I hope to make you all proud. I really do. But if I lose a few of you, I will not fret. The only other person aside from myself whom I seek to really keep on my side is Ima Lou Pack; my grandmother. This may not seem to be a surprise that I have the utmost love and respect for my “granny”. It may even seem rudimentary. But I assure you that my reasons are very developed.
Ima Lou, is the genesis of my creativity. If my spark were to have originated from genetics it would had to have come from her. Even so, if it were to have derived from my upbringing it would still BE her! I want to believe that it was a bit of both. Not only was she, herself a creative, but she was always excited and supportive when she noticed at such a young age that I too was starting to use my imagination in an intelligent way. She would always go out of her way to help me with every creative idea that I pursued. I don’t know if she knew that I would become a writer but she definitely knew that I would grow up and never forsake my gift of imagination.
I remember what might have been my first idea to write a script and have it acted out. I had read a book about the witch trials in Salem and wanted to have an excerpt acted out. It was a scene from one of the trials. That was my first attempt at developing a script from a book. I always liked to see fiction come to life even in the seventh grade. When my mother spoke to her about it, she knew it was her role to mentor the process. She helped me piece together costumes from her own wardrobe and local thrift shops and she made it spectacularly authentic. She really knew her stuff and that was only one of the many times she did this.
All of this reflection over the years got me to wondering, though. Why did she not become something else? Why did my grandmother, with all of her eccentricity and love for the fantastic, wind up the way she did working retail and restaurant management. Why did she marry someone who would leave her with four kids to raise by herself until my grandpa came to adopt them? I think I can only speculate, but my speculations are admirable. Each generation has a slight responsibility in changing the culture in a society. The culture in which Ima Lou grew up in was much different that ours today. But it’s not just that. It’s a mix of that and the place in society you fit into at the time which mold your decisions. At that time she had probably been a local girl who fell in love with a man she had admired. It was not uncommon in our little town to want to graduate, get out of your parents house, and start a life becoming a contributing member of your own environment. We can never know why we make the decisions we do but we should never regret them. My grandma was a caring woman who married a man and had four beautiful children. The event soon after that were out of her hands. Maybe she was satisfied with settling down. Maybe she had dreams to do something else and thought God would lead her to an area where she could satisfy both. Either way, she did what she could with the hand that was dealt. She took on long hours and worked to provide any kind of life for her kids that she could. I am glad she didn’t give up. Because everything happens for a reason. Maybe she couldn’t have done everything she always wanted but she was the best mother she knew how to be so her kids could have kids and she could sit back one day and enjoy them.
I know this doesn’t seem like a story about someone who succeeded in their own creativity. It seems like someone who may have hit dead ends. But it is not like that at all because life has a funny way of working out. All of her decisions combined created me. It could be argued that had she made any other decision different in her life, I may not even be alive! I feel that because of that, her life was very successful. I feel that now I have the opportunity to make her proud. Because of her, and society she fought for me to be brought up in, I can do great things. I can carry on her legacy and the creativity that she helped spark.
I could never thank her enough.
I love you Granny. I hope to come back home to visit you soon.