Historically, July 14 is Bastille Day, the day the French, and other countries, commemorate the conclusion of the French Revolution.
Locally, several writers celebrated the July 14 Well Versed 2013 book launch with the Columbia Chapter of the Missouri Writers Guild at the Unity Center in Columbia, Missouri. The Sunday afternoon event brought out writers, friends, and family members.
|Lynn, Marcia, Donna, Sheree, Linda|
The room was crowded, and several chairs had to be added to accommodate attendees. One of Lynn's grade-school classmates showed up for the event, along with Lynn's critique group pals Sioux and Tammy. Sioux took several photos, including the one on the left.
During the celebration, editor Linda Fisher announced the names of the Judges' Picks in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. She also handed out certificates to winners and honorable mentions. Afterwards, several contributors read and signed books; conversations were friendly and snacks plentiful.
During the drive, Lynn, Sheree, Marcia, and I chatted and shared stories about our lives and how we met our husbands. I also told them about how anxious I was because of a call I received that morning.
For my family, July 14 is a day to remember because my sister-in-law has a new heart.
After months of hospital stays, setbacks, hopes, waiting and praying, yesterday morning my brother received a call to be at the hospital around 10 a.m. The transplant team believed they had a perfect match, and if all went well my sister-in-law's surgery would be late in the afternoon or early evening. I thought about going to the hospital instead of the launch, but one of my sisters convinced me we might get in the way. Coincidentally, yesterday was the day of a special Mass for our sister-in-law's heart health.
During the book launch, I discretely checked my phone for news from home. On the return trip, I received a call that surgery was a go for the evening. Late last night I received another call that, according to the surgeon, everything went "splendidly."
This morning when I spoke with my brother, we talked about how it truly was a miracle that his wife now has a strong, young heart, and how grateful we all are for the God-given talent of the surgeon and the medical team, for the generosity of the organ donor's family, but especially to God for the gifts he gives that others share.
So, yesterday will be a day I will remember -- for the book launch and for spending an afternoon with several writing friends, but most of all I will remember July 14, 2013 as the day one family's organ donation gave my sister-in-law a new heart and a second chance on life.