I only recently began writing on a regular basis. One morning last summer, I opened up my laptop, opened a Word document and poured my heart out.
I did the same thing the following day. And the next. And the next one after that.
I wouldn’t have done so if it wasn’t for Nick.
Nick is my oldest child, my firstborn son.
He died at the beginning of last year.
Nick was a budding writer. He never published anything, but he did love to read and write. As a child, he would grab a stack of papers from the printer, fold it in half, and staple it in a couple of places in the center fold. He would then proceed to create a book, complete with a story (usually about giant ants) and his own illustrations. Somehow, his story always came out to be the exact number of pages that he created with his stack of printer paper.
As he got older, he outgrew the stories he created as a child (but I still have them), and began journaling. He also continued to write stories. His favorite genre was horror and he was a big Stephen King fan.
Nick read a lot too. His siblings and I were introduced to books and series that we never would have looked at had Nick not been so enthusiastic about them.
After Nick’s death, I collected all of his belongings from his place (he wasn’t living at home at the time). They contained notebooks and binders full of his writing: journals, stories, his ideas and thoughts. I still can’t bring myself to read through them, but I will someday.
The summer morning that I sat down with my laptop, I asked Nick to be with me and to help me let the words flow. It was difficult at first, but after a while, the words came easier. He became my muse.
At first, it was just journaling. Then it became more creative, coming up with ideas and stories, playing with new words and phrases, and digging deep into my imagination to search for new worlds.
I’m not sure if I would be writing now if Nick was still physically here. I like to think that I would. I love writing and the more I do it, the easier it becomes, and the better I get. But I know now that my writing is my tribute to him and a way to feel close to him.
I’m not suggesting that one needs to lose a piece of their heart to begin writing or embark on a creative journey. That’s just the way it happened for me. Of course, I would give up everything to have my son back. Even my writing voyage.
But it’s not an option; God had other plans for both Nick and me. I don’t have to understand it, but I do know that I will continue my writing journey. Nick would want me to.