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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Writing (01/11/07)

TITLE: A Purpose to My Passion
By terri tiffany
01/16/07


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As a writer, I like to cover my walls with framed copies of published articles or contests I won to boost my ego on days when it sags. One framed story in particular means more to me than any of the others – perhaps because it was my first attempt at writing, but more importantly because it does what writing should do.

When I was in the fifth grade, I wrote my first and last poem. My mother had gone back to work fulltime that year and I missed her smiles when I returned home from school. Sometimes, mischief accompanied freedom and she might return after a long day to find the house a mess. She always forgave me and so one day I wrote down my feelings for her on a scrap of paper.

Parents to you are very mean

You may think they’re far from keen

Do you think this day and night?

Or only when they’re in your sight?

My little children, don’t you know,

That they were like you long ago.

They had parents like you too,

And with them they were never through

They listened to them each and every day

Never wanting to go astray

They had to learn this as you know

So to you they could always show,

How they love and care for you

Oh my little children how I envy you.



She cried when I gave it to her and then surprised me by folding it into a tiny square and stuffing it in her wallet. Now – a mother’s purse is sacred, so I never knew over the course of years whether or not she threw away that bit of sentiment. But years later, at my child’s first birthday party, my mother handed me a wrapped package.

“This one is for you.” I looked up in surprise and tore at the ribbon.

It was a copy of my poem. Through my tears, I cradled the gold frame now housing my thoughts forever in a calligrapher’s script. My childish words touched me as I read the sentiments written long ago and now so relevant to my own life.

Years passed before I started writing in earnest – actually submitting works and getting published. When I was ready, my husband designed an office for me with plenty of wall space. I dug through my memory box and unearthed the slightly tarnished frame with the forty year old poem and marveled how its message had endured through two generations.

It was then I knew how I should write. A writer’s words ought to move someone exactly like my poetry first moved my mother and then later me. When I wrote those verses, I wanted only to please my mother. Never did I imagine the lasting power of a child’s writing.

And so I look forward with great pleasure to the day when my simple words written for a moment’s absolution will touch again. I already have it planned how I will surprise my daughter on her child’s first birthday.


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This article has been read 835 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Pat Guy 01/18/07
THIS is the essence of writing.

This is so precious and thought provoking. It brings us back to the purity of words from a writer's heart that in turn, touches other's.

Just beautiful.
Kathie Thomas01/19/07
What a lovely story. A poem I wrote a long time ago (for my own children) my mother had framed for me, it was a very special poem about children being gifts from God.

Thank you for telling us about this - I enjoyed reading it.
Marilyn Schnepp 01/20/07
There is INDEED a purpose to your passion - and this entry proves it in many ways. Loved the recycling of a child's poem, bringing tears to those who read it. Truly a great story. God bless your efforts. Nicely done.
Jan Ackerson 01/23/07
What a lovely memoir! And wow--if you could write that poem in 5th grade, you might want to reconsider writing more poetry! Thanks so much for sharing this...quite moving.
Donna Emery01/23/07
A touching story and no wonder your mom kept it in a special place. Very nicely done. Thanks for sharing it.
Joanne Sher 01/23/07
Definitely sweet - and such a wonderful message for all of us! I agree with Jan - if you could write a poem like that in 5th grade, you may want to revisit! :D
william price01/25/07
I for one. Really, really enjoyed this. Not just the quality of writing and the message, but the courage of the author to stretch and reach for something different. It demonstrates the purity of a beginning writer with the polish of a master story teller. It reminds us all not to forget that first voice, the innocence and honesty, that was in the foundation of all of our writing. Bravo, for stepping out and blazing a creative new trail. Keep up the great and anointed work. God bless.