Thursday, February 4, 2010

Uncle Rich ... This One's For You

The best of times and the worst of times. The best: Angie was engaged and about to be married. This would be the first family wedding in over a decade and Angie was the very first of the "newest generation" of cousins to be married. The worst: My Aunt Carol was battling lung cancer, and it was feared she wouldn't live to see her three granddaughters participate in the wedding.

"Sus, why don't you become a writer?" Uncle Rich suggested I consider a writing career when he saw me at my parents' home in May. "Well, only about a hundred or so people have said I should become a writer ..." I replied. Still, I had my doubts whether a writing career was possible.

I didn't notice that my uncle left to take my aunt home to rest that afternoon after Angie's bridal shower, but before I knew it, there he was again, with a book in hand. "Here, Sus, read this," he said as he handed me David Baldacci's The Christmas Train. "I know you could write like this," he said. "Oh, I've heard him speak," I noted. A few years ago, David Baldacci came to a Christmas Box House fundraiser featuring nationally known authors. He was in the major leagues of authors. "I never really thought of myself at anywhere close to that level," I protested. Could I really make a leap from credit policies to stories about real people and real life?

By the time I went back to Arizona on Father's Day weekend, Aunt Carol's ability to fight the cancer was compromised from weeks earlier. My uncle maintained good spirits in spite of everything happening around him. I mentioned, "I'm reading the book you gave me, but I'm not done with it." My cousin Donna and I got into a discussion about Eat, Pray, Love, and her comments convinced me that book, too, was a must read. Another story about someone far from home in search of new adventures.

A bittersweet time. After a long and valiant fight, my Aunt Carol passed away in August, just days after her 70th birthday. Uncle Rich and my cousins, Richard, Robert, John, and Donna, were sad and strong, as well as appreciative to many family and friends who attended her viewing and funeral.

My Aunt Carol was present in spirit at the wedding of Nate and Angie in September in the breathtaking mountains of Midway. Her sweet granddaughters Natalie and Jessica were Light Bearers, and Allison was the Flower Girl. My cousins were there with their spouses and children. And Uncle Rich was there, too. He asked me about my writing plans at the rehearsal dinner. By this time, I had been laid off but so busy with the wedding I hadn't fully considered my future plans.

Yet again. In November, when I was in Arizona for Thanksgiving, Uncle Rich asked me yet again. "So Sus, have you given any more thought to the writing idea?" I finally realized he's going to push me on this writing idea of his for as long as he can.

So to Uncle Rich, for your persistence, this post's for you. Maybe you are right. At the least, I am complimented by your confidence, and hope that someday my blog will have at least one paid ad. And who knows, perhaps I really will write a book.

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