A Poet's Life

Mona Bethke

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Revelations – Book 1:Page 1

I’d been sporting a cough for about two weeks.  Several people suggested I go to the Doctor to make sure it wasn’t something serious.  One would think a woman of my age might have surpassed the invincibilty mindset by now.

I’ve spent a lifetime burning the candle at both ends.  I guess it’s the one thing I inherited from my father that I haven’t been able to shed.  I’ve spent a lifetime not wanting to be anything like him, but the not being able to relax and enjoy where I am in life at any given time has eluded me since childhood.

So there I was hacking up a lung on a daily basis, still going to work every day, and meeting the commitments I’d made to friends to attend events. Loyalty is one thing I’ve cherished about myself throughout my lifetime.  Yesterday, I realized something was definitely wrong so I jumped in my car and drove to the ER to get checked out despite the fact that I have no insurance and very little cash flow.  They took me quickly because my blood pressure was 178/102 and I was having chest pains.  The male nurse that came in to take my EEG set a rather disturbing tone.  He walked in with the machine, started clipping the leads on those lovely sticky pads and stated, “well, let’s hope it’s not your heart.”  Really?  You think?  Then he noticed the new story about a flesh eating virus that was slowly killing a young woman and he stated, “yeah, that happens a lot…more than people realize.”  Umm okay.  He let me know it happened because the doctor “perforated” something during surgery.  So there I was, scared shitless until my EEG came back okay, alone, and wondering how this was going to play out.

While lying in my curtained off cubicle, lights dimmed, TV on the never-ending, world is ending news, by myself (with the exception of my friend Marsha who was with me via text the whole time) and teetering on being admitted, I had an epiphany.  Those of you that know me well, know that whenever I have one, a dramatic change comes about that inevitably affects my writing.

I’ve been attempting my second manifesto for some time now and each time I think I’m on track, I take the work in it and incorporate into a different book project.  I just haven’t been able to put my finger on the pulse of what the manifesto should be.  Last night it came to me.

I have narrowed my pool of creative projects to focus on down to four.  My project with Shannon, the Cougar book, my play, and the new manifesto.  I have definitely come to even clearer terms where my mortality is concerned.  Though I shall slow down enough to smell the roses every day, once the scent of life is in my veins each morning and I give my gratitudes for that revelation, the commitment to myself and what I’m trying to accomplish is in the forefront. I have the love and support of family and extended family (my friends) that continues to assure me I am not alone in this world.

That is all.

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