Monday, November 17, 2008

Remembering Why I Started

Today is my dad's birthday. He would have turned 81 today had he not passed away 6 years ago. Losing dad was tough as he was the only parent I had who truly loved me. And he influenced me tremendously. From him I developed a love of reading--he was my library connection. When I exhausted all the books at our small town's library, I raided his bookshelves and found The Hobbit (4th grade), John Steinback and more. From him I learned to be curious and creative and focused on the task at hand.

When I was a child I wanted to be many things: a vet, a movie star (what self respecting girl wouldn't want fame???), and a journalist. I always wrote. Journals, poems, fantasy stories and more. I was fated to write. Yet, due to the "other parent" my life took many strange turns. As one fellow writer said to me, "life hijacked me."

Big time.

I was on my own at 16, working as a waitress, and a highschool drop out. Writing for a living was not an option although I never stopped dreaming.

Fast forward to 2002. Married, college educated, a mother, a friend, and still a dreamer. Dad was very ill. My husband, daughter and I traveled North to see him one more time. During that visit, he needed closure. A way to say goodbye and a way to say he was sorry. Part of that regret was due to his failure to protect me from an abusive parent. A parent who didn't want me to succeed, who wanted me to lose my zest for life, who wanted to derail every dream I had as impossible.

I'll never forget when he turned to me, regret in his eyes, and said it was "too late for me to be a writer." At the time, I believed him. I had laid my dream to rest and was pursuing the idea of becoming a personal life coach. Heck, I am an enthusiastic person and I've encouraged so many people in achieving their dreams, I figured why not get paid for it? I absolved him of his own guilt and said it was okay. I was okay. And I really was doing great.

But the dream that had lain dormant resurrected on that day. And a few months later, I trotted out an old half started manuscript, and I finished it! I sent it off in a query and fantastically, got a request. No. The story doesn't end with a published novel. No. The first book I wrote is not that great and will never be published. However, it will never be forgotten. It is the first book I wrote. I proved to myself it was not too late for me to write. And since that first book churned out of me, I have written two other books.

On Dad's birthday, I wish I could say to him that it's not too late. That I am a writer. And I will, with a lot of luck and hard work, be published one day.

2 comments:

Kasaka said...

Superhugs! How unfair he was the one taken from you first! I'll remember him with you, even if I've only had the pleasure to meet him once.

Christine Glover said...

Awe thanks Petra... yeah... he would be surprised to see what I managed eh?