Sometimes, the greatest works are never published. Case in point, two fabulous things happened this week to remind me of the power of words and why I love the art of writing.
First, my son mentioned he wished to read from his poetry journal during morning announcements at school. Imagine my happiness! Yes, I focus on reading and writing skills, perhaps more than others. But to be fair, his father is far more educated in math and science, so in my warped thought process we are covering all bases. I am religious about daily reading, both on his own and with a parent, and his father wholeheartedly agrees as he was never a strong reader as a boy and now regrets it. And as you can guess, I encourage writing whenever he shows the desire. Most of his output consists of sports stats. Notebook after notebook to be completely honest, but I am fine with that. Writing is not solely about content. It’s about what dwells in your heart. Which brings me back to his poetry. I haven’t read it, and the topics are unknown to me. Truthfully, I don’t even care. I am simply thrilled he possesses the urge to share it. My only hope is he feels a sense of pride and accomplishment once he is done.
The second wonderful thing to occur was my mother gifting me and my siblings with a detailed, written account of her memories. It is not a large body of work but what lies within holds more weight than any widely acclaimed best-seller. Over the past few years, she has painstakingly jotted notes on the computer about her seventy plus years on this earth. She documented her life as a child, teenager, and mother, recalled the joyous moments of our births, provided heartfelt stories of those we have lost, and reminded me that in addition to being a wonderful mother, she is a strong, beautiful woman. It held all of the aspects a good story should. I smiled as she relayed how she met my father and sobbed when I relived the pain of his unexpected death. More importantly, I learned things about her and my family that I never knew. She has ensured I will never forget the random tales she once told me. Even better, my siblings now possess the exact same knowledge of her that I now hold so dear. And with this simple act, my mother left a permanent legacy I can proudly share with my son and his children.
It is true. I have always loved how the beauty of written language makes me feel. Words offer comfort, joy, entertainment, introspection, and healing. They change perspective, provide knowledge, and influence who we become. And of course as an author, they bring purpose to my life. Yet above all else, writing continues to hold the magical power of surprise. For just when I feel I have got it figured out, somehow it finds a way to move me. And humble me.
Have you ever received a written gift? If so, what made it memorable?