by Joan Kayse
When you first read my subject title you're probably thinking about the impact of romance writing on the state of the world. And in essence it is, but not from the writing perspective.
Our stories come from within us, creations of our imaginations, our hopes (in my case) or our dreams. But what about the real stories, the ones experienced by real people? The ones that impact a life?
Recently, I had my house painted. The fellow who came to do it was a friend of a friend of a friend. We spent a lot of time chatting while Jay freshened my walls with a whole range of colors and I frantically jumped in to dust behind the furniture :-). We talked about a lot of things, about his children, my writing, the global misunderstanding of country music. A great guy who did a great job.
On day four he received a phone call which he took privately outside. He came back in rather somber looking and went quietly back to work. I continued my reading when from the kitchen he said "That call was about my grandmother. She's dying."
I told him how sorry I was for that and he replied that it was not unexpected but that he was very close to her and you could hear how much he would miss her in his voice. He then told me the story of how his grandparents met.
His grandfather worked as a young man on a farm. One day he was walking back home from a trip to town and decided at the last minute to cut through an adjacent meadow. Just enjoying the day and perhaps hoping to get home just a tad sooner. Along the way he passed by a lake where a large group of people were having a picnic/gathering. There was picnic food, laughter, games and out in the lake he could see some people in small boats. All of them having a good time and you have to wonder if he wasn't wishing he could spend some down time with a bunch of friends. But he had work at home to do and so he continued on his way.
Just as he passed the lake he heard frantic shouts and screams for help. He turned and saw that one of the boats had capsized with two people...two young women....inside. Without a thought, he kicked off his shoes and dove into the lake. The girls were frantic, neither could swim and they were fighting him off in their terror. He knew he would only be able to save one of them and faced with that grim choice caught hold of one and started for shore. He got her there safely and then...must to his surprise and relief....found that the second girl had caught the ankle of the first girl and was also saved.
The second girl became his wife of fifty years.
Jay told the story with such wonder and marvel at the karmic forces that had caused his grandfather to decide at that moment, on that day to cross that meadow and be there to rescue this woman, marry her and build the family that had given him life. He said "I wouldn't be here if not for that."
It was such a gift to have Jay share this story with me. I was touched by it on so many levels and yes...even began to plot out a story based on it :-)
So how has romance touched your life? What stories have you heard that reaffirms your belief in the power of romance?