Why I Write

My grandfather passed away on Saturday. He turned eighty-eight at midnight and left this world thirty minutes later. He was ready to go, which always makes things easier.

Over the years, I’ve been honored with penning poems for funeral programs. I’ve also had the joy of nudging marriages along with a handful of words. Each time, I write with the individuals in mind. Each poem or piece a testament to a specific person. A specific purpose.

My grandfather was a quiet man. Midwestern stoic. A hard worker. A provider. A practical man. He was the kind to show his care for others through actions, not words. And  yet, deep within this practical exterior was a soul of whimsy.

A welder by trade, he pieced together bits and scraps in his free time. Nails. Pop bottle tops. Cast iron skillets. In his work-worn hands, these every day items came together as miniature works of art.

The refrigerator magnets of my childhood were pop top skillets with two painted eggs frying inside. A beautiful nail rocking chair adorned my mom’s bookshelf, while tiny windmills captured the attention of guests. Just yesterday, a skillet clock passed hands from my mom to my little sister. All these and more were gifts from a quiet, unassuming man.

He took his business motto seriously: “We weld everything but broken hearts and the crack of dawn.”

In life, he created. In honor of his life, I write.

 

WELDED BY LOVE

Love is not a parade of roses.

It’s a rocking chair,

thoughtfully presented

to relieve your weary load.

 

Love is not fancy dinners

celebrated on commercial holidays

rich with chocolate, wine and flawless diamonds.

It’s breakfast—two eggs, over easy—in a beat up frying pan.

 

Love is the breath of the wind,

spinning through windmill blades,

full of energy, passion and power.

 

It’s raw and untainted,

a hodgepodge of little things

not meant to woo,

but to comfort the soul

 

It’s a rough beard

and rougher hands

work-worn

and blackened.

 

Love is not fixing what is broken;

It’s never breaking it in the first place.

 

We weld everything

but broken hearts

and the crack of dawn.

 

Father,

Grandfather,

Grandpa,

Pops.

 

You welded more than you will ever know.

I write to give breath to that which may be forgotten. I write to teach, not preach. To soothe the soul with a balm of words made of hope and compassion. I write to give voice to those who cannot.

Why do you write?

Curious minds want to know.

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10 responses to “Why I Write

  1. Wonderfully stated, dear friend. Wise words that honor your grandfather but also serve to inspire and deeper and truer understanding of love. Hugs during this sad time.

  2. words well written:) Your grandfather sounds like a great man. Sympathy to you.
    Theresa Draper and family.

  3. Such a beautiful poem, thank you for sharing it.

    I write because these stories and characters come into my head. If I didn’t write them down, nobody would know them.

    (Not that anybody currently does anyway, but we’re working on that…..)

    • Good luck with getting your voices heard, Jen!

      Sometimes it takes a little time, but eventually, what we write will touch lives.

      Hugs and thanks for sharing the reasons you write.

  4. A beautiful tribute. Thank you for sharing these words. I know it brings you a sense of calm as you mourn.
    I write because I work with so many non-readers and struggling readers, and I feel I have something that will change them!

    • Thanks for your comment. Your reason for writing is my soap box issue. I believe it is our responsibility to help kids learn to read well. It is the single most important skill they will learn and without it, they will never reach their potential.

      I love connecting with writers who write with that in mind. Thanks for being one of them!

  5. So sorry about you grandfather Cat. I love his motto and your poem proves he did just that. I’m sure he loves your words. *hugs*

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