23 May 2012

My Biggest Fan

I missed my regular blog post on the 12th, not because I forgot about it. I was still muddling around with how I wanted to approach this month’s theme, “Flights of Fancy – Celebrating the Fans.”

I can’t tell you how many times, when I was on the brink of giving up, I’d get that one email, that one review, or that one sale that would remind me that somehow, somewhere, my story had touched someone.

I will never forget the time my Mom told me she had just finished reading “Beaudry’s Ghost” to my father, who at that time had been nearly homebound with various illnesses for several years. If not for Mom’s care, he would never have gotten out. If that’s not a love story, I don’t know what is. But I digress. :)

At first I was horrified that my parents had read the infamous “Chapter Ten.” Out loud. Gack! I shouldn’t have worried. Throughout my life they’ve been scrupulous about attending every concert, recital, play, musical or whatever event my sister and I performed in. Of course they were thrilled to see their daughter’s…er…pen name on a real published book!

I went on to write three more published titles, each one spicier than the one before. One time I confided in Dad that I had stories to tell that would be shocking for most of my family to read, and I was afraid to write them. He laughed and said “I was in the Navy. I’m pretty sure nothing you could write would shock me.” He went on to tell me how proud he was of my accomplishments, and he never failed to repeat those words during every phone call or visit. Up until the day he died, when he told me again – and told me not to cry.

Not long after his death, three years ago today, I was looking through his office shelves and found a CD labeled in his shaky handwriting: “My Song Birds.” It was a CD my sister and I had recorded for my parents’ 50th anniversary. It struck me then, hard, that once you’ve lost your parents, you’ve lost a unique kind of love you’ll never have again in this lifetime.

That same summer, my husband bought his brother’s old Harley Davidson, and we had begun riding frequently. Before I was born, my Dad sold his Harley for money to support his growing family. He never regretted it, or never said he did. I’d always thought Mom nudged him into selling it but recently she disabused me of that notion. She told me he took her for a ride before he gave it to the new owner, and she said she had loved it.

It was then I made a decision I’d been on the fence about – to learn to ride on my own. I got a little bit of static from family. After all, with two hip replacements, did I have any business riding, even as a passenger?


Tomorrow at 5 p.m., I will be on two wheels. The wind will dry my tears. And my Dad will be my wings.


Post a Comment