Friday, March 5, 2010


The final Words Matter Week challenge asks:

What person in your life helped you understand the importance of choosing words carefully? What would you say to them if you met them today?

It's not any great epiphany, and I suspect many of us will have similar thoughts. (Yet I purposefully did not read any blog postings today for WMW just so I could keep my thoughts original.)

But my word heroes are my parents. It hasn't always been easy, mind you, to be their child--nor has it been easy to be my parent!--but I am infinitely grateful that my father read to me from the get-go. I don't remember the words so much as the act. He had to be tired, getting home from work at odd hours, yet still taking time to interact with me through a book.

My mother played her own role by serving as a positive example of a reader. She was often with a newspaper and had a gift for gab besides. (Still does, actually!)

Though neither of them is a writer per se, they are the literal wellspring of a self-defined writer (and editor). For I've wanted to be a writer since, oh, since I can't completely remember.

And to be a writer, you have to love words--and reading is the gateway.

Again, nothing ground-breaking here, but it is the simple, heartfelt truth.

Thankfully, my parents are still with me, though they live several states away. I should say "I love you," to them far more often than I do. Whatever they are, or have done, they have instilled a love of language in me, which says a lot about them.

I might not say anything beyond that other than that I hope I have made them proud. I'm not rich monetarily, but I'm not poor emotionally or intellectually either. Thanks in large part to them.

Without them, I never would have sought out Shakespeare or Eliot or Faulkner or any of the other writers I admire.

In a way, this blog posting could be that love note to them that I've never written.

Maybe I oughta let them know?

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