Hope you are well despite everything!
Thursday August 26, 2021 | By Hieronymus Hawkes | Writer's life
Just ruminating a bit about where I am in my life. I retired after a 32 year career flying jets for the Air Force and Reserves just over 3 years ago and embarked on a new journey as a simulator instructor and writer.
A little more than a year ago my wife of 28 years passed from a recurrent case of breast cancer that was caught much too late.
In the time since then my life has changed dramatically. I met my soulmate. This takes nothing away from my late wife. We had a wonderful marriage and raised four kids together, but we were very different people. She was very solitary and loved being at home with the family. She loved peace and quiet and working out. She loved our kids and our dogs, but we were getting to place where our kids were grown and we would have been empty nesters. She was a brilliant person and could focus on something without getting bored better than anyone I have ever met, but she struggled with being out in public.
My new life accomplice is an amazing person, and also a widow, that shares so many things in common with me it is almost spooky. We joke that we were married to the same person, one that would rather stay home and do something quiet. But honestly that is not us. We love music and we like it loud. We love to travel and adventure and see live music and we are doing that together, and despite the restrictions that came with COVID, it has been wonderful. Something I didn’t think I would have in my life ever again. She even got me to do karaoke for the first time last weekend!
My youngest daughter got married and graduated college and moved away to Florida. Somewhere in there she and her husband both got COVID, but it didn’t hinder them too much, thank God, other than the loss of her sense of smell. She is only now starting to recover that.
I published my first novel. I am way behind on what I spent putting it out and marketing it, but I figured I was going to pay for my lessons with this book, and I feel like I have. The next novel release should go a lot smoother and I know what I’m doing (mostly.)
My eldest son started law school, commuting from home for now. My youngest child started his freshman year, after a gap with everything that was going on in our lives.
I feel like I have reached a new stage of my life, and I also feel a little bit like a butterfly that has emerged from a cocoon, with so much to see and experience.
I am discovering just how much I love music. I have for a long time, but the depth of my love for music, especially 70s soft rock, alternative rock and pop punk, is making me regret that I didn’t invest in learning an instrument or learned to sing or how to engineer or really anything related to the music scene. We’ve been rewatching (new for me) Dave Grohl’s Sonic Highways, and it hits me in the gut just how much I love everything about the music scene, from song writing to performing, and how artists do it for the love of it, how it drives them and just how much talent they have for creating something. And their drive to do this makes me a little jealous. To know what you wanted to do since you were 12 or 13 years old. God, how I would have loved that.
I find that I am a very balanced person. A big picture guy. I went to college a little too soon, I was 17, and didn’t take it seriously. I missed out on a lot of cool things because I simply didn’t have the bandwidth. But now I am slowly catching up. I am happy and in love and loving life. I have several guitars that I hope to learn to play someday, but maybe that’s not my thing. I do love to sing now and I am a writer, maybe that will be a thing. Who knows. But despite everything, all of the loss and pain and misery of the last year and a half, I still think life is good and only getting better.
I hope it finds you well.