I was asked this question, why do you write? I see it as a therapeutic action to events that happen in my life and to the people around me. I take some of those events and turn them into stories and then take it the next step if I can into a manuscript or book form if possible. Why you ask simply, so others will experience them with me and understand where I came from during those events. Sometimes I use my writing to bash politics and politicians who need bashing, other times I write about staying and living with and marrying people who had cancer, in their lives. It all depends on what is happening in my life or what I am thinking about. I know it sounds corny, or boring, but then I am now in my sixties and I have a right to be corny or boring if I want. DOn’t I, I write sometimes about military life, on ships, or make up stories about things people wouldn’t, it is all a way to express points of view, ideas or sometimes just whimsical relief. So when you ask a writer why they wrote something, be prepared at times not to get the answer you expected ok, because our reasoning is a little different from what we do.
The said and done, I hope I explained it well enough, let’s move on to some stories I did write for instance and why? I recently wrote The Scepter and Throne Mystery and made it into an e-book and paperback. It’s a short story that goes into South Dakota and finds a mysterious valley with caves and is an adventure really. It was a thought at the time because I was thinking of my honeymoon with my wife, we had gone to New Mexico Santa Fe and Taos. While there we had run into the Taos Pueblos and an Indian family so, I made up the story based on the character I saw and met. So Ideas for stories come from many places for writers and we all know what we do, and try to incorporate some of it in the stories giving some history to it. For instance, The Lakota Tribe I wrote about, was real as was Chief Red Cloud, I used his history to build further and weave mine.
Ok, next subject, an event happened this year that to me, brought memories flooding back at me. I want to say this in a proper way when you are young, you find first loves, as you grow, some become girlfriends or boyfriends some don’t, others you date and walk away, then there is the first kiss and the first sex. For me, the story I started to write recently is about someone, who in my life was special to me. What brought the story to light in my mind was her recent death and it kind of disturbed me I was unable to attend her Wake and Funeral, due to her families misconceptions about me as a person. So when I began the story, I had to tell the background of it in such a way as to lead up to the ending, so I built some on it. Yet I could never bring myself to lie or exaggerate about any of it, I felt, in honor of her memory and what she meant to me I would just tell it honestly, so I did. The Story is finished, it’s not a book, it’s a story, but the point of it is simple, again it’s therapeutic for me and a way to explain to members of her family how I felt and feel and the sadness I felt when I found out she died. So, without further ado, this is what I am going to do, I am going to post the story here on my blog, I have not used any last names, just first names, and in the end, I hope it will ease some pain and bring good memories to others as it did to me.
The Lost Letter
Two young children, a boy, and a girl sat on a porch, looking out over the neighborhood, side by side in lawn chairs, watching cars go by. As the cars went by, the two children, laughed and joked and dreamed of the future for themselves. They had big dreams, little Bettidean and Bill, what neither knew or spoke of was what their dreams were. No one would know, for children keep secrets well, and some believe, boys and girls have different dreams, the truth is you never know.
Bettidean was a cute little girl with long brown hair and big blue eyes, and freckles over her nose. Bill was a little towhead blond boy, with a smile and lots of energy. The Porch was wide and comfy and the days would pass the two of them playing together, from cars and trucks to dolls and house and tea parties. Each day was a new adventure for these two, they were having fun each and every day and when his mom called, Bill would run home to eat and do what he had to and sleep. Yet each day he and Bettidean would be found on that same porch, it was the way it was and accepted by their parents. They had fun and played together that way, from around five years old till about ten, when they separated just because of age. Bettidean was growing into a beautiful young girl and Bill a young man, and they knew as did their parent’s people would talk and of course there was the peer pressure of their friends at school by now. Then the kids at school started with the old romantic rhymes teasing them both, and of course, the two didn’t know exactly what to do, so they started avoiding each other, only waving hello to each other at school and in the neighborhood. They were growing up and apart, and it was that time of their lives when romance and attraction to the opposite sex were just beginning in their lives.
By Age 14 they both were in the same High School and ended up in the same homeroom together. Bettidean would tease Bill every morning in homeroom and Bill would try to stay away and avoid her at all cost. Even though they knew they were very old friends, they would never admit it in the classes of high school. Bettidean though had made up her mind who she wanted for her boyfriend, and it was Bill and she was very persistent about it too, telling her girlfriends all about Bill whenever she could. It was a game of chase that started in Homeroom and went on, into the school hallways, each day in between classes.
One day in The Cafeteria, Bill was in line to get lunch with a friend and two girls he knew from a Park ran up to him. They were sisters and told Bill, Bettidean likes you and wanted to date with you and be with you. Bill said, “ You’re full of it, I don’t believe you!” ‘The Younger sister looked at Bill and said ask her yourself she is the cashier when you pay.” Bill did just that and was shocked when Bettidean smiled at him with her big smile and told him, “Yes, it’s true” Bill left the line thinking she was joking and didn’t believe her, So they went separate ways and right back to her teasing him in homeroom every day. Unknown to Bettidean, Bill had never really had a girlfriend, except her as a kid and they were older now and he never had even kissed a girl. Bettidean had had a boyfriend at the time and still did when she began chasing Bill, her boyfriend was a nice enough guy too.
A few days later in the school cafeteria, Bill sat down a few seats away from Bettidean and her boyfriend and she smiled at him, and then looked her boyfriend in his eyes and gave him back his class ring she had been wearing and broke up with him, and told him she wanted to be with Bill. The boyfriend tried to convince her, not to break up with him for a while, trying to convince her they were a perfect couple, but Bettidean would have no part of it. In the end, the poor boyfriend was forced to move on, for not to do so, would have been wrong.
Bettidean, didn’t give up on Bill and still chased him each day in homeroom and through the halls of the school, each day, one day, even going to a point of following Bill from class to class singing with a girlfriend Stop In The Name of Love at him in a high voice. This bugged the hell out of Bill and he ignored it and kept walking and avoiding Bettidean. Then at one point both Bill and Bettidean ended up in detention for doing something wrong. When they did, they began to talk again, and once more they started hanging out together, just like in their younger days. Bill started walking Bettidean home from school, at first, only till his turn off to his own home. Then the more days that went by that September to November, Bill and Bettidean walked further toward her home a little more each time. Finally, one November day, it was rainy and sprinkling and Bill walked Bettidean, past his point of going home through the center of town and up the other side of town, part way up her hill home. They had gotten out of school at 2 pm, and it was now after five in the evening they were wet and laughing every step of the way. When it was time to stop for Bill, Bettidean stopped to say goodbye, and she started crying, suddenly. Bill had no idea why she he asked and she told him “ She would be in trouble at home when she got there for being so late.” The tears rolled down Bettidean’s cheeks and Bill felt helpless and wanted her to stop crying. So Bill did what he felt was natural, he reached out pulled her close and kissed Bettidean standing here in the rain. It was a gentle kiss and stopped Bettidean from crying at the time and they parted, Bettidean going up the hill to her home and Bill in the opposite direction to his home. Bill thought of Bettodean at that time and she, of course, thought of Bill. Yet never again would another kiss happen between the two, except for brief peeks between them that November. Their friendship would go on for a long time, but no romance would happen, between them. One evening Bill walked Bettidean all the way home to her front yard and while saying goodbye to her, all the windows on one side of her home opened, all these heads popped out. Unknown to Bill, Bettidean had many siblings and most of them were now watching them both. Seems she came from a very large family, she had 10 siblings, one of which was her sister Maria, the next in line. Maria had stuck her head out the window and said she could do better than Bill and teased her sister Bettidean about it all. Bill didn’t pay attention at the time, yet it did stick in his mind, it came back to him the following year in High School. Bettidean would move on and so would Bill. Bettidean to other boyfriends and Bill would end up with Maria her sister for a year or two. Yes, Maria, came after Bill the following school year in the same place as her sister, that cafeteria, and unlike many thought, Bill was not the aggressor Maria was. Through it, all Bettidean and Bill remained friends no matter what. It was surprising in many ways.
As Maria came on Bettidean, encouraged Bill towards her and while he dated Maria Bettidean was there watching at all times. Yet Maria and Bill only lasted for two years, in the end, Bill decided to join the military and it ended it all. He Left for the Army, where he failed in six months time and was discharged on an Honorable Trainee Discharge. Immature they said and Bill knew it too, so he moved on, looked for work, and went from job to job for a year never seeing Bettidean or Maria. After the year passed, he went back into the military this time in the National Guard in his home town. After two years in the Army National Guard and three years after he broke up with Maria, Bill returned to their home for one question. He was now getting ready to leave in The United States Navy and he wanted a picture of each, Bettidean and Maria and they gave them to him and he left. The year was 1978, the biggest blizzard in Connecticut hit that year and yet The Navy came and got Bill and off he went. He wouldn’t see Bettidean for the next 16 years, but he had her and her sister’s picture with him, in his wallet all those years, even though he married and had two children. He lived a new life as a sailor, husband, and father, raising his kids and doing his duty for his country.
1990, came about and Bill’s marriage fell apart not of his own doing, his wife had mental problems, from being sexually abused by her father. When Bill found out he tried to help her, but it was too late, the memories came rushing back. Bill had no idea what was about to happen next, but divorce came up and he was out and came back home to Connecticut. He settled in at his parents’ home, who gave him a bed and a room to stay in. He also got hit with bad news fast.
His, Step_father was dying of cancer and he watched the man slowly die, then he was hit with his mother dying, too. As his stepfather died and was buried, Bill’s mother was diagnosed with cancer also. She made Bill and the other kids promise never to tell their step-father of her illness. She worked to care for her husband as Bill and his siblings watched her do so. When he died, Bill’s mother threw herself over him in his coffin crying for him to take her with him. One year and a day later, she would follow her husband to the grave, cancer got her too.
One day, Bill was driving from his town to the next on a side street and there she was Bettidean in her hat, and strutting up the street. He rolled down a window and said hello to her, and she invited him up to her apartment. He had coffee and they chatted and began to hang out some again.
Bettidean was the first girl Bill kissed and she never knew that and she was also the first person he ever knew who had cancer, even before he had left for the service he knew. Bettidean had married and had two boys and BIll had married and had two boys and both were divorced. They laughed, played cards and games and just hung out helping each other through their divorces and discussing them. One day the phone rang and Bettidean answered, and it was Maria her sister. Bettidean told Maria Bill was there and wanted her to come to her home. Bettidean said she had no way there unless Bill brought her and asked if it was ok. Maria said it’s ok, bring him. So Bill drove Bettidean to Maria’s home, a trailer in a trailer park two towns away,
Bill felt out of place there and he didn’t feel right about being there, so after a short stay he left, leaving Bettidean there with Maria and her husband to be. It would be the last time Bill saw Bettidean, or her two boys and life went on as Bill met someone and got married again. Starting over, he married a second time, no children and went on to own his own home, towns away. In the Meantime, Bettidean was fighting her cancer and had to move to another state to get help and stay with Maria. Her children were now grown and on their own.
One day, in 2017, Bill was on Facebook on the Internet at home and he noticed an obituary online, for Bettidean. She had finally succumbed to her cancer at 61 years old. She did so in her sisters home and was brought back to Connecticut for her Funeral and Wake. Bill saw the obituary and felt he should not go because Bettidean’s family the thought bad about him and thought he was trouble. The truth was he only helped where he could for both sisters that he knew, but, that wasn’t the way some in her family thought. So Bill never went to the Funeral Home and Wake or the Burial like he wanted to. Sadly, Bill also found out Maria had lost her husband and the family had lost their mother earlier in the same year. It’s now months later and Bill saw an elder brother had died recently. Sadly, Bettidean never got the answer to the question she always asked Bill, why did he kiss her that November evening so many years ago, and yet never go further.
Many years later, Bill would die himself, in his seventies, and among his items left behind and found by one of his daughters was a letter. When Bill’s daughter read the letter she cried, suddenly, and when done reread it again and this is what it said:
Our walks and times together were important to me and we laughed hard and had fun. We were young, foolish and hormone driven and drawn together with the times and conditions neither of us controlled. What started in High School and lasted from September to November of that year made us both grow up and helped me become me. I am sure it also helped you along the way, as you grew up. What I played off as a one kiss incident and you always asked me about happened for a reason. It was rainy if you remember and it was late for you to be going home and you said it yourself, your mother would be mad and punish you and you began to cry. I was a boy who hated to see a girl cry, I hated seeing tears on a girl’s face and knew of the emotions of a girl. I also didn’t know what to do to stop your tears, I wanted to stop them and make you smile again, so I leaned in and kissed you to stop your crying. The kiss was gentle and sweet between the two of us and I am sure that is why you remember it so.
In the end, it worked for you stopped crying and were smiling once more and so was I as we said goodbye until the next time. You skipped up the hill and me down in the opposite direction, we were both happy, it seemed to me. Yet in our whole lifetime, we would not ever end up in each other’s arms again or kiss again. Destiny it seems , made it not to be as we moved on in life and grew up. I know I sat with you when you were in pain from your first husband and your illness too, keeping you company and acting always as a friend. I sat with you in Saint Marys Hospital as you went through tests for your cancer back then, I couldn’t see you going alone. I visited you while you sat home alone when your husband worked and always left before he came home, so as to not cause trouble. Yet I am sure your first husband blamed me for making trouble, you and I both know I never made a move.
So, Betts, here is the answer above as you have read. I don’t know if I will ever mail this letter to you, but at least I wrote it out, as a therapy for myself and to get my thoughts on paper. I am sorry if I never got to tell you the truth and you never got to understand me. As to your siblings, some who hated me for being around back then, I am sorry they misunderstood me and you. As I finish this Betts I pray for your health and hope you will be fine.
After finishing the letter Bill’s daughter shared it with her sister and they both marveled at their father’s heart and caring he had shown in writing it. The younger daughter decided she would try to contact someone in Bettidean’s family and hand over the letter to them. The days and years had passed and it was now 50 years later, so the daughter found, a daughter, to one of Bettidean’s sisters. She called and asked if she could meet her and told them she had something she thought she and her family should have and know of. The daughter agreed and they met one day, in an old diner in the old town were Bettidean and Bill had met. Bill’s youngest daughter now in her fifties and the daughter of Bettidean’s sister sat and had coffee and the letter was handed over. Bettidean’s Niece reads the letter and looked up with tears in her eyes, “ there was really something between them, but they never crossed the line did they?” Bill’s daughter replied and said, Doesn’t look like it to me, they never crossed the line and never kissed again!” Bettidean’s niece folded the letter and put it in her purse and thanked Bill’s daughter for bringing it to her and said she would pass it on.
Bill’s daughter now understood her father better and why and how he did things. Bettidean’s family, finally understood what went on between the two way back when, and time would now go on forever, in peace and no more anger. Both Bettidean and Bill were long gone now, and it was nice according to both families that they got the truth. Time, they say heals all wounds and hopefully, this helped both sides.
It would be a few years later, when Bettidean’s niece, showed the letter to her Aunt Maria, who was now in her eighties. Maria read it and cried and understood and she knew she had finally heard the truth. Peace did finally come to all involved.