In Amanda’s last post, she wrote about 9/11 and an online thread she’d seen about whether or not world events shape our writing. She then went on to talk about the events of 9/11 and how they affected her, and how she hoped it had changed the way her characters react. Last Monday, I missed my post here at Twisted Writers. I’m sorry. I apologize sincerely. Unfortunately, there was no way I was able to write that day. I did not write on my home blog, nor did I get on Facebook except once to check in with my brother. In fact, I stayed away from the computer and most things electronic. Not because it was Labor Day, but because it was the second anniversary of my father’s 64th birthday-the last one I ever spent with him. While it may not have been a world event, for me my dad’s passing shook my world to its core.
November 23, 2013 my father succumbed to the pancreatic cancer he was diagnosed with in August that same year. On his birthday, a few weeks after he was diagnosed, I packed my kids into a rented Jeep Compass and made the six to seven hour trip from Dallas to Amarillo to surprise him. He didn’t know I was coming. And I’ll never forget the way his face lit up when he saw me. We stayed for a few days then came back home only to make one more trip a few weeks later, the last time I ever saw my dad.
The night before he died I got the call that I should come and say goodbye but it was impossible. My personal circumstances prevented me from being able to leave. I was heartbroken. The next 24 hours were hell. I tried every means open to me to find some way to go but there was nothing. So I turned to poetry. I opened up books and tried to drown my heartache in words. But I didn’t write.
Truth be told, I hadn’t written anything besides my signature for three years. Not one blessed thing. But I could read, and I could listen, and I did. I listened to beautifully trained voices reading the same feelings I was having, experiencing the same anguish I was going through, and it helped to a degree. And then the thought occurred to me that my dad didn’t even know I wrote. I never told, never let him read one word. How sad is that? It wasn’t that I didn’t love my dad or even that I thought he’d hate it. It just never occurred to me that he would want to know. Now he was dying and would never know. I couldn’t live with that. And so, I wrote the first poem I’d written in three years. Five minutes after I posted it to Facebook, my father breathed his last breath. He may not have read it but my family did, and I know it meant something to them to know how much I loved him.
Little did I know it would be the poem that led me to being here, writing for you.
The last two years have been hard. My personal life has been going through upheaval and change. It still is, but my writing is what is getting me through it. Writing is therapy. I know it firsthand. Writing is what got me through the days after my dad passed away and what gets me through even now. No, I didn’t write on his birthday. Instead, I read and spent time with my kids. So, I hope you’ll forgive the lapse and remember that when life gets to be too much to handle, write it down. Those emotions will make you a better writer in the end.
So how has this affected my writing? Apparently, I’m very good with anguish. 😉
My Heart Hurts
by Jesi Scott
My heart hurts.
The cold, the wind, the rain:
The weather of my soul.
You lie there, unaware
Of my pain, my misery.
My heart hurts
More as the night goes on,
And with every passing moment,
Every second you grow weaker,
I grow weaker too.
When you are gone my heart will cry,
the pain may fade,
but my love will not die.