Monday, July 15, 2013

A Day to Remember: Bastille Day, a Book Launch, and a New Heart

For many reasons, yesterday was a day to remember.

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
For the drive to the launch, I carpooled with Sheree, Marcia, and Lynn, three other Well Versed contributors.

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.


  1. Donna, I'm so glad all went well. Prayers for all involved. Great book launch, by the way!

  2. So glad to hear everything went well with your sister-in-law.

  3. Donna--I'm so glad the surgery went well. And I agree with Tammy--it was a great book launch.

  4. Oh, Donna, was a blessing filled day for you and your extended family. It is nice to read of good news for you.

  5. What a wonderful post, Donna! I'm so happy for you and your family. :)

  6. Don't worry about anything. Pray about everything. Phillippians 4:6 is my favorite Bible verse. Alot of friends and family were praying for you.

  7. Hi Marcia,

    Hi Tammy,
    Thanks. It was great to visit you on Sunday!

    Hi Janet,
    Thanks. It was a special day.

    Hi Sioux,
    Thanks for joining the fun--and for taking photos.

    Hi Claudia,
    It was splendid news. Yesterday when I spoke with my brother I could hear the joy in his voice.

    Hi Madeline,
    Thank you. We are all so grateful.

    Hi Sheree,
    Thanks for your friendship and prayers.

  8. How good to "meet" you! And what a day the 14th turned out to be for you and your family!

  9. How wonderful for your family, Donna! Wishing your SIL much health with her new heart. It is truly a miracle of blessing.

    Your trip sounds like a blast. I want to know what the heck is in the water up there! Ya'll have more successful authors being continually published than anywhere else I know of. Congrats to all of you!

  10. Wow, what awesome news! Sending prayers that your sister-in-law's journey of healing goes according to plan. Also congrats on the book launch. What fun!

    Critter Alley

  11. You must have been so torn wondering about your sister and trying to enjoy the book launch. Comngrats to you on your publication, and blessings to your sister for a speedy healing.

  12. Hi Rebecca,
    Thanks, and thanks for stopping by.

    Hi Lisa,
    It was an amazing day.

    Hi Pat,
    Thanks. Getting a new heart is a miracle for my sister-in-law.

    Hi Linda,
    It was my sister-in-law who got the new heart. She is doing remarkably well. Already sitting up.



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