THE WRITE PLACE…

…to build a community. Share Patti Hall's journey …


28 Comments

Dedicated to My Aunt, Her Children and You!

On October 1st, while I was being amazed at the offerings of the sky, my Aunt Norma was on a final journey to her loving husband who passed away eight years ago. As a hole in the stormy clouds above the ocean opened up, it sent rays of light from above, and chills ran up and down my body. This is usually my reaction when I get to witness this natural phenomena, but it felt stronger that day.

Hole in sky. October 1st. PHALL PHOTO 2013

Hole in sky. Westport, WA, October 1st.
PHALL PHOTO 2013

Yesterday I visited my other aunt and talked to my mom in Alaska; they had both lost a sister the day before. For my mother, that is a daughter, a close family friend, a great grand child and a sister, that she has lost in less than 2 years. I got to hug two cousins yesterday and renew our cousin-love vows. I stopped by to give my uncle a hug and to renew our vow of family love. I have recently been rebuilding friendships with the children of the aunt who just died, and I am trying to support them through this hard time.

A double rainbow, double the hope. Oct 2nd. PHALL PHOTO

A double rainbow, double the hope. Oct 2nd. Centralia, WA
PHALL PHOTO

All of this has me thinking about the nature of loss. How very different the loss of one person can be to each of us; how the news hits us and how it settles around us. Our experiences with loss, and our relationship and history with the lost one, make such a difference. Some want to laugh, some need to cry, others want to reminisce, while some just want to ignore the pain. It is very hard to know which way a grieving person is leaning on that particular day, or hour or, even, that minute. I am doing the best that I can for each. The biggest thing I think I can do, is to be a good listener and let them lead me to the place they are, emotionally. I offer gentle sympathy. After a lot of listening, I can usually offer something that I think will help. Sometimes it is just a hug, or hanging out for awhile. Sometimes it is an action I can take. Either way, I try and be gentle. And yes, this loss is my loss also, so I’ll need to be gentle with me too.

Fall Rainbows. Oct 2nd, Centralia, WA PHALL PHOTOS 2013

Fall Rainbows. Oct 2nd, Centralia, WA
PHALL PHOTOS 2013

I also spent time with my daughter’s family yesterday. As usual, I drug them all out to see Nature’s glory in the sky. Pretty soon, Nola (6) and Cora (7), were dragging me down the sidewalk and around the corner to get better views of the incredible fading rainbow-setting sun-lit sky.

Sunset on window-wall of Centralia College. Oct 2nd. PHALL PHOTO 2013

Sunset reflection on window-wall of Centralia College. Oct 2nd.
PHALL PHOTO 2013

 

They ran up the concrete steps of a vacant 1930’s church, and still, stood on their tippy-toes to get a better view…then, around another corner, and they careened, arms out, down a wavy concrete ramp.

Nola & Cora, Oct 2nd, Centralia, WA. PHALL PHOTO 2013

Nola & Cora, Oct 2nd, Centralia, WA.
PHALL PHOTO 2013

This loss, like others, seems to bring us together, even as we regret not having spent more time, laughter and rainbows with the one we lost. Let’s just try harder with the ones we have left. I think my aunt would be happy with that vow.

Sunset of a happy-sad day. PHALL PHOTO 2013

Sunset of a happy-sad day.
PHALL PHOTO 2013


Leave a comment

Why I Write Children’s Stories

Writing stories has never been a choice; the stories come and I have to write them down or I get a little nutty with characters rambling away in my head. Really. Poetry, essays, short stories, and even much of the non-fiction writing in college and for newspapers was the same way.

Now, as for what inspires me to put hours, weeks, months and (sometimes) years of work and contemplation into those children’s stories, that’s simple: my children, and now my grandchildren.

Way back then I home schooled my 2 children, with a couple of years in the fairyland world of a Waldorf school. Both experiences promoted our imaginations. We all made up stories in those days; sometimes verbal, sometimes in painting and drawing, and both children wrote and crafted books for a young author’s conference. We didn’t do TV (I still don’t). Three out of the four of us were avid readers; my son was more into actions than words, but would still sit entranced listening to his parents read. We never knew boredom.

During those active parenting days I wrote a lot. I was online writing parenting and homeschooling articles. I was encouraging other children to write in a class at a homeschooling conference. I was associate editor for an online homeschooling newsletter and editor in the children’s section of a (still) popular writer’s website. Life changed focus and I my public writing was set aside.

My daughter and her daughters at our local library.

My daughter and her daughters at our local library.

I’ve always been a sucker for the children’s section in the library and book stores. I love browsing the latest children’s books, drooling over the incredible illustrations. The best times at the library are when I take my grands with me. I sign their families up for the yearly family reading programs, the children collect the giveaway goodies, and then we all settle into the children’s area.  The younger ones play with the toys for awhile, but eventually I entice them with a book that I know they’ll love. The library is like our very own wonderland.

Today I’m writing like a fiend and my first children’s book is polished and ready for the next step. The second and third are close behind. Please stay tuned.