Someday when I grow up…

Think back to when you were young…

One of the biggest questions everyone asked was what do you want to be? Pretty big question. But if you were like me, you had an answer to everything back then, didn’t you?

I remember in first grade I knew that answer. I wanted to be a writer. The first piece I ever wrote was a play on several 3 by 5 index cards. It was littered with spelling, grammatical errors, and incomplete sentences. In my eyes however, it was a masterpiece. It sat in a box, tucked in one of my favorite childhood books until we moved, and my Mom gave them to me.

Reading the note cards provided my Husband and I with much entertainment , and by the third card, we were laughing so hard we were crying. Thankfully, my writing skills have improved since then!

Life happens, people grow up. Instead of getting happy, people’s opinions get in the way, and then we hope to get lucky.

Get lucky, and get that promotion. Hope to get a good paying job with benefits. Work for a company that offers a good retirement plan, and if we are lucky, retire by the time we are sixty. That is, if -and that is a big if- we are lucky.

Then life happens. That promotion we were hoping to get, it doesn’t work out. Our luck has not been too good. Times are tough, and with Obama Care in place,  that benefits package the company you work for is increased by $200 bucks a month. You can barley afford to pay your bills, and you will never be able to retire at this rate. Then all that labor you have done for years finally catches up. You get a chronic condition, and that job that you used to be able to do, you can no longer do. You are forced into an entry level job. With no hope of retirement at all.

You are forced to do something for yourself and you family. You come back to the only thing you know how to do.

Write. So you begin writing. The only thing in life that gives you purpose, besides being a Wife and a Mother.

Then you remember the day you grew up. The day that people told you, being an English and or Creative writing major would never make you any money. The day your dreams were crushed. The day they died.

The day I looked into my Sons eyes, was the day I was born. Then I got happy. Not just lucky. I felt the need to write. It hasn’t stopped since. I write stories and poems, for my Son, and he asks me to read them to him. He reminds me daily to get happy, not just lucky. It all made sense. The reason I was here, what life is all about.

Life isn’t about being lucky. It’s about getting happy.

When I ask my Son what he wants to do when he grows up, I am gonna tell him the same thing my Grandfather did, “Do what makes, you happy. Not what makes you the most money.”

I keep thinking about the conversation my Grandfather had with me before nursing school. I wish he was here to talk to me and support me now. He was good at listening. I think he knew me better than I knew myself.

I can’t help thinking about the advice he gave me, and about how he said I would struggle and have to jump through a lot of hoops in my life to get where I was going. He was so right. Right about everything.

I’ve already jumped about through half of them.

Driving in the same car that he used to drive, on the way to the college campus, I started talking to him, asking for his guidance. I just wish I could take one last drive with him.

If he was to ask me today what I wanted to do when I went to college, my answer would no longer be, ‘Making a decent living,” but “living a life of happiness doing what I love with the people I love.”

 

 

 

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Eight Credits

Eight Credits… that is all it will take for me to get my Associate of Science and Associate of Arts.

This comes as a relief to me, as I realize all those loans I took out when I was young and stupid might not be in vain.

Eight Credits closer to my dream of becoming and English Major. It has always been my dream, since I was in first grade. I dream of not only writing, but teaching others about fiction and literature. I would love to be a professor and help others achieve a dream, that I had all but given up. Until I found out how close I am, to taking another step toward that goal.

On the way to the college campus, I prayed to God, asking for his guidance. Then, the thought of my Grandfather pops into my head, and I clearly hear him say. “Chris, just do what you love.”

That was all the conformation and guidance I needed.

 

Write, write, write.

I have always been scared to write. The odd thing is, the more I write the less fearful I become. In evaluating my life, I believe I have figured out where this fear comes from.

The fear comes from people telling me over the years that what I wrote did not matter. That I could never make any money from my passion. Somewhere along the way, I gave up on my dream. I know where. In college.

I was told I was good at taking care of others, so I choose to pursue a career in the health care field. I do not regret it because I feel life is a learning experience and I learned a lot. Most of all I learned from the people that I took care of.

Life is full of disappointment. So you should spend it with someone you love, and doing what you love.

I wish I would have listened to my Grandfather all those years ago. He told me to do what I loved, not what other people told me to do. I listened to what other people told me I was good at doing. I didn’t form an opinion of myself at that age. At 18, I really had not had time to form a strong opinion of my own, so I figured I would listen to those that had formed a strong opinion of me as a person. So, I didn’t listen to that voice inside whispering inside of me.

The started getting louder the day my Son was born.

It started shouting at me the day I collapsed and found out I had a Vestibular disorder.

It woke me up in the middle of the night three and a half weeks ago and wouldn’t let me go back to sleep.

Then, I knew I had to write my ideas for my book down. The ideas have kept pouring in, all day long. Every day since. That voice I have suppressed since I entered college has come back and it shows no signs of going away. The voice that the world tried to beat out of me but couldn’t. That voice that says, Write, write, write. So I listened to it. I picked up my pen and I did.

 

His Spirit Lives

Sometimes when I’m writing I hit a wall. I wouldn’t call it writers block, I would just say that I am in too into my charcters. 

While my fiction is not true, and my Charcters are made up, I often get ideas from real life. Then I incorporate the lessons that I learn from life into my book.

Tonight one of my Characters Jen lost her Grandfather. As I wrote this I couldn’t help but think of my Grandfather, and I just had to stop because it is too deep. 

“This is it, are you ready?” My Mother asked.

“Are we really ever ready for a moment like this?”

“This is it. It is time to say Goodbye.” Mom grasped my hand and we walked to the coffin together 

“It’s Pa paw, and he doesn’t look like himself. He looks so small.”

“I know sweetie. The body is just a shell. He has moved on.”

“No his spirit lives in us Mom.”

I’m not gonna lie. I cried. I really miss my own Grandfather, and I know that his spirit, his DNA lives in me. 

I can still hear him telling me to do what I love. I am doing that now. If ever there was a time where I wish I could talk to my Grandfather, it would be now. I want to share what I love with him. The Great-Grandson he has. I would want him to meet my Husband, because the have the same sense of humor. I would want to share my love of writing with him, and be the first person to read my Novel. 

This is difficult for me to write, even though it is fiction, because I know how it is to lose the only Grandfather you have ever known, that understands what a fierce and stubborn person you can be. 

I felt as if my Grandfather was guiding my hands as I was writing. This book is turning out to be more than I had ever imagined. 

Auld Lang Syne

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As the sun begins to set, the breeze brings with it a melody from the Valley. Faintly the church bells are heard in the distance sweetly singing the melody Auld Lang Syne. It was appropriate because as the clock chimed, another year rolled by. The sunset began to set as my Grandson and I walked toward it and into the field. A lovely way to end my 60th birthday party. He smiled at me as a new hour dawned and said,

“Happy Birthday Grandpy! Happy Birthday. I love you.”

“I love you too.” I said and then kissed his little head.

He fell asleep as I carried him back to his Mother. I remember when she was young, and I brought her home on a day like this. I saw all the light in the world, and for a minute I thought heaven was in my hand. It was in this moment with my Grandson, I saw the beauty of God’s plan.

Notes:

This is a fiction piece from the perspective of a Grandfather. He is 60, and time continues to move on. For him it is just another day, but he doesn’t want to be reminded of it. He understands that the every year brings a certain finality with it, and that one day he will no longer be here (walking into the sunset) and leaving a legacy for his Daughter and Grandson.

I got this idea from a song I heard from the church down the road. The electronic bells really do carry the tune Auld Lang Syne. It was really my Father’s Birthday today, and I wrote this for him. He has a very special relationship with my Son, and I also wanted to capture this in the story.

This gives you an idea of how I get ideas for my stories and books. By being observant, and looking at the world with wonderment. From the eyes of a child.

For those of you who write, I am interested to know how you come up with ideas for your stories, and what inspires you?

Please leave your comments below.

The Birth of a Father

   Becoming a Father is a series of miraculous events. The father expectantly waits for the arrival of a child. Expectantly means watchfully waiting. Fathers are watchfully waiting from the very moment that baby is conceived. They are watching creation take place right before their eyes. Fathers are waiting for life to happen. Then it does. Out of love, life is born. This is one of the most important events in a mans life.

The Father becomes expectant again. He is watchfully waiting. He is watching his child grow, waiting for them to take their first step, waiting for their first birthday, graduate high school, and then college. Then they meet someone. Someone they want to spend the rest of their life with. They begin waiting for the marriage of their daughter.

My Father who I have always called Dad is singing a beautiful song “Borning Cry.” He sang it right before he came to walk me down the aisle. I hear him cry as he sings the last line “to see your life unfold.” I start to cry too. This was the same song he sang at my Baptism. The day I was born to the Father in heaven. The doors open and My Father and I walk into the sanctuary. He gives me to my Husband.

My Husband is expectantly waiting too. As I am standing at the Alter, my little son is kicking the inside of my stomach wildly. I am six moths pregnant now, He can probably feel how nervous I am. As we say our vows, my Husband starts to tear up. Then we are made Husband and wife. We are made a family.

At the reception my Father and I dance. I notice my father is starting to look older, he now has gray hair. I had never noticed it before. Probably because he is my Dad. When we are younger we think our Dads will always be here. So we never see they are ageing. Then I am scared. I  don’t want to ever have to live without him. He is one of the first people who ever held me. One of the first people that loved me. I love him. I am thankful my Dad is still here. That he is able to share this special moment with me.

A few months later, My Husband and My Father are expectantly waiting. My Husband, the birth of His First Child. My Father, the birth of his First Grandchild. He was two weeks overdue, so I was induced. After 77 and 1/2  hours of labor, his head started to crown. My Husband started to shout excitedly “He has a full head of hair! Oh my God this is so cool! Push…!! Pushpushpush!” My Dad and My Father-In-Law were listening to all of this happen, downstairs from a cell phone that was on next to me on a bedside table. After a half hour of pushing He was born.

Expectantness begins again. This time it is my Husband. He is watchfully waiting for his son to grow up.

Life is a series of events where Fathers are Expectant. They watchfully wait, for the culmination of an event to happen. They reinvent themselves, and are born all over again.

I thank My Dad and My Husband for always being Expectant Fathers, and to all other Fathers that are Expectantly waiting.

A Wise Man

   A wise man once told me to fight like hell, follow your dreams, and never give up. That wise man was my Grandfather. I miss him very much. He always gave me good advice. Some of that advice I didn’t understand tell I was much older.

Things My Grandfather Told Me

1. Never Go to Bed or Leave Angry-
My Grandfather got into an argument with his only son. That was the last time he saw him. The next time he saw his Son he was in a coffin.
My Mother and I got into a fight before she left for work. She was in a nearly fatal accident. I am glad she was ok so I could tell her how much I loved her, and that I was sorry.

2. Do What Makes You Happy-
I was a teenager that was easily influenced by others around me. My Grandfather told me I needed to do what made me happy. Not what made everyone else happy.
My Grandfather did what everyone else told him. He went to college. He failed miserably. Then he did what he really loved even though his parents told him he would always be a cripple. (He had a bad hand.) He built race cars and built and restored airplanes. He even restored Wacos for the Smithsonian!
Here I am, a few years later. I am reading a great book. I always loved to read and write. I have regrets that I did not pursue a career in writing. I did not pursue my dream because everyone told me it would never make me money. Well you know what? What I am doing right now, is not making me a great deal of money anyways!

3. There is Only One Person for Everyone. Soulmates Do Exist.
  My Grandfather said my Grandmother was his one and only soul mate. After she died, he tried dating many other women. He was even married a second time. (It didn’t last) He truly believed she was the only women ment for him. He said with the other women it was just never the same. My Grandfather told me he knew there was a soulmate waiting out there for me too.
I thought he was crazy. Then I met my Husband. I realized my Grandfather wasn’t so crazy after all. My Husband is my one and only true Soulmate.

4. When you accomplish all you set out to do, you no longer have fear. You make peace. And if you die, you are ok with that.
I’m still working on this one!

What inspiring advice did your Grandparents give you? How has it changed your life?