Mary Jo Brown: Writing is a gift of its own
December 29, 2013
A present came to me in a very unusual way. I had a call from a woman who wanted to know why I wrote. How is this a present you may ask, well, it caused me to think back to when I started to write and the people most responsible for it happening. The present was in the form of treasured memories of people whom had touched my life in such a positive way.
I explained to the caller that I had been writing since I was in the eighth grade and my teacher made us keep a diary. Every day on the way to school we had to write what we had seen. She wanted us to really look at the world around us and turn in a descriptive piece about what we had seen. This helped me look at the world around me a little closer.
During the Korean War, I decided to answer an ad requesting a pen pal from a soldier. My first letter was about a butterfly and what the day was like, the soldier wrote to his mom that it was the touch of home he needed. My pen pals grew, and soon I was writing to the entire unit. My diary was read overseas with the boys in Korea who wanted to hear about a place that was peaceful and know that someone at home cared about what they were doing. Sadly, I lost several of my pen pals, including the first one, in the battle on "pork chop hill."
I started writing a senior newsletter a long time ago to keep those in Craig up on news of their friends and neighbors. I would get calls or notes from those wanting to let everyone know about an upcoming anniversary, birthday, graduation and a visit from family that lived out of town and so on. Now, I write about things that I think someone somewhere may need to hear — a message from the heart that maybe they can relate to. It may be spiritual or memories of the beautiful scenery the Lord has created. One of the most beautiful and majestic scenes are the mountains that I have grown up around. A woman once told me that she didn't know what all the excitement was about a bunch of dirty, ugly rocks. I see more than that. I see the majesty of them towering above all and their rivers, flowing in torrents of power and yet at times totally peaceful and serene. I try to bring that serenity to those who fail to see it when they look around.
I write because hopefully my writing will make someone feel better, give them pause to think or know that they are not alone. Writing can be a present — it's never too late to write a note to someone you care about or are thinking of. Get a pen pal, there is someone out there waiting to hear from you. Take the time to make someone and yourself happy. There is a new year coming in. I hope that you keep the spirit of Christmas in your heart and that 2014 is a good one for you all.
Happy birthday to my great-granddaughter Haley Bellin-VanGrandt, Betty Huntman and Bob McKinney.
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