Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Appreciating the gift


Illustration Friday: Spring

A dear family friend recently passed away after a battle with cancer. This man mentored my husband for the last twenty years and gave him a job with a terrific company where he is appreciated and has the freedom to make family a top priority. Sometime soon, I hope to be emotionally ready to sit down and write this man’s widow a letter, letting her know just how much her husband meant to us.

Wrestling with what to say has got me thinking about other letters and personal notes I’ve written over the years. For instance, the poems I wrote for each of my brothers and read on their wedding days, the poem I wrote and read at my best friend’s wedding and the letter I wrote a friend when her infant son passed away suddenly. And I’ve been thinking about the reactions each of those things evoked.

I’ve also been remembering the essay I wrote about getting to speak with Rose Keller, a 9-11 widow whose husband’s name is on the memorial bracelet I wear each September. She was a complete stranger to me and our being able to connect came about because of some amazing and serendipitous events. Even though I was never able to sell the piece, the fact Rose called me to tell me how much it meant to her and that she was saving it to share with her children someday meant more to me than any check from a magazine ever could have.

I’ve been writing professionally for nearly 12 years now. Often times, I am guilty of getting caught up with the “product” I’m creating. I get stressed out about the publishing end of things or frustrated when (like the last few weeks) I just can’t seem to make any headway on my current book. And I forget the simple truth about this gift I’ve been given:

Sometimes, our best and most important works are the ones with the smallest audiences.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

JB 03.11.10 at 11:35 am

Thanks, I needed to see that last line.

Andrea 03.12.10 at 7:58 am

You never know who your writing is going to effect, do you? Once your words get out there, they could make a real difference to someone. Or not. But it’s nice to hear once in a while that you’ve touched someone with your writing.

Kate Fall 03.12.10 at 2:16 pm

What a beautiful post, Car! Thanks for sharing your experiences with your muse.

Christina 03.13.10 at 8:49 pm

Lovely post Car. You’ve shown the true meaning of why we write.

Debbie 03.18.10 at 2:11 pm

A beautiful post, Carmella. Thank you so much for writing this.

dirtywhitecandy 03.18.10 at 3:18 pm

Lovely post. At heart, all writers want to connect.

Joyce at I TAKE OFF THE MASK 03.18.10 at 6:29 pm

So true, very well said. It is not the number of our audience that counts, it is the way we are able to affect people, especially those who are dearest to us.

Tara Benwell 03.18.10 at 7:04 pm

Thank you for this beautifully written piece. Every writer should read it. I am sure that the words will eventually come to you to write that very important letter. One of the most important letters I ever wrote was to my grade six teacher. I just had to hunt down her address and tell her how much her teaching had meant to me… how she had inspired me to become a writer through her own creativity and encouragement. She responded a few days later saying that my letter couldn’t have come at a better time. She had just lost a family member and was having a very difficult day. I am so glad I took the time to follow my instinct and connect when the time was right.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.