One Writer Lifting Others
By Natalie Bright
Towards the end of the year, I attended the funeral of a bestselling author from Amarillo. Guided by an obsession for the written word, she not only wrote novels and short stories, but worked as a school librarian, taught writing at the community college, and edited stories for those blessed to cross her path.
Her desire to help others was immeasurable and boundless. I was fortunate enough to have heard her speak several times, and her ability to inspire others is unforgettable. On occasion, I’d receive an email or note card from this lady with just the right message that propelled me onward. My bulletin board is dotted with her little pearls of kindness. Seeing myself through her eyes, I could reach my dreams. She not only motivated us, she made us braver.
In addition to the usual eulogy and music, a dear friend and critique partner of 35 years shared the story of her writing journey. Following that, her son-in-law spoke, and that’s when I realized there was much that I didn’t know about this woman. This young man told us about his “white mama”. As a black man married to her only daughter, he shared how his mother-in-law’s love for him had no limits. During one of the lowest points in his life, he treasures their talks about life and how her faith and belief in him made him a better man.
This remarkable young man’s mother spoke next. She shared how grateful she was to this family for accepting and loving her son during a troubling time in his life. She spoke of having a special bond with this white family that can never be broken and had no color boundaries.
Both testimonies were heart wrenching. She was living proof that the power of one loving heart can accept and affect others. The resolve of one writer to keep writing can guide others to do the same. Remembering the life of this talented lady makes me proud to be a part of a special writing community, and to have the ability to live and work in the Texas Panhandle.
Rest in Peace dear Dewanna.
In addition to a lengthy career in education, DeWanna Pace also penned twenty books and six anthologies. One of her life-long dreams was to write for HARLEQUIN. At the time of her sudden passing, she was working on a new series for Harlequin Love Inspired.
Update: A book launch will be held in Dewanna’s honor to introduce her most recent book published by Harlequin; THE DADDY LIST. Please join local authors and friends for a life celebration on March 7, 2:00 to 4:00 PM, at Barnes and Noble Booksellers, 2415 Soncy Road, Amarillo.