There are times when I wonder why I have been given the gift of writing. How should this gift be used? Am I to write a book that will somehow touch the soul of a reader enabling them to fulfill their potential? Am I to write in order to help society understand the world that is around them?
These are the types of questions I find myself pondering late at night as I sit at my computer or at a desk with my journal. Perhaps this is too philosophical. Maybe I am writing just for myself as a form of therapy helping me understand each experience I am going through.
I began to believe I would never quite understand why I have this gift at all. Then as my life progressed events occurred that helped me realize why I write.
I have always been close to my grandparents. From a very young age I spent time with them. They helped mold me into the person I am today. I learned so many valuable lessons from them and I grew to love them more and more every day.
But as always happens, as I became an adult they entered the golden years of their lives. One day I stopped to realize that our time together in mortality was quickly coming to a close. This was a difficult concept for me to grasp.
I always imagined my grandparents would be there throughout my life. I envisioned my children growing up learning from their ancestors and gaining the understanding of life that I had received from my grandparents.
That dream was shattered one December morning when I received a call from my mother that my Grandpa Olsen had passed away. It was a devastating blow physically and emotionally. I was not prepared to deal with this loss.
During that time my grandmother came to me and asked if I would write my grandfather’s life sketch. I was honored that she would ask but never felt as though I could ever do justice describing his life. I struggled to put into words what he meant to me.
At the funeral I stood at the podium and attempted to tell the story of my grandfather’s life. There were tears shed and more than a few laughs as I tried to pay tribute to someone I admired so much.
Over the next several years I lost my paternal grandparents. First my Grandma Summers passed. While funeral arrangements were made, my grandfather came to me to ask that I give her life sketch. It was her dying wish that I write this for her.
I was touched that she asked for me and gladly wrote a tribute to her life. A few short years later my Grandpa Summers died and he too asked if I would write his life sketch. Recently my maternal grandmother passed away meaning I have lost an entire generation of ancestors. These humble life sketches and the memories we have are all that remain.
I have written all of them from my heart and I list them here; not as a personal writing accomplishment but rather as a loving tribute to the wonderful people who touched so many people’s lives.
I would have never imagined that this gift would be used as a mechanism to ensure the memories of those we love would live on past the time they would walk this earth. I no longer wonder why I am able to write. I just take each day and give thanks for this gift and I pray that I will be able to put into words the love these grandparents had for their family and those around them.