Carys Weldon Blog

Monday, January 12, 2009

Death of a dear friend...CJ Winters

I'm sorry for being a missing in action blogger. It seems like my desire not to have drama in my life never got transmitted to the energy pushers of the universe.

Let me ask for the four winners of my December holiday contests to email me again with their full name and the email address where they want their gift certificates sent, plus specify Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Paypal (Cash), or one of my publishers--your choice. That would be Brenda, Sue A., Cynthya, and Debbie as mentioned in my last blog posts. Email to: jennifer248@centurytel.net

Among other things, I'm having issues with my inbox. Apparently, it hangs up when it reaches over 5000 in one file (the new messages folder), and it's pulling up errors when I try to delete some, so I can't get to the older emails where I believe those contest responses might be. (Still waiting on one winner to respond.) Emailing me again with your preferences just saves me from fishing through pages and pages of emails.

In very heavy hearted news, I managed to open one ominous email from someone I've never met. It had a cryptic feel, and said, "Just call me, I have bad news." Or something of that nature. Normally, people don't call numbers attached to emails like that. I know I don't. But this one, I did.

I'm wondering if my psychic side had been protecting me from the news, keeping me from going into my inbox. My very dear friend, CJ Winters, passed away. I'm feeling bad that I didn't get through my inbox earlier, or that I didn't hear the news in time to go to Connie's funeral, and to be supportive to her husband and children.

Here's the obituary:

Constance Joyce Severson | d. January 3, 2009
Constance Joyce Severson, 76, of Blue Springs, Missouri passed away on January 3, 2009 at The Villages at Jackson Creek. Visitation will be held from 1-2 pm on Thursday, January 8, 2009 at Meyers Funeral Chapel with memorial services to commence at 2:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to the American Cancer Society.

Connie was born on September 9, 1932 in Marshall County, Iowa to Basil and Gladys (Kellog) Winders, who preceded her in death. She was united in marriage to Wayne L. Severson on September 13, 1958, and together they enjoyed 50 years of marriage. Connie was employed by Macy’s as a Copywriter for many years, and was a published writer many times over. Connie was a long-time member of the AOA. She was a very accomplished person and will be truly missed.

Connie is survived by her:
Husband: Wayne Severson of the home
Daughter: Dana Severson of Blue Springs, MO
Sisters: Mildren Oberlander of Fullerton, CA
Jean Hanus of Marshalltown, IA

Some of you may have purchased the anthology Deadknots with short paranormal mystery stories by CJ Winters and Jennifer DiCamillo...? I believe that's the last thing Connie had published. I am very honored to have my stories included in an anthology with such a well established, solid mystery writer as Connie.

She sent me some stories a month or so ago, hoping to do another anthology with me. I haven't even had a chance to read through them, what with the holidays and all.

Connie wrote mysteries of all types, and has many books published through Hard Shell Word Factory. You might enjoy picking up some of her works. She was a very good writer, and won lots of awards, so you can rest assured the reading will be entertaining. (Please do not misconstrue this as a crude attempt for me to boost the sales of Deadknots. I would never want to profit over the loss of a friend.)

Connie was very generous. She invited me to do the anthology with her, which opened the door of Hard Shell Word Factory to me. It is hard to get in a publishing house door. But once in, they'll take your submissions even if the submissions are closed to the rest of the world. So, that was a great favor to me. She also pointed me to other publishing opportunities. I cannot adequately express my appreciation for her help.

On a personal note:

One of the things I found most wonderful about Connie is her honesty. I could always count on her for a straight take. I value that a lot.

We often laughed over the fact that we gave it to each other hard and straight. Now, I always joked that it was expected from me--what with my erotic writing alter ego. But she, as a mystery writer, would have been expected to be secretive, convoluted, but she wasn't.

She was also into many things I find fascinating but am much less educated on: astrology, in particular. She did my astrology chart but we haven't had time to get together for her to expain it to me, although she went ahead and mailed it...I have to wonder if that was an intuitive move to make sure I received it.

Anyhow, I'm feeling like a dog paddler treading water. I always wonder why some people pass over and others stay behind. Connie's husband Wayne has had a lot of health problems, including brain surgery this last year. Her daughter, Dana, has had a kidney transplant and been struggling with rejection. Connie seemed very healthy for her age. Of the three, (despite her age), Connie would have been the last I expected to go. I understand she had a stroke.

In any case, I just needed to put a tribute here to my good friend. I loved the conversations I had with her. I've pondered the concepts she expanded for me. I hope that I can be as generous as Connie always was.

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Posted by CarysWeldonblog :: 3:56 PM :: 2 Comments:

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2 Comments:

Hello from across the river,
I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. Saying goodbye to a dear friend even if you know they are ill is so hard. Saying goodbye when it's sudden is worse. One positive thought: you had the wonderful gift of her friendship and you recognized her as a true friend. That is a great thing. I think sometimes we don't appreciate a person as we should until it's time to say goodbye...then you're left with all kinds of "should haves" and the "why didn't I." I'm very sorry for your loss and you know I'll send all healing and good wishes to you. She has been a mentor to you and now you can use that knowledge to mentor others. Hugs to you dear...Kay

By Blogger Kay, at 8:43 AM  

Hey, Kay. Nice to see you post. I've been wondering what you were up to. Thanks for the sympathy.

Connie was a good woman. I loved her honesty, as I said. And you're right, we do get hung up in the "I should've gone to see them, or called them, or something" thoughts.

We really should make the effort to talk to our friends and loved ones more, even if we have to go out of our way to do it. Or get off our sofa, or whatever.

We almost always feel better once we do. Don't we? *hugs* It's good to see you're still there. You see, this is one of those things...I have been thinking of writing or calling you repeatedly, but have put it off. I am annoyed with myself for not insisting we swing in to see you when I had to go up to Ohio. I know I wasn't far from where you live. I keep thinking it isn't that far of a drive.

But now the weather's iffy and you can't trust the road conditions. So, I sit here and think again "That's one of those things I procrastinated on and am kicking myself for."

I love your company. You and Brenda, both, and really look forward to seeing you again. How are things on the farm?

By Blogger CarysWeldonblog, at 9:36 AM  

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