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Friday, September 10, 2010

Touching Your Dream

Recently, on Absolute Write Water Cooler, we received news that one of our members passed away suddenly.

It upset me more than I realized. As I went about my day, I kept thinking more and more about this lady, a stranger to me.

Her name was Irene and she wrote middle grade fiction. Only recently, she received news from an agent wanting to represent her.

Reading her blog, I felt her joy and excitement at receiving the news. There were several agents interested in her manuscript, but when she spoke to the first agent who offered representation, she immediately felt a connection. That was who she wanted.

Irene touched her dream however briefly, and I hope that brought her some measure of contentment.

I often ponder on life and death. It's important to me to leave this world a little better than I found it. I might not be able to change big things, but maybe I can make some hurts less painful, some joys more powerful, and make friends to last a lifetime.

I think Irene accomplished that. All the interest from agents was just icing on the cake--a little personal woohoo for her bucket list. Judging by the support on AW, she accomplished a lot more than that.

She helped others with their manuscripts,
offered a shoulder to cry on when things didn't go as hoped, and urged others to rally and buy her friends' books. She sounded like a wonderful person. The kind of person I'd like to be. The kind of legacy I'd like to leave.

The word on the grapevine says that her husband will continue with Irene's project and I hope with all my heart that it'll get picked up. If it does get published, I intend to buy it as a tribute to a life well spent.

Rest in peace, Irene. You left behind more than a manuscript. You left an indelible impression on people you didn't even know.

What sort of legacy would you like to leave behind? If you knew tomorrow was your last day, what would you do today?

34 comments:

Liz Fichera said...

So sad. Puts life into perspective and what's really important.

Mike Keyton said...

You're put on this Earth to give and Irene sounds like she did exactly that - as do you Maria.
Pope Michael 1st

Dru said...

Makes you think about not putting your dreams off for another day.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Aww, that is sad to hear.
I guess in the grand scheme of things, I'd liked to be remembered for more than just writing a book or getting it published.
I'd liked to be remembered as someone kind, funny, and helpful.

Meghan Schuessler said...

That is so sad. But it's wonderful that her husband is following through with her work in her memory.

Maria Zannini said...

Liz: I don't know why it affected me the way it did. I'm so glad she got the call before she passed.

Maria Zannini said...

Mike: When God throws out lightning bolts, I don't want to be standing next to you. LOL!

Thanks, though. That's sweet of you to think of me that way.

Maria Zannini said...

Dru: Isn't that the truth? This is why housework and dishes aren't high on my priority list. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Jennifer: You accomplished that, hon. In spades. I count myself lucky to know you.

Maria Zannini said...

Meghan: I was very happy to hear her husband wanted to continue her work. I'd like to think mine would too. At least I hope so.

February Grace said...

What a beautiful tribute post, thank you for sharing it with us. I too hope her project gets picked up but even if it doesn't it sounds like Irene already truly made her mark in this world in the lives of her friends.

Thank you for telling us about her.

~bru

Barbara Ann Wright said...

I'd take my husband and my loved ones and go somewhere I've never been. I'd want to die in the open somewhere beautiful.
I'm glad Irene got a woo-hoo moment before the end. And I'm glad someone thought to tell her cyber friends what had happened to her. All too often, people disappear from my life, and I wonder what happened to them, if they passed on or just tuned out. My husband has already agreed that, if something happens to me, he'll post on my blog so everyone knows what became of me.

Maria Zannini said...

February: It was one of those things that haunted me all day. Irene will be missed.

Marianne Arkins said...

So sad, but wonderful she touched so many people and came so close to her dream. I beautiful post, Maria, and one that makes a person think.

Thanks.

Maria Zannini said...

Barbara: I'm glad your hubby would be willing to update everyone. It would mean so much to us (your online friends).

Unless someone shows Greg how to work Blogger, my demise will probably be a footnote in someone else's blog. LOL.

I've tried to teach him several times but he doesn't use it enough to stick.

Maria Zannini said...

Marianne: Isn't it amazing how many lives we touch without realizing it?

'It's A Wonderful Life' really got it right.

Ellie said...

So sad, but what a fitting tribute. However small our contact with some people, they have still as you say touched our lives.

Maria Zannini said...

Elle: So true. The internet has expanded our reach beyond borders, real or imagined.

Wendy Ramer said...

Your closing question made me think of the Nickelback song, "If Today Was Your Last Day", which I love. If today was my last day, I'd dance super silly with my kids and then fall asleep with them.

Maria Zannini said...

Wendy: That is so sweet!

***

I only know one Nickelback song (Animal) and it's kind of dirty. LOL. But I like it anyway.

It always gets me in trouble if I'm driving. For some reason, my foot presses harder on the accelerator when that song comes on.

catie james said...

I'm very sorry about Irene's death Maria.

If I knew it was my last day, I'd spend it with my parents, two favorite cousins, their spouses and their kids.

Marian Perera said...

If I knew it was my last day, I'd upload a couple of my best manuscripts to my website and ask people to enjoy them after I'm gone.

And it had better be my last day after that, because I'll be so ticked off to lose first rights otherwise.

Maria Zannini said...

Catie: I agree. I'd be with those I love and make sure they know how much they mean to me.

Maria Zannini said...

Marian:

Ref: And it had better be my last day after that, because I'll be so ticked off to lose first rights otherwise.

I nearly coughed up a lung when I read this. LOL

Good one!

Claudia said...

Hi Maria,
This is such a loaded question. To leave a legacy behind means that you had been working on it for a while. I would love to see people be more open-minded and less arrogant (or should I say ignorant) when it comes to taking care of our planet. It's the only one we have. Mother Nature is now retaliating for years of abuse and neglect. I've been educating people about this issue, so Iguess that would be my legacy (a grain of salt but it feels good knowing I cared).

jackie b central texas said...

I am not looking to leave a legacy, my carbon footprint has always been "small" in the scheme of things.. If I could do anything at all it would be to have one last day of laughing with friends that have not had contact with for awhile and to be able to make peace with whatever family is still alive at the time that I have grown apart from... Anything else would be "icing" on the cake, winning the lottery would be a great way to go out!!! {I do not play the thing so not sure how that would work}

jackie ^_^

Maria Zannini said...

Claudia:

Ref: To leave a legacy behind means that you had been working on it for a while.

Yup. How we lived our lives will be remembered by those we left behind.

Maria Zannini said...

Jackie: LOL!

My husband says that to me all the time. I don't play the lottery--so how can I win?

But if you figure it out, let me know.

Amy Inferno said...

things like these make me grateful to be alive. to answer the question, I wouldn`t leave anything behind, I`d take it all with me. :)

arlee bird said...

More than anything I hope the legacy I leave is a positive set of values and good memories that I leave with my kids.
One last day? Difficult since my kids, family, and friends are scattered all over the country. I'd probably spend some time on the phone. I'd want to spend some time with my wife and daughter and granddaughter who live nearby. And just have quiet peaceful time of reflections and enjoying my surroundings.

Lee
Tossing It Out

Maria Zannini said...

Amy: You said it. It also makes me realize I have so much more to do before I'm done. Thanks for stopping by.

Maria Zannini said...

Lee: That sounds like a nice plan. I like your priorities.

DEZMOND said...

if tomorrow was my last day I'd quickly sell my house, car and everything I have and I'd give the money to some special cause, maybe to save someone's life or send some poor kid of to college etc.

Maria Zannini said...

Dezmond: While I don't think I'd want to know it's my last day, it would be nice to physically bestow gifts while I'm alive.

A will is all well and good but you never know what those things will mean to those you left behind.