At the start of this Round, I reported that I would have just one main goal per month for the next three months. My April goal was to write the memoir of the lives of my sister and I, the stories of growing up and one of us not growing old. I was shooting for 30,000 words.
Last week, in the flurry of other things which I needed to get done, in the back of my mind, I kept constantly thinking about that memoir and the stories I wanted to yet add. I thought back to me being the tag-along little sister, going everywhere with my big sister, whether she wanted me to go or not. I think most of the time she didn’t mind. Her friend Laurie had a younger brother Darwin who was my age and he tagged along too.
I wanted to write about some of those escapades. Such as when we all went roller skating (circa 1976?) and they announced “couples only”. The rink cleared out, until only couples hand-in-hand circled the floor to some love song. Darwin gave me the look, rolled his eyes, and offered me his hand. I thought, “seriously?” I was around thirteen years old and thought all boys were yucky. Yet I took his hand and we started skating around the room, until one of the wheels came off one of his skates, he dropped my hand and coasted on one leg into the wall.
I haven’t seen him since our 20 year class reunion, must be 16 years ago.
Earlier this week, after thinking about writing that story, I pulled up Facebook to show a coworker a video my daughter had posted, and there was a post from Laurie saying that her brother Darwin had died the day before. What? What? What had I just read? I was in shock.
I messaged Laurie and asked what had happened. She said they didn’t know for sure, but it sounded like a sudden heart attack.
A few days later, I found his obituary on-line. Last I had heard he was living about 200 miles away, but had moved to a nearby town just last fall. I could go to the funeral, but I kept asking myself why would I want to. It always seems hypocritical to me to show up after someone’s dead when you never bothered to see them when they were living.
But all week I kept getting little signs that I should go, ending with reading a blog post from Eden Mabee yesterday morning. So I went to the wake, saw Laurie and her other brother Donny. Met Darwin’s wife (isn’t it too soon to call her a widow?).
It wasn’t earth-shattering. It was like in the movie “Field of Dreams” where Kevin Costner’s character is trying to figure out why he was sent somewhere else. Sometimes the answers pop right up and sometimes you have to wait and see.
With all that being said, I didn't write a word this week on my memoir about my sister, but those stories are forever etched in my head. It is the first of May and time to start this month’s goal – do a thorough edit of my novel about Jenny – not sure on the title yet, either “Finding the Way Home” or “Going Home” or something like that. I need to figure that out this month as well.
How about you? Are you setting new goals for the new month or sticking with the old ones?