There are several reasons that I write.
1) I love writing. Even before I knew how to write, I would find blank paper and fill it up with scribbles. I liked how those lines and lines of pretend words looked. Imagine how thrilled I was once I learned the alphabet!
2) I can write. There are times when words just flow out of me. I might be writing a poem, a grant, a letter, a novel or something else entirely. The words are just there ripe for the picking and how can I resist?
3) But here’s the real reason, the compelling reason–I can write love onto paper. Books, poetry, notes to people I care about all have the potential to capture love and preserve it. My books are filled with characters inspired by people I love. They live in places I love. They do things I love.
I really, really miss my grandmother. But I realized this weekend, when there was no chance to call her and yell into the phone so she could halfway hear me (she was almost deaf), that it’s not the 97-year-old-failing-fast grandmother I’m missing. Here’s who I’m missing:
- The 62-year-old grandma giving me “just a sip” of supersweet, milky coffee after I begged and begged.
- The 65-year-old grandma bringing me Sprite and Saltine crackers when I stayed home sick from school.
- The 73-year-old grandma helping me get ready for Prom while the rest of my family was out of town.
- The 80-year-old grandma making me breakfast on my wedding day.
And I can capture, preserve and hold onto all of those grandmothers by writing. I write so that I can catch memories and tuck them in a jar with holes poked in the lid. I write so I can watch love sparkle after the sun goes down.