of our daughters were there, as well as all three of our precious godchildren who we consider nieces. It was hot as blazes, but we had our reception in the courtyard behind our townhouse, under large white tents and had great food and a wonderful time.
Holy Moly, but a lot changes in 20 years. Two of our girls are married now (dress above belongs to youngest one), third doesn’t speak to us at all. The kids now have kids. We’ve moved to Florida. We love the heat and despise the cold. His parents have gone home to the Lord, as have a good many of our friends. We’ve got our own health challenges. After more than 37 years in Corporate America, I have my own writing business, helping people realize their dreams. It pays a few bills, helps a few charities, and I’m in control of the downsizing plans. No more pink slips for me!
When asked how long we’ve been married, CJQ will sigh and say, “Seems like a hundred years,” and I laugh, because sometimes, it really, really does. I feel the same way. Over the years, he’s bought and sold enough man-toys to fund the Wounded Warrior Project. Every time we got a home the way I loved it, he wanted to move. We’ve battled over the kids, the money, the jobs, the toys and the moves. He even refused to read the first short story I sold back in 1999, and he was the main character.
But our battles, struggles and scares, have brought us closer – to God and each other. Not that we don’t still have our share of disagreements from time to time, but we disagree differently now. More quietly. More respectfully. We agree to disagree on things, I guess.
As I mulled all this over very early in the morning, just after the sun came up and the rooster up the road crowed, I had an aha moment. My writing career started its journey in 1993, too. Not that there weren’t starts and stops along the way.
A writing career isn’t that different from a marriage. It isn’t going to work if you don’t stand pat, stick it out, learn what works and what doesn’t, struggle to get it right, forgive what didn’t, keep dreaming, keep working hard, keep moving forward. Keep learning new things, keep growing and keep believing in yourself.
Anyway, life, love, and writing careers ain’t perfect. But I’m certainly grateful for all three, particularly for the people I’ve met along the way, the children we’ve been blessed with, the lessons learned.
I wish all of my readers much joy, peace and success, in your writing and your life.
And I wish CJQ a very Happy 100th Anniversary!
See you Sunday – keep reading and writing! Nancy Q.