Sunday, April 28, 2013

A Special Book Club Meeting

I attended another book club meeting the other night and it was what will probably be one of my favorites for awhile.  This particular book club has members who are housed in an assisted living facility so the bulk of the readers are up there in age.  I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect when I attended but I was looking forward to it either way.
The facility was very nice; someplace I’d like to live if I were at an age where assisted living was a necessity.  Terrie, the Life Enrichment Coordinator, set up the evening with me and while we had good conversations on-line before the meeting, it was a pleasure to finally meet her in person.  She is someone I would define as a “kick” to be around.  Very funny, very personable and I can easily see why she’s so good at her job and why all the residents just love her.

The meeting was taking place hours past when the residents have their usual book club meetings so Terrie alerted me to the fact that she wasn’t sure how many residents might actually attend.  I should have realized many of the residents had early bedtimes and had I thought about it beforehand, I might have tried to schedule the meeting at an earlier time to accommodate them.
I guess many of the residents decided meeting me was worth getting to bed late and I was pleasantly surprised by the attendance.  Overall, I believe there were close to 20 of us once a few who were running late also joined the group.  The group was mostly women but there were also two men who attended.  While one of the men had not yet read the book (but I believe he will be reading it now that he’s met me), the other had and was very sweet when he held up his hand to say he’d read No Mother of Mine and was looking forward to the next book in the series. 

The residents were undeniably delightful and they were all very attentive and appeared to really appreciate my work.  As I think back on some of their comments and questions, I smile as I reflect on the evening but I’m also saddened by the fact that my own grandmother passed away before she could see what I have accomplished.  She would have gladly sat in a chair in the front row alongside the residents of the assisted living facility where she had been residing had I been able to speak about my book at the facility where she lived.  I know she would have been very proud of me. 
Before I left the facility for the evening, I met a resident who is the aunt of a Seattle-based author who recently made it in this business with the publication of a zombie book which was recently made into a movie.  This young author is certainly one of those Cinderella stories we hear about.  He’d only self-published three books before someone picked up the fourth book, published it and just a few years later it’s on the big screen.  Where the author goes from here is up to him but it’s heartwarming to see someone so young take on the dream to do what he has a passion for and be rewarded with such wonderful results.

It just goes to show, there is no perfect age for doing what you were meant to do.  Some get their chance in their 20’s while others put off discovering their passion until their 40’s or maybe even their 60’s.  Once you do realize you have a passion for something, don’t let life rule your passion because life is precarious and results not typical.  What one might be rewarded with after only a short time, someone else may have to work longer for but in the end it is through hard work, perseverance and true dedication that you will be rewarded if what you’re putting yourself into is what truly brings you joy rather than what you hope or expect to gain as a result.
And for those who decide to embark upon a journey doing what they’re passionate about, there are certainly those in your life who will stand by you and enjoy supporting you as you endeavor to reach your goals.  I have earlier stated that I began writing when it was the right time for me but there are times when I wish I had begun just a few years earlier, if for no other reason than to allow some of the most important people in my life who are no longer with us a chance to see me achieve so much with something that brings me so much joy. 

While taking part in a book club meeting at an assisted living facility made me miss my grandparents who have already passed, it also brought me joy and fulfilled my day in a way I hadn’t thought possible.  The residents may have enjoyed spending time with me but what they cannot realize is that I benefited from the time I spent with them just as much, or possibly more.  It was a special evening with special people and will remain an everlasting and special memory.   


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