It is almost ironic that I am a writer and author. My childhood didn’t consist of books or fairytales.
Since I was a little girl I loved to write little sayings and make cards for people I loved; in a child-like, Hallmark sort of way. I was always full of compassion. Growing up in a broken home, I felt a need to connect with others. Anyone who would pay me any attention was someone I cherished.
A few teachers along the way had taken me into their hearts and did extra special things for me. Once I had a kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Wagner, who invited me to spend an afternoon at her home on a Sunday. I suppose it was arranged between her and one of my parents, I didn’t know at the time how it was arranged and I never questioned it, but as I grew older I began to wonder what would even spur a kindergarten teacher to even want to spend a Sunday with one of her students?
My favourite teacher though, was Miss Jacobs in grade two, who later became Mrs. Hood. I never questioned why she had taken such a shining to me either but I idolized her and I remember making her so many cards with my crayons, always putting a shining sun on every one of them. I’d like to think she saw some kind of an artistic talent in me and perhaps she was aware of my fears and nervousness. Perhaps she knew the instability I resided in. I never forgot her kindness.
I loved school and I loved reading and being read fascinating stories by my teachers. It never really dawned on me until I got a bit older and moved out on my own that there were never any books in my home, save for the odd trashy novel by my mother’s nightstand. Oh, but I loved to write. I made my little cards for everyone to convey my affection for them. Valentine’s day was the most exciting day of the year for me because I got to make so many cards and gave them freely to all my classmates. It was so thrilling for me to receive some back as well.
From making cards to journaling on scraps of paper, which I kept hidden from everyone, it became my secret time where I could pen my thoughts and not have to be afraid I would get in trouble for speaking my opinions. The funny thing I remember about my paternal grandmother who never gave me any love or encouragement growing up is rather odd because for all of the emotional distance, she used to tell me I should be a journalist when I grew up. Perhaps someone was paying attention? Certainly there must have been something she saw in me to repeat it several times to me throughout my childhood. Heck, I didn’t even know what a journalist was at seven years old.
In school I loved reading and when I moved away from home I became a voracious reader. I continued to journal and used writing as a way to speak up for how I was feeling, even though I never sent any of my writing to anyone, whomever it may have been written to. Writing my feelings had given me a vehicle to unload a burden from myself. I may have missed a lot in childhood as I spent much of it worrying about the ongoing status of my parent’s relationship and the discord I lived with, but eventually I found my way and many times it was writing which kept me sane. I haven’t stopped writing since.