My last blog--a reflection on failure--was months ago.

The blog detailed how I chose to handle the setback of having yet to sell my latest novel, but the real setbacks had yet to begin in 2018.

Near the end of the summer, I stepped off a plan after a wonderful family vacation. By the time the sun was down, I had piled up dozens of damaged electronics and appliances in my house--we were gone during a massive storm, and all signs pointed to a lightning strike doing catastrophic damage to the infrastructure of our home.

A day later, my air conditioner died as I was downstairs pulling dead cable--an unrelated failure that wasn't covered by insurance. 

A day after that, my father passed away after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. 

Just before Christmas, one of our beloved pets unexpectedly and tragically died. 

And on January 24th, I lost my mother after a long battle with lung cancer that had traveled to her brain. 

Abe Lincoln's favorite saying was "This too shall pass," an eloquent expression of what I feel is the most important skill to develop--forbearance. If the word is unfamiliar, I often equate it to resilience, to do what you can and endure what you must in any situation. 

I chose to acknowledge my pain and used my dwindling physical and mental resources to push through and accomplish what must be accomplished--sadly, my emails and sporadic blog posts weren't on that list.

However, I was there for my family, I found the closure I needed, I honored what I lost in the best way I could. I continued to create and write, even if it was small pieces at first. And on the day of my mother's visitation, I signed the contract to publish my latest novel, THE ESCAPE OF LIGHT. 

If I learned one thing along the way, it's that no matter what happens in your life, make the choice to respond well, endure what you must, and do what you can as the tidal waves of life crash down.

The truth is, those waves are inevitable. They will never stop. The question is, will you? 

About the Author

Fred Venturini is an author and freelance business consultant.

He grew up in Patoka, Illinois. In 2014, his story "Gasoline" was featured in Chuck Palahniuk's Burnt Tongues anthology. His short fiction has been published in the Booked Anthology, Noir at the Bar 2, and Surreal South. The Heart Does Not Grow Back, published by Picador in 2014, is his first novel. He lives in Southern Illinois with his wife and daughter.

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