As some of you may know, I am working on a book about my Dad. After he passed I felt it was something I needed to do. I have several chapters done, but have not let my Brothers see them yet. Part of me wants to show them, but then part of me is afraid they won’t remember the same man I knew.
There has been a lot of controversy lately about authors and their non-fiction books. Memoirs, in particular. It seems people now feel the need to scrutinize these literary works. These are not biographies or auto-biographies which should be more or less factual. They are memoirs, based on our personal memories of the person. So we have some literary latitude says my writing coach.
One of the quotations I used in my book is “It doesn’t matter who my Father was, it is who I remember he was.” by Anne Sexton.
I remember my Father as a disciplinarian, a goof-ball, and a hard worker, just to mention a few.
In the disciplinarian vein, I remember an instance when my Brother Doug and I took our little Brother Phil for a wagon ride down the driveway. Phil was all for it until we left him in the wagon at the end of the driveway, right smack dab in the middle of a huge mud puddle. Doug and I took off back to the house just in time to meet Dad coming out of the back door with a hairbrush in his hand. “Oh-oh here it comes” said Doug, as we tried to make a run for it.
That’s the way I remember it. I’m sure Phil has a different take on it.
I am coming to you today from the “No Fear Zone” and why that is I have yet to realize. It’s like one morning recently I awoke and was not worried anymore.
Worried about what? you may ask. Well….losing our house for instance. Or having a financial crisis that would bankrupt us, or moving back closer to home. Or another depression. Or losing our jobs. The list goes on and on and frankly I should be scared shitless. But realistically what can we do about it?
Yes we can budget (which we are doing), but as my husband says,”we are just one Vet bill or medical emergency away from the brink of financial ruin.” To sit around and worry about it is an exercise in futility.
I was looking back at how we may have gotten into this mess. First of all we are not alone. There is a little satisfaction in knowing that there are a lot of families in our situation and millions more are in fact losing there homes and much more.
Yes it’s true we spent money like drunken sailors in the past. A lot of it spent on toys that we didn’t need. But back then we could afford them and had a lot of fun with them. We took vacations that perhaps seemed extravagant to some, but we had the money and made some terrific memories.
We knew we should be saving for the future. For a rainy day as some would say. Well the monsoons are here and we don’t even have an umbrella. So the time is here to tighten our belts and pray to God that we get out of this thing alive, which we won’t, due to our mortality.
As I reflect back on my life so far, I remember trips to Disney World, Hawaii, presents for our Kids and Grandkids, and the fact that you can’t take it with you. The memories we made were worth it and we will get through this just fine.
So bring it on, what are you gonna do? take my house? take my worldly possessions? It just might make our lives a little simpler and easier.
Over the last week or so I have been greeted by hugs and “Happy New Year” from my friends and family. This year it sounds all very familiar to me but in my heart and in my mind it is very different.
This year I have no expectations, or resolutions. I am asking nothing of the universe. For you see, I already have everything that is needed to be happy. My valuable lesson came over Christmas, when I realized that material things do not make Christmas, but rather being with loved ones and making memories that no one can take away from us is the true meaning.
I am a rich person. My riches don’t take up space in a safety deposit box, they are in my heart. Dear friends who take time out of their busy holiday schedules to get together and talk about the “old days” and not so old days, our hopes and dreams, our disappointments. Family who take me along to breakfast and foot the bill because they know things are tight right now for us. (And I will be leaving soon.)
So I will tackle 2009 with my usual humor and look to my friends and family for material. Sorry, but I am a writer.
Happy New Year!