Too often, we as a species take that for granted. We say we have lived, but what we've really done is gone through the motions. There was a time when I realized I'd become mired in the act of survival, and I was no longer truly living.
So I decided to get serious about the love I'd left behind for all that surviving: I picked up my pen and began to write. Once I began, it was impossible to stop the words from tumbling out. In fewer than 10 years, I wrote and published a dozen novels. But more than that, I've stopped merely surviving.
The books put me on a path, a winding one full of interesting people and places. Some of my most treasured friends and grandest adventures sprang from the world Throwaway created.
I've recently shifted paths again and find myself making a new home for myself, my three nearly-grown sons, and our menagerie of animals in the adorable city of Columbia, Missouri.
March 31, 2011, my family's world was forever changed when my middle son was in a horseback riding accident that left him in a coma for five days and set him on a journey that would require him to relearn everything. That fateful day changed the trajectory of all our lives in ways we could never have imagined.
Now, seven years later, I look back on our story of miracles and hardship, of things lost and found, of coming home.