LK Madigan, and the Question of Why

A brief timeout from regular programming: 

If you are tuned in to the YA twitter scene at all, you may have heard that the YA world lost an author a couple of days ago. She was 47 years old.

The YA writer community is uniquely small. I didn't know LK Madigan (Lisa Wolfson) personally, but I know her books, Flash Burnout and the Mermaid's Chair. And I know her dear friends. My heart is aching for them right now.  

And I know her disease. Last month, Lisa announced on her blog her diagnosis of Pancreatic Cancer, the same disease my dad is fighting right now. 

The question everyone seems to ask, and never get an answer to, is, why? 

Why her? Why my dad? Why so young? 

Does everything really happen for a reason? Are we supposed to learn some greater lesson? 

I can't think like that. I can't believe there is some higher being up in the sky, ruthlessly moving us around the earth as if we were pawns in some chess game, strategizing the fallout of each decision, waiting for the moment of checkmate. Will we be the Checkmator, or the checkmated? It's a toss-up. I can't think that we are dominoes, set up only to take a fall, in the hopes that with our bruises we will "learn lessons".

I don't believe those brave warriors who share space with my family in the infusion room week after week are there because someone flipped a coin, pronounced a verdict and sentenced them in the name of gaining wisdom. 

No. If there is a God (and I believe there is), I prefer to think he is watching over us as perils of this world take their course. 

And when we fight the things that threaten our mortality, he fights with us.

And when we lose, he feels that loss.

And when we cry, he cries for us. 

There is no Why.

I don't write this post as someone who was in Lisa's circle of friends, or someone who could presume to speak for any of them. 

I'm writing it because these thoughts have been occupying my mind, and I couldn't write about anything else today, even though I tried. I had a post about bowling with Kid C all ready, but the darn thing refused to be written. Sometimes being a writer is about writing the things that demand to be written.

So, in honor of an author who I admired but didn't know, and in honor of all the books she didn't get the chance to write, let's follow Lisa's own instructions:

“The main thing is to WRITE. Some days it might be 2000 words. Some days you might tinker with two sentences until you get them just right. Both days belong in the writing life. Some days you may watch a ‘Doctor Who’ marathon or become immersed a book that is so good you can’t stop reading. Some days you may be in love or in mourning. Those days belong in the writing life, too. Live them without guilt.” (via Colleen Lindsey)

Her family has set up a trust fund for her son's college education. You can find out more about it here.

Let's hug our loved ones, pray for Lisa's family and friends, and focus on living life. Buy a book. Buy Lisa's book. Write a page. Take a breath. For me, I think a Dr. Who Marathon sounds great right about now. Who's with me?

Don't leave me hanging in the comments. I feel nervous enough putting this post out there. Tell me what all y'all are doing this weekend. And if you're new to the blog (I've gotten a bunch of new followers lately) please stop by and say hi and introduce yourself!