Saturday, March 25, 2006

Step Over Billie Letts

Aspirations of becoming a writer have been in my heart for a very long time. I have always been somewhat of a daydreamer; making up elaborate stories in my mind where I could escape the world around me. Learning how to write and placing my innermost thoughts on paper is the best thing I ever learned. Finally, I was able to express and remember in vivid detail the adventures of my daydreams. I penned long elaborate stories full of the excitement, and the wonder I dreamed about having in my life. Little did I know the excitement I was getting ready to live would give me a lifetime, of adventure, love and tragedy. Now my stories take on a different meaning.

Adventures lived out on movie screens are a little frenzied for my tastes. However, there are many who tell me that my exploits should be written in a book. I have traveled by air, boat, car and train, and I have witnessed great acts of heroism. At times I have even been up to my knees and elbows in mud while rescuing small children and animals. My daydreams are dull in comparison to my real-life experiences, so my writing took on a more interesting character. The adventures I write about are but a reflection of my life’s journey. Daydreaming has ended and escapades of real life written. The dreams of adventure have become reality, but the quest for adventure continues!

During one of my many escapades, I found love. I was serving on my first disaster operation in Louisiana, working long hours in horrible conditions, but the passion I had for the victims of disasters kept me going. Exercising the gift I have for helping people fulfilled a spot in my heart like never before. During this time, I met the man I was destined to marry. We lived, loved, laughed together, and experienced more adventures than we ever had on our own. Now my writing was able to express passion - a passion only those who experience true love can write about with understanding. Then came the children and I noticed a new passion. Like a mother lioness, I was able to express a passion for which I never knew existed. Protection and nurturing goes right along with passion, and when it comes to my children, I am that lioness. The passion of a mother’s love is hard to understand until the experience becomes reality.

Many times reality contains tragedy and my life has contained more than its fair share. There is no way to comprehend the magnitude of real tragedy until it has been experienced first hand. One late night in March reality came crashing in as the lion roared on the beginning of the last day. My husband who was having a full-blown grand maul seizure awakened me.

Time stood still as the emergency room doctor‘s voice penetrated my dream … wait this was no dream - it was reality and the cloud started lifting as time ceased to stand still. My husband was diagnosed with cancer just six months after our second child was born…suddenly I knew tragedy. We had only four months and during that time my writing became a catharsis, as I would document each night’s struggles while watching my husband fade away.

This was the starting point for a series of tragic events, which I experienced and overcame during the next five years. The vicissitudes, the laughter, and the tears all brought more meaning and each day was experienced to the fullest.

Today, the meaning of life for me has changed, and my writing style continues to evolve often reflecting the adventure, passion and deep sorrow, as well as the God given grace and eternal hope I have in my heart. My writing continues to mature and is now more insightful. I have grown and matured and as a writer, and the life experiences I bring into the equation only add to my ability in expressing thoughts and feelings.

Adventure, love, and tragedy - I have it all. Now I need the education to fine-tune my ability as a writer. This brings me at the age of forty plus to the decision to attend college. The opportunity to learn will only add to my writing style and creativity. I continue to dream and now my dreams bring visions of one day being Oprah’s guest when she chooses my best-selling novel as her favorite.

This of course is only a daydream but I know from experience reality is often better. It will be my turn one day and I can say, “Step over Billie Letts, Here I come!”

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