Jill Weatherholt

Writing Stories of Love, Faith and Happy Endings While Enjoying the Journey

The Summer of 2014

80 Comments

Image courtesy of Yolanda McAdam

Image courtesy of Yolanda McAdam

One of my favorite segments on our local news is “The Good News.” Each week the stories vary. At times they make me laugh and sometimes I cry. I’m often left with a feeling that there are still good people out there and good things do happen, more often than the network news reports.

This past summer as I was enjoying the Summer Spotlight Series, I had a bit of good news of my own. As some of you know, I’ve been living with Crohn’s Disease for over twenty nine years. I don’t talk about it very often on my blog primarily because I don’t want to be defined by a disease. It’s something I have to live with for the rest of my life, so there’s no use whining and complaining. To use a quote that I’ve never cared for, “It is what it is.”

In April of 2013, I began a new drug called Remicade. It’s a two hour infusion that is administered every six weeks. In the past, other drugs only managed my symptoms. The purpose of Remicade is to stop the spread of the disease. This summer, after being on the medication for over a year, I had a colonoscopy. I was elated when I was told for the first time since the diagnosis, the disease is currently inactive.

For now, I’ll continue with the treatments until the drug no longer controls the disease or another treatment option comes along. Whatever happens in the future, I’m thankful for Derek, my family and friends who have provided so much love and support along the way.

Another bit of good news I received during the summer involved my obsession with lighthouses. In April, I wrote a post about being driven to write a story about a lighthouse keeper. I had a strong character and his backstory in my mind, but getting it down on paper was a struggle. Not only did the story hit close to home, but I had other obligations in my life that consumed my free time.

Image courtesy of Yolanda McAdam

Image courtesy of Yolanda McAdam

In the end, a story was written, one that will always have a special place in my heart. The story was submitted and a couple months later I received an email from Southern Writer’s Magazine, “Memories of the Lighthouse Keeper” had won second place in their Best Short Fiction of 2014 and would be published in July. It was a good summer.

P.S. The beautiful lighthouse photos were a special gift I received in May from my dear friend and talented photographer, who many of you know, Yolanda McAdam. She was on a hike with her husband and thought of me when she saw the lighthouse. Thank you again, Yolanda!

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Author: Jill Weatherholt

My name is Jill Weatherholt and I’m a writer. I have a full-time job, but at night and on the weekend, I pursue my passion, writing. I write modern stories about love, friendship and forgiveness. I started this blog as a way to share my journey toward publication and to create a community for other new writers. Raised in the Washington, DC area, I’ve lived in Charlotte, North Carolina since 2004. I hold a degree in Psychology from George Mason University and a Certification in Paralegal Studies from Duke University. My first book, SECOND CHANCE ROMANCE, will release in March, 2017. It's now able for pre-order on Amazon. I was the first place winner in the Dream Quest One Short Story Contest in the Winter 2014-2015 competition. In 2014, I placed second in Southern Writers Magazine Short Story Contest. I was also a top ten finalist in Southern Writers Magazine Short Story Contest in 2012 and 2013. I’m a 2010 and 2012 winner of the NaNoWriMo Contest. I love to connect readers, visit me at jillweatherholt.com

80 thoughts on “The Summer of 2014

  1. Congratulations on your lighthouse story!!!! (Is there some way that I can read it???) I, too, love lighthouses and your friend’s photos are beautiful.
    And, wonderful news about the inactivity of your disease. I’m hoping for you that it will be that way for many, many years!

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  2. I didn’t know you had Crohn’s. So glad you’re seeing a response to Remicade. And congrats on the story win. That’s wonderful!

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  3. Wow, two pieces of good news in one post! I didn’t know you had Crohn’s, Jill, and I am so sorry you do (I know, I can never be as sorry about it as you are 😉 ). But I’m thrilled that your meds are working! And many congrats on your short story success!
    Ha, you’ve made my day 🙂

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    • Thanks, Marie! I’m thrilled too! Although I was very sick in the early years, I’ve been fortunate. Most people who have lived with the disease as long as I have had had a surgery or two by now. Thankfully, I haven’t joined that club.
      I hope you have a fantastic weekend! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wonderful news on both counts. Glad to know you are having good response to the med and that you shared your experience for others who may be suffering. Congratulations with your lighthouse story. I will want to read this one. I have always been fascinated by them. The warn others to stay away while providing others with guidance home. Their purpose is two-fold.

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    • Thank you, SK! I was nervous about starting the Remicade, but I’m happy I listened to my doctor’s recommendation.
      You’re right, the lighthouse purpose is two-fold and that’s what makes them such a fascinating structure. Funny thing though, my fear of heights has prevented me from scaling to the top of any lighthouse. One day I will. 🙂
      Have a great weekend!

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  5. Well, Jill, this certainly was a wonderful summer for you! Great news on the health situation and, of course, on having a story published about something that you are so passionate about! I feel better just having read about your good news. By the way, my sister lives in Marblehead, Ohio, on the shores of Lake Erie, where there’s a wonderful old lighthouse not far from her house. I drive by it each time I’m out there for a visit. There is something very neat about those old structures. The stories they could tell…and you did! Have a great weekend… 🙂

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    • Thank you so much for your kind words, Mark. I think I remember you mentioning the lighthouse on the shores of Lake Erie either in a post or comment. Perhaps on your next visit to your sister’s house, you can take a couple photos…hint-hint. 🙂
      Have a great weekend!

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  6. Exciting stuff x 2! I hope the meds continue to keep the Crohn’s inactive. And congrats on your story!

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  7. Great news about your story! Recognition is important for writers. I know we all say we write for ourselves but knowing others read it makes it so much sweeter. I did know you have Crohn’s. I have a much milder IBS which complicates life and makes me a terrible traveler so my sympathies go to you. I am glad there is something out there that really works. As you say, most meds for these issues are about the symptoms. You did have a really great summer.

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    • Thanks, Kate! I remember you mentioning your IBS, so I appreciate the sympathies. It was rough early on, it makes you feel like a prisoner in your home. Thankfully, I’ve always been surrounded by understanding and caring people who helped me meet the daily challenges…many who are no longer in my life, but I’ll forever be grateful.
      Have a great weekend!

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  8. Jill, so very excited for you that this new treatment for Crohn’s disease is working!!!!! Also excited that you had a career boost in the publishing of your story !!!! It is my belief that a life full of strife produces creativity. Even though we don’t like it, it is as if our minds work to create rather than accept adversity. You are a special person no matter what. A writer first. A special writer. Thanks for sharing the good news!

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    • Aw…Hollis, you’re so sweet…thank you. 🙂 I’m thrilled to finally have a treatment that works. For years, I took pills that not only were expensive, even with insurance, but they weren’t stopping the disease from spreading. I’m very happy. 🙂
      Enjoy your weekend, my friend! xo

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  9. Oh Jill, such wonderful news on both counts. I was so thrilled to learn of your amazing writing success, you were definitely called to write your story (and can’t wait to read it!), huge congratulations once again, but also to read of your current treatment for Chron’s with such fantastic results. So happy for you 🙂 I wish I could give you a great big hug right now. And yes, Yolanda’s photographs are beautiful, how very kind of her to send them to you. Lighthouses are so evocative and atmospheric. They can also remind us of a little ditty from time to time 😉 Have a wonderful weekend Jill, you and DFD, and see you soon 🙂 xoxo

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    • I feel your hug, Sherri…thank you so much! You’re right, I did feel called to write that story. Actually it all started after that little “ditty” you posted on your blog. After that, lighthouses took over my world and real life intervened and then a story was born. Thank you. xoxo
      Enjoy your weekend!

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  10. Jill, this is marvellous news. I’m so happy that your condition is being well managed now and I applaud your positive attitude towards it. Just as marvellous of course is being published – I’m so happy for you – what an achievement – well done! I’m hoping that I can obtain a digital copy of the magazine – I must look into it properly – I’d love to read your story.

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  11. This was fantastic news, Jill! I especially am thankful about your Crohn’s Disease being put on ‘hold’ due to your treatment. Which sounds extensive, with it being injected and all, so glad for you and your friends and family, too. They are all cheering, I am sure! Me, too!
    As far as your story, Awesome! Congratulations on completing it and being published! I love that Yolanda sent you these lovely photos of lighthouses. I am one (I think you may remember) growing up on Lake Erie, who loves lighthouses! I have been to many along the Eastern Seaboard, from Maine to Florida, but loved the one at the farthest point on the Upper Peninsula, the best. The air and the atmosphere just was so surreal and serene, too.
    Smiling for you and proud of our being friends! Have a super weekend, Jill!

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    • Thank you so much, Robin! That was my biggest fear that after a year of treatments, the colonoscopy would reveal no change. Thankfully, my body responded to the drug, not everyone does. So now, every six weeks, when I head out for my treatment, I know it’s working…it’s a great feeling. 🙂
      Oh yes, I do remember your love of lighthouses. Your description of the lighthouse on the Upper Peninsula sounds wonderful…thanks for sharing!
      Happy Weekend my friend! xo

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  12. Congratulations on your story. I remember you talking about it! And I’m so happy to read about your health as well. What a great summer for you. xx

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  13. I read this post last night Jill just before bed and thought of you as I slipped into sleep. I love your attitude about your health and am happy for you there is a treatment which is helping. I have a young friend who was diagnosed in his late teens and who has spent years discovering what foods work for him and what don’t. He lives free of effects now. I know how debilitating it can be from him.

    Many congratulations on your story being placed and being published. Will I be able to find a copy anywhere? I would love to be able to support you! xoxo

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    • Pauline, your words always provide such comfort…thank you. I also spent many years trying to figure out what foods were “good” and what were “bad.” One thing I did learn that I never knew was just because your body isn’t displaying the classic symptoms of Crohn’s Disease, doesn’t mean it’s not spreading. I thought I was in remission for years because I didn’t have symptoms, but a colonoscopy told a different story.
      There is a link in this post for the story, but if you have any issues, just shoot me an email and I’ll provide you with a copy. I would love for you to read my story, Pauline. You’re a gem!
      Happy Weekend to you! xo

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  14. Double great news Jill, excellent. Maybe a little payback for all the support you give to the blogging community.

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  15. I’m glad you found some comfort from that medication and I hope it keeps working. We all know people with chronic abdominal diseases and that such illnesses can take the joy out of life.

    Back in the 90s, I did a coastal drive in Maine to check out the different lighthouses. It took a looooong time to wind my way down that coastline, but it was ultimately a cool experience.

    Congrats on your story being selected. I have no doubt it is a fine piece of writing.

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    • You got that right, Eric…Crohn’s is definitely a joy suck, but it’s a card I’ve been dealt, so I deal with it.
      I would love to make the coastal drive in Maine. I’m sure it’s spectacular. Come to think of it, I have a good friend who moved to Maine last year, she’s been wanting me to come for a visit…hum.
      Thank your for your kind words, Eric. Have a great weekend and good luck at that weigh-in!

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  16. Jill,
    Congratulations on both successes! And best wishes for many more,
    Theresa

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  17. WONDERFUL news on both counts Jill 🙂 Thank you for the mention ❤ I bought the online version of 'Best Short Stories' and have just finished reading your winning story. I love it! It is sweet, heartfelt and relevant. My gran who had dementia lived with us (almost) until her passing, so I can relate. She remembered things from decades earlier and would often talk about it like they were happening in the present. Love your 'his brain is tired' description. How else can you explain it to a child? Great story.

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    • Oh Yolanda…not only did you send me a lovely gift, your beautiful photos to accompany this post, but you leave a comment that gave me so much joy. When I wrote the story, I had hoped that those touched by Dementia or Alzheimer’s would have a special connection. The fact that you did, makes me feel as though I’m not alone. Thank you for that! xo

      Liked by 1 person

  18. What a happy post, Jill! I am thrilled for you about the publication, but for your lifestyle and future happiness the health news is just fantastic! You make so little trouble of the illness and are always positive and cheerful. You really deserve this lucky break. Hugs! 🙂

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  19. Jill, it makes me seriously happy to hear that such a wonderful person as yourself is being blessed with good news on multiple fronts! Congrats on keeping that Crohn’s in check and congrats on doing so well with your story. So is it July of 2015 that the story will be available?

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    • Oh, thank you, Phillip. I am truly blessed with good health, a great family and friends and a wonderful community of bloggers, like yourself.
      My story was published in July of this year. There is a link, but you can email me also.
      Enjoy your weekend with Angus!

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  20. Brava, Jill! Such good news to celebrate. Remicade helping your body, and your wonderful story for your heart and writing spirit=double reasons to be happy and hopeful. This is truly a wonderful combination of blessings, Jill, and I’m so very happy for you.

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  21. I’m so thankful for your good news, Jill!!! As Marylin said, “Brava.” Keep writing those stories! And I’m grateful for your health news. That’s wonderful.
    I sent you a little something in the mail. It should arrive on Monday. 🙂

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  22. (Whoops! I wrote this on the wrong page. Now I’m copying it over.)

    What wonderful news, Jill. I’m glad to hear the new treatment is helping. I hope it will continue for a long, long time.

    Congratulations on the acceptance of your story. That’s great news. I’ve just started going through the old photos I’d thrown in boxes. We have several good lighthouses on the Washington coast. If I find a photo, I’ll send you a copy. I few years ago my family spent a few days in the lighthouse keeper’s house at Cape Disappointment at the mouth of the Columbia River. A delightful vacation! Here’s a link to some photos. http://www.lighthousefriends.com/light.asp?ID=115

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  23. I love good news too, Jill, and I’m so glad you shared yours with your blog readers! Health is something I appreciate more and more as I advance through middle age; it’s something we should never take for granted. How wonderful this drug has led to your current diagnosis! I wish you all the best for continued good health. And of course congratulations on Memories of the Lighthouse Keeper. Acceptance and publication is the ultimate accolade for a writer.

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    • We’re constantly bombarded with bad news, so I savor any tidbit of good news, Gwen. I’ve lived with this disease since my early 20’s, I’ve always appreciated good health and thank God every day when I’m able to get out of bed. When you’re unable to go about your daily activities you appreciate the fact that you can actually get up and go to work each day.
      Thank you…Memories of the Lighthouse Keeper holds a special place in my heart, it’s a story that hits close to home. xo

      Liked by 1 person

  24. And by the way, thanks for the link to the mag. I clicked over to the page and ordered my copy!

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  25. Woo hoooo! Doubly blessed! Unless you count Derek, other family, lighthouse-picture-taking friends, and all else that is good in your life – than we’d probably have to say quazillionly blessed! What a rich summer, Jill – so happy to share in your good news!

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  26. Congratulations Jill! I’m so happy to hear that you’ve had some good news with the Crohns. And great news on your story. I’ve just bought the online version and read it – beautiful, poignant and without spoiling it for anyone, I love the discovery that’s made that will have such a legacy. Well done 🙂

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    • Thank you so much, Andrea. I’m consistently impressed by your beautiful writing, so your kind comment mean so much. I appreciate you taking the time to read my story. I try to write from the heart and this story was in my heart for over a year. xo

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Jill Im so happy you have had some good result with your health. I hope you are celebrating your writing efforts thats fantastic. Congratulations and the skies the limit. Look forward to reading more from your world soon.

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  28. Jill, we need to get together and celebrate. What good news indeed! Nothing is better than good health, even if it is a remission of sorts, and congratulations on your short story. How fabulous. You and I are having a good year!

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  29. Congratulations, Jill, on both counts. There’s nothing gives a person more satisfaction or sense of well being than to complete a difficult task or overcome a challenge, whether it be a writing challenge or a health issue. I am so happy for you and pray everything continues successfully. 🙂

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    • Thank you so much, Elizabeth. I appreciate your prayers. Winning a contest and getting published was great, but receiving good test results was the best news I’ve had in a long time. I can’t write if I’m sick…right? Enjoy your week!

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  30. Happy times two! God bless! In my prayers always… Congrats! xo

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  31. Jill, I’m so happy that your new medication is working. What great news!
    Congratulation on your success with “Memories of the Lighthouse Keeper.” I’m going to get a copy of the magazine to read your story.

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    • Aw…thank you Rajni! I was a little nervous to get the results, but in the end, I was thrilled. Thank you for reading my story. I hope you enjoy it.
      It looks like our toasty weather is coming to an end, but enjoy it while it’s here. Have a great week!

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      • I bought the online copy of the southern writers magazine and read your story. I wanted to cry in the end. What a powerful and moving story! I loved it.
        Another beautiful day in Charlotte! Hope you are enjoying it.

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      • Thank you so much, Rajni. Your kind words really mean a lot. I’m thrilled you enjoyed it..it’s a special story for me.
        You’re not kidding, the weather in Charlotte is spectacular!

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  32. My dear Jill! I decided to come out to play a bit and decided to check up on you. Boy am I glad I did!! First of all, fantastic news on the Crohn’s end (no pun intended)! What wonderful news to hear that it is not active at this time! WOOT! WOOT!!!! Remission, here you come! I can’t tell you how happy I am for you, Jill. xoxoxoxoxo Speaking of colonoscopies, I have mine on Wed. hee,hee.

    Regarding your story = FANTASTICO!!!!!!!!! You have been working hard and submitting to that magazine and I am glad they are coming to their senses when it comes to your talent. Will you be sharing the story with us?? I would LOVE to read it! xoxo

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    • Thank you so much, Maria! I know you can relate to living with a chronic disease. Oh my…I guess you’re in the middle of preparation as I type this response. Good luck to you!
      I’ve been fortunate to have two other stories published in Southern Writer’s Magazine as a finalist. Of course, each time I’ve submitted, I’ve never felt they would be published, but I’m sure that’s normal. 🙂

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  33. I love good news! So happy you are able to manage the Crohn’s effectively. Feeling good is such a blessing. Gwen mentioned a link to the magazine. Did I miss it? I would love to read your story and comment here. So happy for you. I can’t think of anyone more deserving who does so much to unite our community.

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    • Thank you so much, Georgette! Your comment is too kind. After all of these years, it was nice to learn that a medication was actually working to control the disease. The link to my story is in the post, if you click on “Memories of a Lighthouse Keeper.”

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  34. Wow, you DID have a good summer, Miss Jill. I’m so happy for you. Was your story already published? How can we read it? I’m curious about the medicine you’ve been on, have you suffered any side effects from it? My mom has ulcerative colitis. She hated taking steroids for it, so she stopped them, but of course, the symptoms returned. Thank you for sharing your good news, and let us know when or where we can read your Lighthouse story.

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    • Yes I did, Lori and thank you! Yes, the story was published during the summer, the link is in the post. I’m sorry to hear about your mother. When I first got sick, I was initially diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, but after further testing, the diagnosis was Crohn’s Disease. Remicade, the IV infusions I receive is also used to treat moderate to severe Ulcerative Colitis. So far, I’ve been thrilled with the results and I experience minimal side effects. Keep me posted about your mother. I would be more than happy to chat with her if she wants to talk about it further.

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  35. Wonderful news about the story! And I’m happy the drug is working. Living with an illness is not easy, I know. I wish you continued writing success and good health.

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  36. Dear Jill,
    I did not know of your illness, but know about it, as I have a cousin who is afflicted with Krohn’s. I and delighted to learn that you have found an effective treatment and wish you good health and continuing success with your recovery. Also, I am so happy to learn that your story was acclaimed in the writing contest. Congratulations!
    Warmly,
    Naomi

    Like

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