This time last week I was composing an email to a dear author friend.
This is something we had done numerous times since our first meeting in 2012 at the Black Authors Rock Weekend.
It wasn't until a couple of years ago, when she was the moderator for a panel I was on at Busboys and Poets that we became email pals.
I was in awe of her writing, had been since her novel, Where Did We Go Wrong? hit the Essence best seller list. She told of how she got up, stayed in her PJ's and wrote until she got tired.
Well, as I composed that email I was telling her that I was finally getting my tiny house and finally make the commitment to write every day. I knew she would find something funny to say and then, as always encourage me to 'set aside space, time and just let my creative juices flow".
I always looked for her inspiration messages on Instagram and while I hadn't gotten a response from my early morning email; I knew she would respond to it.
Then my heart got crushed around 9 pm Monday night.
I saw messages popping up in my stream about how we needed to PRAY for her husband and son. How we needed to hope that everything would be OK. I didn't want to go to her page because I didn't want to know what they were talking about.
But I had to know.
And I learned late Monday night that my writing, email, author friend had died.
To say that my heart was crushed is an understatement. My heart hurts..literally. I have been crying since learning of the news. I can't stop smiling because I know her smile is forever and I can't stop from wishing that she was still here. That she would answer that last email; that she would send that inspiration message on Instagram.
But Monica is not.
She has gained her wings and we are left with a huge whole in the literary community.
We are selfish because we want her here but there are reason why her shoulder was tapped. There is a reason why her laptop will never come back on. There is a reason why that space on her bed, that held her while writing will never be occupied.
It's because she is now writing that next novel in her other home. She is now writing as much as she wants and will never know about deadlines, edits and rejection.
She is where we all hope to be; she just got there first and now she is writing and holding our seat at the table.
Rest eternally my beautiful friend as I will miss you and will never forget our emails every Monday morning.