“The art of writing comes from practice but its origin can come from something wonderful.”
The written word has played a critical role for the human species. It’s believed to have begun a little over 5,000 years ago by the Sumerians and has evolved from scratching marks into wet clay, to typing on our portable devices. Throughout the millennia, it has memorialized everything from triumphs to tragedies, and played witness to a host of noteworthy events.
Writing down thoughts offers a distinct advantage of carefully considering your precise meaning and point. Wouldn’t that be nice if the same were always true with the spoken word?
I’ve often wondered where my love and enjoyment of writing had its roots. I do recall exercising my imagination as an elementary school student writing various stories. In the seventh grade, diagraming sentences became a fun, mental challenge. However, the most enjoyment came from expressing myself through poetry.
It never really dawned on me to pursue writing as a career; my college degree was in music and I’ve spent most of my working adult life in sales. But as the desire to write became more prevalent, it brought satisfaction on many levels. Sometimes, it actually feels compulsory.
In September of 2013, I began writing articles which were intended to benefit any who invested their time in reading them. It’s a daunting responsibility and one which I take quite seriously. It is also with the deepest gratitude and appreciation that I realize this gift was given to me and I must uphold a sacred duty to do it justice.
There is one person whom I would like to heap lots of praise for inspiring and perhaps even initiating my love of writing, and that person happens to be my mother.
This past week, she celebrated her 88th birthday and it was important for me to sing her praises – rather than only sing her happy birthday. Some of you may already know that for a majority of my 200 posts, she has been my editor-in-chief. Each Saturday morning, I send her the finished draft and then call her to make the final corrections. The best part is when we are finished, we spend a few mintues catching up on the week’s happenings. This, too, is a blessing and one for which I am extremely grateful.
My mother’s affection for the written word has been more from the grammatical aspect. There’s a personal story which I love to share and while it wasn’t funny at the time, we often laugh about it and I’m confident it brought me great awareness of the importance of proper grammar. My oldest brother was in 7th grade and she was helping him with grammar homework. I was watching TV with the kitchen door closed so my brother could concentrate.
Not paying much attention to what they were doing, I suddenly heard my mother say in an elevated voice, “No, it’s a preposition”!
Now there would be no reason for a fourth grader to recall this story. However, shortly after, my mom repeated it again louder. I don’t recall how many more times she yelled it but I can certainly remember thinking to myself, “I’m going to remember what a preposition is.”
Full disclosure, my brother did eventually catch on and much more. He ended up getting his degree in the Classics: Latin, Greek, and Sanskrit and taught Latin to high school students.
In some ways, I believe that my mother’s interest in the written word has positively influenced her bright mental state. She loves word games, doing crossword puzzles, and even reading the newspaper just to see how many errors she can catch. Sometimes during our conversations, she’ll apologize for repeating herself but I assure her by reminding her that I, too, have been guilty of that as well and that she’s not showing any signs of forgetfulness.
One of the greatest blessings I could have never imagined is being in your sixties and still having the privilege to reach out to your mother. I do realize many have not been as fortunate with their own experiences; however, I wanted to share my thoughts for the incredible gratitude I feel.
It couldn’t have been easy raising 3 sons and a daughter on her own. We buried ourselves in school activities which translated into ignoring chores and family responsibilities. Sunday mornings, she wouldn’t start to make breakfast until the yard was mowed because that was the only way it would get done.
If there were anything I could change, it would be the times when I ignored her or didn’t appreciate all she did for me. Thankfully, she persuades me it wasn’t as bad as I’ve remembered. I do, however, chalk that up to a mother’s love.
Perhaps the biggest challenge with blessings and gifts is they’re never fully appreciated as much as they ought to be. Perhaps the lesson here is to honor that gift by honoring the ones who’ve inspired and cultivated it within us. Indisputably, my mother has been one of those major contributing factors.
For those of you who were never able to share in this kind of experience, there are other ways, and no doubt people, to honor and appreciate. Gratitude is worth acknowledging. It leads to compassion and a greater awareness of everything around you. Each of our journeys follows a different course but it’s up to everyone of us to find our own ways of expressing thanks, acknowledging our responsibilities, and lovingly pass it on to other eager and enthusiastic minds.
This is how we leave our greatest legacy.