Day #12 of 21 Days to Disciplined Writing
Welcome back to Day 12!
We are deep in this challenge now! If you've missed a day (or two, or 5) don't worry. I want you to jump back on the horse. Don't try to catch up. Just start again today.
I've often heard that "it's not your job to write someone else's story." Well, I think that's not true. It's called fiction.
Today, I want you to write someone else's story. Your neighbor, your grandmother, the cashier at a convenient store. Find someone, get creative, and write their story. You can make up the story. Create an alternative ending. Change the name of the character.
Write for 21 minutes.
See you tomorrow.
There is a lot on my mind this morning. I am privileged to know a lot of folks so I feel privileged to know a lot of stories. This story was just revealed to me and I feel deep sadness for the persons involved. It is a tribute to her that family is taking this so well, but it is a deeply sad story. In the aftermath of Harvey, it is nice to hear lovely stories of survival and people helping people. But there is tragedy all around us every day and this family’s tragedy must be told. If you are not up for sadness today, I encourage you not to read. Here it goes:
Priscilla called the police. She had not heard from her son in several days. (Already you know something very sad has happened to Priscilla.) He was the one who called her almost daily, checking in on her, making sure she was doing well. They were a close family. She and he traveled to far off places together. They were currently planning another trip.
He was an older man having suffered greatly from one unsatisfying relationship after another. He was very comfortable, had a larger fortune than most, having been a wise businessman, a good saver, and thrifty. His former wife was not a leach so he was able to continue to live a secure lifestyle. His daughter, taking after her father, was a “depressive” but she has sought medical attention. No, he did not seek medical attention for his depression, but the daughter. Thankfully.
As you probably know already, she and the police found him. He apparently had died three days earlier and the place was quite foul. She seemed to be handling it fairly well and he was kind, if that is a word one would use in this situation. He left everything out for her with detailed notes of what she should do with what.
The police took her home and she called her other son who broke down in howls of anguish. It was then she was finally able to cry, accessing tears and sadness, loss, emptiness, abandonment from this son whom she treasured, who treasured her.
I can’t write any more than this right now. I feel for my friend. I feel the profound sadness she must feel not being able to talk to the one you love who may has this devastating choice. Because it is the ones who are left who suffer. You know? It is the ones who are left who wish for the final conversation, the ability to help, the wish to intervene and let their loved one know just how much they care and how willing they are to help.
I know someone who deals with severe depression. What I love about her is she talks about it. Openly. For all of us to witness. My guess is that in telling her stories she feels better, feels the support and love of those around her, knows we are there, witnessing, even if we are not as vocal as some, we are there for her, in every, every way possible.
This woman’s son did not know that in the speaking of his despair there may be a salve.
She did not know he did not know this.
She is now stuck in the ifs. If only he would have told her, if only he would have spoken to her. If only he would have showed his vulnerableness and brokenness. If only he would have cried.
Please hug your babies.