Some years are more memorable than others, and that is certainly the case with 2013 for me. It brought illness and death to my home, as well as new beginnings and a renewed focus for the future.
The Bad* Losing Tara. What more can I say about losing my brave, perfect little fur baby. Knowing the end was coming for many months did nothing to lessen the pain when that awful day came, and now almost six months later her loss is as raw to me as it was that first morning I woke up to life without her. To try and put a positive spin on things, she showed me that I have a strength in me that I never knew I had and because of her I made the decision to finally pursue my cat writing aspirations.
* My Parents' Health. Watching your parents age sucks. In March my father had a mini-stroke. Over the past 20 years he's had 3 heart attacks, but for some reason a stroke just seemed so much scarier. It brings to mind debilitating side-effects and a lifestyle forever altered. Thankfully he recognized the signs and sought help immediately, and he was left with no lasting impacts. My mom, who for most of her adult life has struggled with scoliosis (curvature of the spine), exacerbated by a car accident 15 years ago, continues to worsen. Everyday is more of a painful struggle to get around, and I find myself wondering more than ever how much longer until she's confined to a wheelchair. I know that aging is a natural part of life, but watching the ones you love hurt is just so hard.
The Good* Adopting Truffles. She's an awfully little girl to be assigned the task of mending a broken heart, but she has stepped up to the plate and performed flawlessly. Not a day goes by that she doesn't bring a smile to my face and joy to my heart. I pray that we have many, many happy years together.
* The Redefining of a Blog. When I started blogging a little over two years ago, it's purpose was to be an online version of my book journal so that I could share my love of reading with others and hopefully introduce new readers to some of my favorite books. Of course I talked about Tara now and then, but cats weren't a focus. Then she got sick and I found that writing about her became therapeutic for me. Earlier this year I joined the BlogPaws Community and a whole new world opened up. I discovered that many, many people feel the way that I do about their pets...they are pet parents. The purpose of blogging is to write about our passions, the things that drive us, and for me life has always been about cats and books. I couldn't live without either one. I couldn't be happier that in some ways Truffles is "taking over" the blog. Blogging with her and about her makes me so, so happy.
In joining the BlogPaws Pet Blogger Network we're receiving amazing opportunities to work with pet brands and earn some money while blogging. I will always write about the books I love so much (especially cozy mysteries), but Mochas, Mysteries and More's primary focus now is pets, primarily cats. I only wish I had the foresight to name the blog Mochas, Mysteries and Meows!!!
Massive thanks go to Debbie at Glogirly Design for the incredible blog makeover she did for me back in February. She has become such an inspiration to me and an extra-special blogging friend.
* Becoming a Member of the Cat Writers' Association. As I said in my original blog post, this was quite simply a dream come true. I've always dreamed of being a (preferably cat) writer one day, and it took me quite awhile to realize that by blogging I am writing! I may never be able to make a full-time income on my writing, but isn't the purpose of a New Year to look forward to a fresh start and realize that anything is possible?
What was 2013 like for you? Will you remember it for something extraordinary or will it fade into obscurity?