Saturday, January 24, 2015

Life's Hardest Lessons

Life has a way of grabbing our attention, of turning us around and making us think. We have a way of getting distracted and wandering down paths that lead us nowhere. Then a sobering moment stops us in our tracks.

As an author, I've had the privilege over the years to meet so many others who share my passion for writing. I've come to know (to whatever degree social networking allows us to know) so many talented, generous, creative people. One of those authors was Holly Gilliatt. I never had the chance to meet Holly face to face. I won't claim to have known her as well as some others did. We were fellow authors at Turquoise Morning Press and 'friends' on Facebook.

What I got to know in a very short time was that Holly was a loving wife and mother, had a wicked sense of humor, was a very talented writer, and bore the courage of a thousand women in her battle with pancreatic cancer. When some might have given up, Holly stood up. She didn't sit and wait for death. She forged ahead into life, embracing each and every moment. She continued to follow her passion for writing as well as her passion for life.

Though Holly and I never met or even shared a spoken conversation, it was easy to see all of this in her--through her writing, her sharing on Facebook of her love for her family and friends, and her travels. Holly's courage and strength amazed me and, at times, shamed me. She taught me a few things. Holly taught me that, first of all, we're all terminal. Don't wait. Don't put off the things that are important to you. Don't get distracted and wander aimlessly, but focus and follow your passions, the loves of your life. Don't sit back and let life happen. Take it by the hand and fly with it, rise and fall on the currents of life. Laugh with joy. Love deeply. Hold preciously this gift you've been given.

Holly left us far too soon at the tender age of forty-three. She will live on through her family and friends. She also left the rest of us a legacy in her writing. I think you can measure the depth and openness of a person by the way they are missed by those who never met them, but whose lives were touched by them all the same. This was Holly.

Holly's books are available at
and at

Read more about Holly at author Karen Booth's blog: