Saturday, March 12, 2016

Love letters to the Future

A few weeks ago a friend went to be with the Lord after she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of lung cancer. She was a strong believer, spunky despite her diminutive size, and she loved ministering to children, and later in life to senior adults.

Her name was Joyce and our paths crossed in a writing class a few years ago. She conducted the class. I credit Joyce for inspiring me to start writing again after years of putting that avocation to the side. When my Patch Town novels were published, she got the first signed copy. She shared in that accomplishment.

She told the class she began journaling family events when her husband passed some 15 years ago. She realized that her grandchildren, who were young at the time, would not have an opportunity to spend time with their grandfather. That’s when she decided to record events centered on her husband which eventually expanded to cover events related to the whole family.

She shared some of these stories in the class. Some accounts were humorous, other were sad. Even years after her husband’s death, the family journal of special events became a source of comfort and inspiration to her growing grandchildren. It was as if the grandfather were still alive and influencing the grandchildren.

We attended Joyce’s memorial service. So many wonderful things were said about her. But the greatest impact was seeing all of her family journals placed about the church. There were too many to count. I saw them as love letters to the future. Time has a way of moderating one’s view of past events. With the journals one can always return to the past to experience a first-hand account. Written in the past, they continue to shape the future.

I believe this is a reminder for all of us. We all have sons and daughters, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, friends. We are not all writers. We may feel like we have minimal talents to influence and encourage young people. Regardless, let us make a commitment to leave positive experiences for the future. There is no experience too small. Sometime the most inconsequential experience has the greatest impact!
Robert Parlante
March 2016

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