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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.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Making Good Memories.

Some days go along so wonderful that you never want them to end. Today, I spent the morning and afternoon doting over Mom. I lit a fire in the fireplace, sat in the living room with her and talked about everything that left an impression on our lives. I took notes each time she mentioned an event in her life and she asked me what I was doing. I said, “Writing memories.” Mom loved the idea. The smile on her face was brighter than the flames in the fireplace and the warmth of the flames didn’t hold a candle to the warmth we shared.

We spent the afternoon turning pages of the family album--giggling and commenting about pictures of days gone by. It sparked memories of events she’d forgotten and she enjoyed the trip down memory lane. I did too!

My oldest daughter and her husband were coming to visit this evening and we planned to go out to dinner. As Mom and I waited for them to come, I wondered if I’ve left enough good memories for my daughters and their families to enjoy. I decided then that I needed to become a memory maker…a good memory maker.

I realized later why this thought struck my mind.

Just as we finished dinner at Eat ‘N Park, my brother and his wife walked in. I hadn’t noticed them but my daughter nodded in their direction and said, “What are the odds of that?” My answer was, “You’re with me. Do you need ask? My luck.” I smiled and added, “Oh well, I’m happy. At least I was able to finish dinner before I lost my appetite.”

A month ago, I chose a path to follow. Part of that path is not acknowledging people who go out of their way to irritate and hurt me…particularly my brothers. I let each of them know that I do not wish to speak to them if they choose to play their foolish games.

This is where I put the “good memory” thought in my mind.

My brother walked up to our table, bent down, leaned into my face and said, “Didn’t you see me come in?” I said "no", stared straight at my daughter, smiled and continued talking. He then leaned in closer, within inches of my face and said, “Hi, Joanne!” Several people at tables around us looked our way because he was so loud.

I must say I was quite impressed with my self-control. I didn’t lower myself to his level and make a scene. My gut feeling was to say, “Get out of my face” and punch him. But I kept my mouth shut, my face expressionless, stared straight ahead, and held my clenched fist in my lap.

I sat…not yielding.

He left our table and walked to his table and sat with his wife. Poor Mom. Her response was of paranoia. “How did he know where I was?” One more thing I have to deal with because of my brother’s ignorance.

Another reason I miss my dad. He kept the boys in line when he was alive. He would have made a good memory…fists and all!

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