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 misspent childhood watching scary movies, reading forbidden books and wishing Bigfoot would walk past his house. 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’s novels can even be found on display at the International Cryptozoology Museum. His video podcast, Monster Men, is one of the most watched horror podcasts in the world. You’ll also find him every week on the Final Guys podcast, available everywhere. He’s a bestselling author of over 25 books, all of them written with the express desire to quicken heartbeats and make spines tingle. Living with his wonderful family and two cats, he’s happy to be close enough to New York City to gobble down Gray’s Papaya hotdogs when the craving hits.

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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