Have you ever had a story that you needed to tell, but weren't sure how to do it justice? Well, that's my dilemma. A few months before my eldest daughter left this world behind, she sent me an idea and a title for story she wanted me to write. I buried the idea in my heart and my mind for these last three years, but the other day it unexpectedly popped up on my computer. That's when I heard it cry out, "What about me? You promised Dawn to write me?"
The story is about a little frog who wants to play with her friends, but her mother has a different idea, and the little frog has to decide to obey or not to obey. It's a problem all kids face at one time or another. To adults it seems insignificant, but to a child it's one of the more difficult decisions. And, in reality, if adults were truthful, it's a problem we all face everyday. Do we go to work, or do we call in sick so we can have extra time at home, with the kids, or catching that big wave with our new surfboard?
I started the story in a rhyme counting book for toddlers since that is where my daughter's heart was--with children. It started like this: Ten little frogs leaped across the pond, splashing and laughing all day long. But, I am not a poet, yet. Sure, I wrote Oliver's Hunger Dragon in rhyme, and child hunger is a subject near and dear to my heart, but my daughter's story has a different emotional pull.
As a writer, I have found that some stories need to be told while others just want to be told. My daughter's story is a want to be told. So what's holding me back from writing it? I think American writer, Octavia E. Butler said it best, "Every story I create, creates me." In order to create her story, I need to allow it to recreate me, or in truth, my sense of loss. My daughters are my best friends, my advocates, my inspirations, my confidants, and my writing supporters. The loss of one left a hole not only in my heart but in my writing as well, and to be honest, I have scabbed over that loss instead of really oping with it. Oh, I understand the stages of grief. I've been through all five every anniversary, every special occasion and triumph for her daughters, and every time I think I see her walking down the street. Writing this story, however, will be a catharsis of sorts, and that makes me wonder if I can write it in a way that would make my daughter proud.
I mentioned the story to my youngest granddaughter, and her response was, "Just tell the story, Nana. I'll help." So this blog is my affidavit to the world that while this will be one of the most difficult stories to write from an emotional aspect, it will also be one that opens that hole in my heart so I can become the writer that my daughter wanted me to be. Of course, having her young daughter with me on this journey makes the trip even more meaningful. So here it goes world . . . "This is Lilly"