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WritingAfterDark

Blogs of Writer, Artist, Photographer, & Caregiver Joanne D. Kiggins

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Joanne has published more than 2,500 articles and was award recipient of the 1990 Woman of the Year for Beaver County, Pennsylvania, for her accomplishments and excellence in journalism and to the community. Her co-authored book, “Unforgettable Journey,” won fifth place in the Grand Beginnings romance contest. An excerpt from her WIP, “Unearthed,” placed her fifth in the Absolute Write Idol contest. Most recently, her essay, “Perseverance,” is published in the Stories of Strength anthology in which 100% of the profits are donated to disaster relief charities. Her most recent articles were published in ByLine Magazine, Writer's Digest, AbsoluteWrite.com, and Moondance.org. She has a monthly freelance writing column at Absolutewrite.com. Currently, she is the sole caregiver for her 85-year-old mother.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Ray of Hope

My contribution to the AbsoluteWrite.com Relief fund e-book.

Ray of Hope
By
Joanne D. Kiggins

In September 2001 I wrote an essay titled Last Autumn Rose to commemorate my thoughts of the attack on our country.

That essay began with these words:
As I gather the fragile petals of the last autumn rose, I wonder if the beauty of that rose will appear again after winter plays havoc with its foundation. It reminds me that the world, everything and everyone in it, are just as precious and fragile.

At the time, I was called to the duty of guardianship of my granddaughter while my daughter was deployed. She was a Sergeant in the United States Army.

During that time, as Americans watched the news broadcasts to keep abreast of new developments, a gamut of emotions filled my brain each day. Fear. Sorrow. Disgust. Wonder. Anger. I focused on wonderful memories of raising my children and knowing that I taught them to enjoy the beauty of small things that are often overlooked or discarded as unimportant. As each day went by, I was comforted only by memories and the peace of mind those memories hold.

Four years later a different tragedy has struck our nation. One far more reaching than that of 911. My daughter now lives in Alabama. No, she was not affected by this storm, but the same memories and thoughts crossed my mind.

My thoughts and prayers are with all who have been affected by Hurricane Katrina. With this I leave you with the last words of that essay and a ray of hope.

Just as I’m certain the foundation of the rose has been strengthened by its yearly metamorphosis and will bloom in spring, I’m certain our nation will endure. As you pick up the fallen fragile petals, I hope you will be able to reap your wonderful memories, your joys, for years to come and hold them close in your hearts and minds as I have. I hope you will, as I did four years ago, stop and smell the sweet fragrance of the last autumn rose, enjoy its beauty, and the beauty of the world, once again, together. I hope this, for everyone.
Click here to read the essay Last Autumn Rose.

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