My friend Liz is a great source of inspiration, especially when it comes to blogging. When I don’t know what to write, she gives me fantastic ideas and one of her best is “Do a list.” Lists are always fun and something y’all can participate in, too. Today, I’m pulling this idea from a writing prompt that we used a few years ago on the Word Wranglers–telling about our five most memorable days, but the trick was that we couldn’t use the usual Pollyanna days–like our wedding day or the day our kids or grandkids were born or the day we signed our first book contract. Those are givens. So are events from the news that affected all lives dramatically like 9/11 or the assassination of a president or locking down the country because of a worldwide pandemic.
So, in chronological order, here are five memorable days in my life, but please don’t this these are all the memorable days in my life. I’m sixty-seven–memories are vast and uncountable and continue to be made every single day!
September 6, 1966. My first day in junior high school. It was seventh grade, I wore a beautiful flowered voile dress that wasn’t one of my older sister’s dresses cut down for me—it was all mine, nylon stockings, and white ballet flats, and for the first time in my nearly thirteen years, I felt like a young lady instead of little kid. And when Timmy Halligan (a ninth grader!) smiled at me on the bus and said, “Well, hello there,” the girly girl in me awakened.
May 5, 1975. I was taken hostage during a robbery at the bank branch where I was working. In that moment, I realized that there were evil people in the world who didn’t give a single damn about the value my life. To the man who held me at gunpoint, I was nothing more than a shield to protect him from the policemen waiting outside the bank. He used me to save his own life. Mine was expendable. My memories of that fifteen minutes are clear pictures in my head, and although the car I was shoved into had nearly 72 bullet holes in it and the robbers and the police shot into and out of the bank, I don’t remember hearing a single shot fired. Not one bullet hit any of us three hostages, grace that I credit to the angels who had their wings around me that day.
March 23, 1988. The day my mother died. I wasn’t prepared to lose my mother so young—who is? It wasn’t just that I was devastated, it was that suddenly it really, truly was time to be grownup.
July 7, 1996. I got my first client as freelancer—IDG Books. I’d papered the freelance coordinator’s office walls with my resume, bugged the socks off her to allow me to test for her. When she finally said “okay, come in and take a test, but be aware that it’s not an easy test,” I almost threw up after I hung up the phone. But I took the test, passed with flying colors and she gave me my first job that very day—Law For Dummies. I still have that book (with my name in it!) in my bookcase along with a copy of the invoice I sent them.
June 7, 2009. Paris. I will never, ever forget standing by the Seine in the misty rain and throwing out my arms to embrace the City of Lights. Poor Son must have heard at least sixty times that week, “We’re in Paris!” My dream since I was ten years old had finally come true!
There’s my list—and yeah, perhaps reflective of a life that is kinda small in the greater scheme of things, but I’m hoping to add lots more memorable days to it. How about you? Share a memorable day with me in the comments below.
Stay well, stay safe, wear your mask, and most of all, mes amies, stay grateful!