I am here in Hawaii, co-facilitating a writing workshop with my friend and Goddess-friend. Twenty-one glorious, brave, bold and yes, audacious humans share their stories.
Bits and pieces, a moment, a memory shared, spoken, told.
It brings me to this, this moment, this memory.
We were deciding on whether or not my mom should be moved one more rung up the assisted living ladder.
During one of my last visits, I went to check out what was considered the ‘last stop’ within the facility itself. It was designed like a dormitory; each room had two single beds and next to each bed was a night table, a small dresser, a recliner and/or a rocking chair tucked into the corner to make the room feel homey. A couple of paintings and photos hung on either side of the walls. Most beds had railings so that none of the folks would or could fall at night. The furnishings were sparse, the rooms tidy, the walls filled with one or two memories of that person on their side of the room.
Outside the room – on either side of the door – were glass cases filled with figurines, and hummel pieces, and various personal tchokches, and framed photos of family and friends – personal effects. Next to the glass cases, hanging on the wall, were framed pieces of paper. Written on each piece of yellow lined paper was their name, her or his age, and a life story.
Some were a full page long, some a half page, some were just a few lines. Each yellow lined paper informing you who that person was, lying in that single bed, sitting in that rocking chair, or listening to the radio as she or he reclined; the family and friends framed photos neatly arranged in each glass case.
One man was a car salesman. He loved baseball. He had two kids, a boy and a girl, and two grandchildren. His wife died years earlier, and he suffered from Alzheimer disease.
A woman named Becky was a beautician. She came from a very large family in the Midwest. She had never married. She liked happy faces and loved the color yellow. She had dementia.
Another man worked the railroads, lived in Colorado, where he raised three girls and had twelve grandchildren. One of his daughters was living with another woman who he referred to as his fourth daughter. He had Alzheimer disease.
Another man was a Holocaust survivor. He loved chocolate, and his wife’s name was Muriel. And he always wore long sleeved shirts.
Each page told a brief story.
I’m sure most, but not all, were written by relatives or friends, remembrances of that life lived.
One life. One page. And as I walked up and down the hall, I couldn’t bear my mother becoming just one page. There was so much, so very much to read and write and share between the lines; over eighty some odd years of ‘so very much.’ And so, she didn’t move up the ladder.
As I write this, and think about it, I knew everything I needed to know about each person in each room. I mean, my God, just knowing that someone loved the color yellow tells me everything.
Everything you need to know about one life.
Thirteen people, including a police officer, were massacred Wednesday night in Thousand Oaks, California, at a Country Western bar (the Borderline Bar and Grill). And from what I have read, the few sentences, the victims loved country music. They were line dancing; some were at the country music festival in Las Vegas where 58 people were massacred by yes, yet another white male terrorist. No doubt…no doubt…they each had a story; a life worth telling and living.
No doubt each had a dream, a hope.
No doubt each believed they had a future.
We are each, every single one of us, at least one or two or three or four book-worthy.
author. writer. girl.
Women’s eNews weekly columnist Amy Ferris is a highly accomplished author, screenwriter, television writer and editor. She was also honored by Women’s eNews as one of our ‘21 Leaders for the 21st Century‘ for 2018. Every Friday, you will continue to be invited into her world, where she will champion, encourage and inspire women to awaken to their greatness, as only she can, through passion, truth, hope, and humor — along with a heaping side of activism.