After the HEA

Even as a kid, I always wanted to know what happened after the end of the story or book.  I spent many lovely hours imagining where my favorite stories are books would go next.  And no matter what problems or dangers I threw at the characters all came right at the end.This is probably why as an adult, I like series and why my first two manuscripts are part of a series.  And why I write romance.  I like HEA

But outside of fiction, here in the real world, our stories don’t stop at the happy moments when we achieve a longed for goal or find our true love.  Life with all it’s ups and downs goes on.

I always looked at my parents love story as a HEA.  They met, fell in love, faced adversity and overcame it.  I learned from them that making a marriage, a family, a career successful takes work and the work never ends.  But the rewards are worth the effort.

My parents have had a long life together, fifty-six years.  They have been partners, lovers, parents, best friends.  Now they are at a point in their journey where there can be no happily ever after.  My dad has dementia and Parkinson’s disease.  He can’t tell the difference between what he sees in his mind and what is actually going on.  He cannot walk very far, falls a lot, and can not carry on a conversation.  It is tearing my mother apart seeing him like this and knowing there is nothing she can do, that anyone can do to fix this and it will only get worse.

My mother always feared developing Alzheimer’s disease which runs in her family.  She never dreamed my father would be the one to lose his mind.  She never expected to be his caretaker.  But she is coping.  And determined to keep him at home.  She is having to make hard decisions.  She is having to accept she cannot do it all and needs help. She is coping.  With tears, sometimes anger and sometimes self-pity but she is doing it.

What are the lessons my parents’ story has to teach?   Avoid love because it can end badly.  Shun happiness because pain and despair might follow.  Stay where you are comfortable instead of venturing out and risking rejection? I don’t think so.

Life is a journey.  There are peaks where you feel you can reach out and touch eternity.  Times when you are so happy your body seems to small to contain your joy.  There are valleys where the road is neither hard nor easy but sometimes dull and boring.  There are deep holes you fear you may never climb out of.  We don’t know where, when or how our journey will end.  Love, family, friends, faith keep us going.  Remembering the happy times helps get us through the sad.  You are stronger than you think, can handle more than you ever imagined.  There is beauty in sunset as well as sunrise and even the darkest night will end.

If I can teach my kids even a fraction of this, I will feel I’ve been a success as a parent.

After the HEA, the story continues more compelling than before.

One Response to “After the HEA”

  1. rbs Says:

    Hello, You don’t post often but I wanted to drop in after WordPress linked your post to a recent one of mine. Im interested in your romance writing adventures as I just launched a writing centered blog: Like every other personi in this world, I want to write a book with the hopes of publishing it one day.

    I think communicating with other writers will help the process. So stop by THE WRITE GROOVE and chat with me if you have a minute.

    Thanks, rbs

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