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In the book of our life, we often find ourselves flipping through pages, marveling at the swift dance of each chapter. It's like watching a sandstorm in the vast desert of time, where tiny particles of experiences swirl and reshape the landscape of our existence. And, let me tell you, my chapters have been nothing short of a captivating novel sprinkled with twists and turns, a pinch of challenges, and a generous serving of personal growth.

 

Picture this: the first chapter, an era of teaching art that seamlessly flowed into the canvas of family and farming life. But, oh, life loves a plot twist! A curveball entered the scene when my (farmer) husband faced a life-threatening cancer diagnosis. Suddenly, the palette of my life transformed. I shelved my paints and delved into the world of organic health foods, armed with a mission to boost his immunity and support his recovery. The result? 22 best-selling cookbooks that traveled the globe, landing on kitchen shelves from New Zealand to the USA and the UK. I even dabbled in health food restaurants and collaborated with manufacturers to create food products and appliances for the wellness-conscious generation.

 

Cue another narrative twist. Though my darling husband survived his first cancer storm he would be diagnosed with terminal asbestos cancer (mesothelioma) some twenty-three years after his first cancer. He did not win this battle, passing in 2006. To find the woman I would become on the other side of living life without him, I embarked on many solo expeditions. I chased after the life in my life. Writing became my new love, birthing an early memoir, The Seagull, An Unexpected Love Story and a fictionalized story about my life - a debut novel titled, 'Seagulls on the Ganges.' Photography became my other great love.

 

But wait, there's more! Just when I thought the plot had unfolded completely, a call from the past echoed in my ears. My art, the long-forgotten creative urging, beckoned me back. With brushes, paints, and canvases, my next chapter unfurled with the vivid strokes of creativity to tell a poignant story of the growth I found in my journey after loss.

So here I am, sharing the tale of my chapters, each a stepping stone that shaped, molded, and sculpted the desert of my new life, after Bruce. If there is one lesson I have taken away from my life so far, it's that life's novel is never quite finished. As the authors of our story, we are constantly adding twists and turns and the motivations and inspirations that drive us to fill our pages, with the brilliant hues that make our story uniquely ours.

 

So, my fellow protagonists, let's turn the page to our next adventures, armed with humor, warmth, and the unwavering spirit that comes with being ageless, adventurous and resilient. Cheers to us as we chase the life in our life.

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