“Live life in full bloom!”
Quote in a cafe
Just this weekend, Nancy, my dear friend and writing buddy, threw a double-themed party. It was a birthday bash and a gratitude party to thank her family and friends for supporting her and helping her launch into the next phase of her life. What a wonderful idea — a gratitude party!
Nancy’s sisters wrote a poem for the occasion, which was read with zest and flair. It touched on their childhood and celebrated Nancy’s writing gifts and accomplishments, including her two books, If I Could Paint the Moon Black and From the Abuellas’ Window. What a gift! The poem was funny and moving — it sparkled with the sense of pride that Nancy’s family feels in her growing success as a writer.
After we’d all laughed and clapped, Nancy gave those of us gathered around her an equally precious gift: She told us a story. It was a story someone had shared with her about overcoming challenging times and it was so inspiring that I want to recount it for you here as best I can:
When a pride of African lions found its home threatened, a group of doctors and activists decided to take steps to save them. They put the lions to sleep and transported them by truck to a safe, protected place where they could roam and thrive. But when the lions woke up, they all refused to leave the truck — not one of them would venture out. So the doctors, eager to start them in their new life, put the lions to sleep once again, so that they could safely transplant them to their new home.
When we face a huge challenge, Nancy told us, we are like those lions — afraid to leave our old life and embrace the new one. Sometimes, just like the lions, we need caring people to help us take those first steps into the new life that awaits us. Then Nancy turned to us all and said, “For me, all of you here are like those doctors. You’ve helped me take the next step into my new life.”
What a precious gift! By telling us a beautiful story, she made us all part of her own story in a truly meaningful way. That’s what stories do: They bring us together and make us part of something bigger than ourselves. Bravo, Nancy! Write on!