By Nancy Loss
Niagara Gazette — Did you ever wonder as you are hurrying around on “the hamster wheel” that there must be more out of life? Have you truly found as time ticks on that you have yet to achieve your true purpose? Moreover, would you even half-heartedly know what yours is? Well, that’s exactly what happened to me!
With what would begin with the 1998 “gushing” of a poem appropriately entitled; “The Poem That Wouldn’t Leave Me Alone,” I, Nancy, (or “Missy” as I was known to my late grandparents) would learn amid all my supposed failures that I was meant for something more. You see, this poem would not only leave me reflecting upon those I’d both loved and lost, but also facing some “pieces of puzzling memories” I had surely somehow suppressed.
At this point, while I also envisioned: “a pair of white love doves, a flickering red candle and a rainbow with a pot of gold at the end”, I made an all-out promise to “explore every line in that poem” and begin to heal all the hurt. Over time as well, I mindfully noticed that every time I would “surrender” a part of that work some special person, place or passage would always come my way with such enlightening answers, allowing their so” tapestry-threaded stories” to entwine along with mine.
Meanwhile, this was all very odd to me as I hadn’t written anything in my rainbow-accented diary or dabbled in my love of writing since my days at LaSalle High School. After all, I was perfectly content to keep working my much-treasured job behind the Emergency Room desk at Mount St. Mary’s Hospital, after forever skipping my high school typing class and somehow adapting to this skill my own way.
Then, in the early 2000’s everything changed as I found myself saddened upon losing three so-loved people in only four so-short years. At this time, I negatively asked aloud to God: “Why me?” to which He instantly replied: “No, Why NOT you, Life Is How YOU Look At It, Missy.”
And, since never having answered me before, this “grateful-regardless” thought process, changed both my grief-filled doldrums and genuine destiny allowing me to spiritually harvest also this sacredly written work!
Yet, this journey did not come without some real hitches and glitches. Where foremost, as a single mom now working two jobs amongst doing cartwheels just to keep us afloat — I felt increasingly like ever completing “this book’s calling” was caught somewhere between, who I forcibly was and where I aimed to be. Though incredibly here, no matter what “hailstorms and heartaches” I was going through — I would still be “awakened” in the overnights to continue on with this cherished cause.
Next, even as I recalled how my Grandfather would always say: “Missy, you’ve been born gifted,” the real reality remained now in neon lights that amongst all my life lessons and “lucky charms” surely God was guiding my hand!
Here is an excerpt from my book “Life Is How YOU Look At It”:
Foremost though, my favorite nickname story has deeply touched my heart. About, seven years ago, I befriended an awesome single mom I’ll simply call “Laurel.” In the midst of both our casual and colorful discussions, she also shared the fact of being a successful cancer survivor. Her life appeared on the upswing now, with the worst of her battle-scars seemingly behind her as evidenced by a flowing head of long, red hair framing a smile that spoke volumes! Remarkably too, Laurel was becoming a first-time bride next spring, complete with a faithful father figure for her 9-year-old son to savor. Yet, her long-term plan was abruptly halted when it was discovered that her cancer had returned. This time, it wreaked havoc upon her once healthy lymph nodes, allowing her non-suspecting doctors to approximate less than a year to live. Meanwhile, something drastically different developed. Laurel became determined to make her final months count, by not focusing on all she might miss out on; but by freely celebrating the miracles contained within the precious present! And, as the days wore on she appeared so angelic. Due to a stream of radiation treatments, her mane-like tresses had been replaced by a much shorter cut that was thickly sprayed to both stick up and look stylish. At this challenging countdown, it was so much easier to capture the beauty in her tell-tale eyes, as no longer clouded by the thickness of long hair once covering the contours of her cheeks. Above all, she exuded a renewed freshness and contagious inner peace, amidst a real trooper readiness to accept her approaching fate. It was here that I could only hope to handle the “winding down of my own fragile hourglass” with such frontline finesse – should I too, find myself with only months to live, children to care for and lots of dreams derailed. Luckily, this gut-wrenching moment was THE wake-up call I needed to begin my metamorphosis into the woman I was born to be! Besides (as my intuition whispered), who says these situations will always happen to someone else? Then suddenly, from this mind-blowing thought appeared childhood flickers of being born on Mickey Mouse’s birthday, dragging around a doll named “Susie”, carefully collecting Cinderella memorabilia and forever-honoring the sight of recurrent “rainbow messages” in my once tourist-swamped hometown. Yet, these precious tapestry threads were not much to go on to manifest also (as Poppy believed) that pre-conceived mission of me…Insightfully too, I knew I was entering a whole new dimension in life, and by simply letting those “scattered dominoes” just fall as they please, God would send me whomever I would need to succeed!
And, come they did, like angels for the asking. From my sweet editor, to solid computer help - to even a shining example of my very own “mini-me.” Looking back now, I know, the most uphill challenge in becoming this maiden, “butterfly/beacon/book writer” was having to crawl so far out of my “comfort cocoon” with no way to ever cram back! But even here, the Lord’s illuminating wisdom kept assuring me as I kept my steadfast promise of penning that: “It will all make sense Missy in the end.” Where ultimately too, it was those awful “personal tsunamis” and overall painful people that so helped to propel my passion to help others to heal with hope! Likewise, while I humorously equivocate this miracle-filled mission also, to like being in childbirth labor - the most humbling part of this “spiritual treasure hunt’s surrender” was willfully trusting in God’s timing amid not knowing when my book’s release date was! As, every time I would try to control it, my life’s chaos would really heat up!
Finally, while totally making sense in the end, I am still in awe as my hardcover edition appeared this fall on my late, childhood best friend’s birthday. Then, my first soft cover arrived in the mail on my eighteenth anniversary at Mount St. Mary’s Hospital and lastly, by publishing these divine works within some still- unknown-to-me deadline, I was sweetly Life Is How YOU Look At It represented, at one of the biggest book shows in the country- on none other than my birthday as well! Though, more than anything, I pray to inspire my struggling readers that: “even if you were always that last kid picked in gym class”, or still have real “visions” without solid means – God WILL shower you with blessings, if you’ll just pursue your hopes and dreams!
“Life Is How YOU Look At It” – is available online at www.westbow press.com, amazon.com and barnesand noble.com. Also carried locally at Beacon Christian Bookstore 2480 Military Road or by contacting Nancy Loss at firstname.lastname@example.org or her website at www.nancyloss.com.IF YOU GO • WHO: Niagara Falls author Nancy Loss • WHAT: Book signing of "Life is how you look at it." • WHEN: 1 to 4 p.m. today in the central food court • WHERE: Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls, 1900 Military Road