Priorities

Before I get to the main course, I wanted to share a little appetizer with you. A few days ago, I signed an audio book deal for Evil Eternal! This will be my first audio book, and I’m very anxious to hear the final product. Wonder if I can request Christopher Walken to do the reading?

OK, on to more important things. The past year has been simply amazing, with releasing 2 books, signing a deal for a third, and lots of writing and other projects on the horizon. It’s literally been more than I dreamed of when I started tapping away on my word processor in the spare bedroom, back before I had kids or a direction in life.

Through all of this, my wife has been struggling with her health. For a time there, she was dying and her doctors did nothing but conduct tests and scratch their heads. Between the end of September and now, she has literally been bedridden. I can’t tell you how hard it is to see the person you love most suffer.

Luckily, a few months ago, we found an amazing  doctor at NY Presbyterian Hospital who diagnosed my wife’s problems. Even though we’ve been able to put a name to her daunting issues, things have not been easy and sometimes the treatments are worse than the cure. We’re still far from being out of the woods and always a second away from a life threatening situation. It’s like living atop a mine field.

But through all of this, there’s still a life to be lived. The kids have to be taken care of and go to school and do their homework. My day job requires an inordinate amount of time and attention. And there’s always writing and promoting and moving forward with my dream. Every minute of the day has to be compartmentalized and we all do our best to keep our emotions at as even a keel as possible. It’s not always easy, and there are plenty of times I know we’ve each wanted to just throw in the towel and escape to some magical place that will lift every burden and allow us time to heal.

So even though my recent successes have been exciting beyond measure, they’ve always been tempered by the priorities in my crazy life. In fact, out of everything, the moment that gave me the greatest sense of joy happened just a week ago when, after getting the OK from our doctor, I took my wife on a weekend getaway. We had a very small window of opportunity where the stars would align for us and she would physcially be able to do it. The smile on her face when we walked on that plane, and again at the resort, made me happier than any book deal, job promotion or lottery win could ever do.

Family is my number one priority. Their health and happiness is what matters most. Everything else, though sometimes joyful, is a distant second. Remember that next time you get hung up on something that in the end, doesn’t really mean much at all. Think of it this way. What will you remember the most fondly on your death bed? What will you wish you could go back and do again? I’ll guarantee you, it will involve the ones you love, and not the pursuit of money, recognition or material things. We’re only alive for a very brief time. Don’t waste a moment.

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About Hunter Shea

Hunter Shea is the product of a childhood weened on The Night Stalker, The Twilight Zone and In Search Of. He doesn’t just write about the paranormal – he actively seeks out the things that scare the hell out of people and experiences them for himself. Hunter Shea is the product of a childhood weened on The Night Stalker, The Twilight Zone and In Search Of. He doesn’t just write about the paranormal – he actively seeks out the things that scare the hell out of people and experiences them for himself. His novels, Forest of Shadows, Evil Eternal , Swamp Monster Massacre , Sinister Entity, Hell Hole, The Waiting and Island of the Forbidden are published through Samhain Publishing’s horror line. Hell Hole was named Horror Novel Reviews #1 horror novel of 2014. His first thriller novel, The Montauk Monster, was released June, 2014 as a Pinnacle paperback, and was named by Publishers Weekly as one of the best reads of the summer. His follow up Pinnacle novel, Tortures of the Damned, a post apocalyptic thriller, will be out July, 2015. That will be followed up by his latest cryptid tale, The Dover Demon, in the fall through Samhain. His horror short story collection, Asylum Scrawls, is available as an e-book, straightjacket not included. Hunter is an amateur cryptozoologist, having written wild, fictional tales about Bigfoot, The Montauk Monster, The Dover Demon and many new creatures to come. A copy of his book, The Montauk Monster, is currently on display in the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, ME. He wrote his first novel with the express desire to work only with editor Don D’Auria at Dorchester (Leisure Horror). He submitted his novel to Don and only Don, unagented, placed on the slush pile. He is proof that dedicated writers can be rescued from no man’s land. He now works with Don, along with several other agents and publishers, having published over ten books in just four years. Hunter is proud to be be one half of the Monster Men video podcast, along with his partner in crime, Jack Campisi. It is one of the most watched horror video podcasts in the world. Monster Men is a light hearted approach to dark subjects. Hunter and Jack explore real life hauntings, monsters, movies, books and everything under the horror sun. They often interview authors, cryptid and ghost hunters, directors and anyone else living in the horror lane. Living with his wonderful family and two cats, he’s happy to be close enough to New York City to get Gray’s Papaya hotdogs when the craving hits. His daughters have also gotten the horror bug, assisting him with research, story ideas and illustrations that can be seen in magazines such as Dark Dossier.

17 responses to “Priorities”

  1. jackiekingon says :

    A beautifully written and poignant statement of what matters most. I don’t know who said this but I find it true: The way home is ahead.
    So plug on and don’t forget to smell the flowers.

  2. flchen1 says :

    Awesome reminder to continue to reevaluate our own lives and what we give priority, Hunter. Thank you, and blessings to you and your family.

  3. Nina D'Arcangela says :

    Choosing to live your lives with all you go through is awe inspiring. The smile your wife shared with you while stepping onto that plane will linger for an eternity, as surely as the joy you convey with your words for her will as well. The perseverance you share as a family is the true definition of beauty.

    • Hunter Shea says :

      Thank you so much, Nina. I know a lot of times, it takes the deat of someone close for people to have a temporary clear vision of what life is really all about. In a way, my wife’s ‘gift’ is that we get to enjoy that vision every day.

      • Nina D'Arcangela says :

        That is the healthiest attitude, and the most beautiful way I have ever heard anyone appreciate the ‘here and now’ with! You are truly a knight in shining armour Hunter! … or perhaps that is a night is shining amour given your proclivity for horror and immense love for your family!

  4. maw25 says :

    Hugs and prayers to you and your family. Life is precious and we all need to step and remember that. 🙂 It can all come crashing down without a minute’s notice.

    Marika

  5. Jason Darrick says :

    You’re very right, Hunter. I’m keeping your family in my thoughts and hoping for the absolute best.

  6. Paul D. Dail says :

    I agree with Nina. That smile was a very poignant and visual moment you described. I could picture it and knew instantly that it was more important than anything else.

    My father went through about three years of undiagnosable pain and discomfort. Then he finally found someone who was able to diagnose it as being two problems: chronic pain and Parkinsons. Kind of a mixed bag. It’s better to at least know what we’re dealing with, but at the same time, it doesn’t make the current situation much better. I hope things will look up for you, my friend.

    And while it’s not the most important thing, success in your other endeavors will only make life easier, so I hope the same in that department as well.

    Paul D. Dail
    http://www.pauldail.com- A horror writer’s not necessarily horrific blog

  7. Joseph Pinto says :

    You’re a good man, Hunter. God bless both your wife, yourself, & your family. I watched my father battle an illness 5 years ago & know how tough & rending on the mind & soul it can be. I always have an ear for you my friend if the need should ever arise. Anything you need, give a shout!

  8. Mari Biella says :

    A very touching and beautifully-written post. I wish you all the very best in both your personal and professional lives, and many more moments of joy.

  9. Jonathan Janz says :

    Thank you for sharing that, Hunter. You’re a good man, and there’s a great deal of wisdom in what you say.

    Thanks again,

    JJ

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