For those of you following this blog, you know that July 2016 marks the 15th anniversary of my father’s entering into eternity. Earlier this month, in Summertime Blues in July, I wrote about seeing my father be ushered into glory in 2001 as well as his and my favorite color, blue. Thanks to so many of you who sent me your encouraging words as to that blog. I am profoundly grateful to you, my readers, for your choosing to read this blog and for your kind words.
For today’s blog, I’d like to thank Southern Writers Magazine and especially Annette Cole Mastron, Communications Director for Southern Writers Magazine, for publishing a very special story today, July 22, 2016, on their blog. Annette reached out to me shortly before my son, Jake, married his lovely bride, Jenny, on May 21st. Annette wanted an article for their July 22nd Suite T blog. Of course I said yes. What a wonderful opportunity for my writing to be seen by a larger audience.
Reality hit about a day later. I was in the throes of last-minute wedding stuff and making final plans and decorations for the rehearsal dinner.
The wedding went beautifully and for those of you wanting to see a glimpse of the special day, here are a couple of pictures. Huge thanks to Janelle Elise Photography and her staff for making incredible moments of that beautiful day.
Back to my story. So when Annette wrote me, my writing brain bank was empty. It was too crammed with other things, like my to-do list.
I happened to have a writing meeting planned with Gail Helgeson, my fellow Anglophile friend. While she and I talked over our library’s conference room table, I mentioned I’d written an essay about my dad shortly after he died, but it was 1200 words over the required 500-word story that Southern Writers magazine wanted. It’s a story that’s been looking for a published home ever since I entered it in the 2002 71st Writer’s Digest writing competition and the story had taken Honorable Mention (18th place out of 18,000 entries).
With that said to Gail, I brought the story up on my laptop and ran to the bathroom.
When I returned to our conference room Gail said, “Julie, you have got to submit this story, even if it is over word count.”
She left and I sent the story to Annette.
And while it was over word count, Annette gave me a chance to knock the story down to 500 words.
You can view the story here.
And here is the object of my story.
The middle part of the desk is missing the swing-down platform where I wrote in my diary, did my school work, and created my first stories. The cabinet below is missing the sliding doors that once hid my treasures. But it doesn’t matter. That desk has head and heart value to me.
And here I am, exactly 40 years ago to the day that Jake and Jenny were married, with my father, the man who built my desk and helped me become a better writer.
Julie Saffrin is the author of numerous published articles and essays. Her latest book, BlessBack: Thank Those Who Shaped Your Life, explores the power of gratitude and offers 120 creative ways to journey toward positive, lasting change.