Jacqueline

Slice of Life2

I am participating in the March Slice of Life Story Challenge. Thanks to the co-authors of              Two Writing Teachers for creating this  supportive community.

Last week I noticed that Kevin Hodgson over at Kevin’s Meandering Mind sometimes responds to a slice by lifting a line from it and creating a poem as his response. It reminded me of a technique Linda Reif suggests and often uses in presentations – lift a line from a poem or piece of prose and use it as is or let it speak to you in some way to give your writing a start. Yesterday Kevin wrote about how his neighborhood gets together as the final days of winter begin to wane to reconnect and celebrate spring. I lifted this line: We even helped an elderly neighbor, who has trouble walking, to the event… And then I remembered this:

Last fall I attended a weekend workshop on writing at the Highlights Foundation. A few days before the event I got a call from one of the organizers asking if I might be interested in giving another attendee a ride. “She doesn’t get around well and doesn’t drive, so she will have to take a bus unless she can get a ride, and I noticed you live in a neighboring town.” Of course I would take her. Thus began several phone calls back and forth with Jacqueline, my rider, which made me wonder just what I had gotten myself into. I picked her up at the agreed upon time along with her suitcases, canes, and walker. As we settled in to our three hour ride, I learned that Jacqueline, at 84 years of age, was a practicing marriage counselor (even though she herself had been divorced for about 40 years). I heard about her children and grandchildren, her experiences (she had just gotten home from a cruise!) and the children’s books she was working on. Her stories were delightful, as was she, and I marveled at her desire to create and try new things even as she got older and life got a little more difficult. By the time we reached our destination, I knew I had found a new friend.

The accommodations at Highlights are cabins and walkers do not really work well on the gravel paths. We decided that the canes would be better, but Jacqueline needed an arm to guide her. So every morning, before breakfast, I helped an elderly neighbor, who has trouble walking, to the event.

That weekend I learned a lot about writing, and so much more – persistence, patience, trust, and the importance of living life to its fullest.

Thank you, Kevin.

Thank you, Jacqueline.

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14 Responses to Jacqueline

  1. I love this! Thank you for sharing this inspirational story.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post. You all are inspirations! You, Jaqueline, and Kevin. I was the receipient of one of Kevin’s poems the other day! It was a cool response!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. elsie says:

    Sometimes a sentence startles a thought from the back of our mind to the forefront. What a great story about Jacqueline. I hope to be living life as actively when I’m her age.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Christine says:

    This is such a great post – all because of someones response o another slice! How cool is that? I love that you included your learnings at the end.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love this slice! What a perfect line for you, too! Love how others’ writing sparks ideas for our own writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. arjeha says:

    All it takes is a few words to spark inspiration. This post also speaks loads about you as well. Rose. I can only hope that when I reach 84 my mind is still sharp and I am going strong, even if it is with a bit of difficulty.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Rose, you are an inspiration too. I learn so much from your posts every day, especially about kindness. We do well to open ourselves up to participating in life’s adventures, to be neighbors in the real sense of the word.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is such a beautiful slice. I had many “Jacquelines” in my life when I was caring for my mom — I miss them. I too learned so many lessons from them every day. It is so important we slow down and learn from those around us — they have so much wisdom to share. I love how this line brought you back to this memory. Truly beautiful.
    Clare

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Such a lovely post, Rose. It looks like Jacqueline blessed your life just as much as you blessed hers. What an inspiration, she is. This was my favorite part, “Her stories were delightful, as was she, and I marveled at her desire to create and try new things even as she got older and life got a little more difficult. By the time we reached our destination, I knew I had found a new friend.” I hope I will be creating when I’m her age!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. ritakenefic says:

    Rose, This is what it’s all about. Thanks for sharing this experience. Truly, we grow as we give!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. lynnedorfman says:

    Although I heard this story before, I loved the way you recalled the memory and framed it by lifting a line. Great technique! Seems to always work to generate writing! I admire Jackqueline for living her life to its fullest. Although you don’t mention it, this piece says so much about you, Rose, and your generous, kind spirit!

    Like

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