We’ve been home from Winnipeg for a couple of days now, and my head is still swirling. I don’t know if it has anything to do with the cold I thought I was catching (when I got out of the car at our second last Tim’s stop before home, I honestly felt like I was walking on rubber, and not concrete!) but it definitely has to do with the whirlwind that was Key Con, and the Auroras.
As you might remember, Women of the Apocalypse was up for a couple of Aurora Awards. With everything else that was going on in my life, I was hanging on to this bit of good news like it was a life raft. I needed a light at the end of the tunnel. I really did. And I knew two other women who needed it, even more than I did. That’s why I invited my aunt and my mother to come to Winnipeg, for the awards.
You see, I was at my uncle’s funeral the day I found out my novella had been shortlisted for the Auroras. In fact, I was standing outside the get together after the funeral, using my sister’s cell phone (luddite that I am, I don’t even own one of those), desperate to hear Clint Budd’s voice say “Your story made it.”
I’m sure people at the funeral thought I was a jerk. But I didn’t care. I needed the good news.
After the funeral, my sisters and I flew home. My mother hadn’t gone to the funeral of one of her oldest friends. She couldn’t. My father was in the hospital, and he was dying. Cancer was crushing the life out of him, just the way it had my uncle.
I went to the hospital and told them both my good news. They were so pleased that, right there, in the hospital room, we began planning our trip to Winnipeg. Dad pretended to be hurt that we weren’t planning on taking him too, but only for a minute. You just can’t play those games very long when you’re dying.
We thought we had a few more months. I thought I was going to be able to come back from Winnipeg, and tell Dad all about our adventures. But I couldn’t. He died three weeks later.
My aunt came to his funeral — and that’s when we firmed up the plans for all of us to go to Winnipeg, to the Auroras. That bit of light at the end of a god awful long tunnel.
I’ll tell you tomorrow about the convention itself — how the sci fi and fantasy boys LOVED my aunt, how great our panels went, how much fun Ryan had (ha!) and how it felt to stand on the podium not once but twice at the Aurora awards.
This one was for my mom and my aunt. I’m so glad they had a good time. And I’m so glad I could give them a little bit of light.