HOW SHALL I BE REMEMBERED?
When Maggie asked if I’d share a post on Five For Fiction, I picked November because I thought picking five things I’d want to be remembered for would be easy. I mean, I know what I don’t want to be remembered for: Garlic breath, poking people in the eye with sticks, arriving at a party with a roll of toilet paper trailing after me.
A list of things I want to be remembered for should be actions I’m proud of. For one who only takes her foot out of her mouth long enough to stick the other foot in, this list proved itself a daunting task. Alas, after four months of tapping my forehead, I have my list.
I also have a small bruise on my right temple.
1. I don’t want people to see how clean my house is. I want them to feel that they are welcome.
These words are not mine, they belong to a woman I once babysat for, a wife, a mother of two, and a fighter, locked in a battle with kidney failure. I realize now that in her quiet way, she was my mentor, and her wisdom has come to bear at times when I’ve been to focused on less important baubles.
2. Elegance will never keep me from working in the mud.
In many ways, Dear Hubster is a 12-year-old connoisseur of toilet humor, but every now and then he comes through. This was one of those times, and he, quite seriously, provided hit #2 for this list.
That’s right. My DH thinks I’m elegant.
3. I know you! You’re the one with the great shoes!
A few weeks ago I met a group of fellow writers for dinner. Last to arrive (not late, just last), I sat next to a woman whose name rang familiar but whose path had never crossed with mine. We compared a few notes, and discovered we’d both been at RWA Nationals in Atlanta. Then her mouth dropped and she pointed to the floor. I had been duly identified. Silly to be remembered for shoes, but who can tell where this foundation might lead?
Okay, those are attributes I can lay honest, if not perfect, claim to. Now I acknowledge two gems I’d like to be known for, but at the moment, haven’t quite mastered.
4. Zipping the lip when the lip needs zipping.
Blame it on the A-type personality, blame it on the brain programmed in sass, but I have a hard time keeping ideas to myself. Yes, I know you have an idea, too, but wait--my idea is better. Like any good character arc, mine could use a twist: Listen to the other idea, because my idea may be all right, but yours may be genius. What a novel idea.
Novel idea. I’m a writer. Ha! Sometimes I crack myself up.
5. Letting go when the go needs letting.
This is a hard one. Even as I set my fingers to the keyboard, a sigh trembles in my chest. I’ve made some strides, it’s true. Item number one, for example. A few dust bunnies never hurt anyone, and yet, when the rumble of tires on the drive announce an unexpected visitor, I run for the Windex . Letting go of past hurts, letting go of expectations, letting go of problems I can not solve, letting go of the to-do list to bask in the pleasure of a sunny afternoon, a walk to nowhere, or the company of a friend. This is the rich goal to which I aspire.
Raised by Nancy Drew and Miss Marple, Sherry Isaac’s novels and short stories feature heroines who, like wildflowers, appear fragile, yet thrive in the harshest conditions. Sherry weaves love, life and forgiveness into tales that transcend all obstacles, including the grave.
The Forgetting earned the Alice Munro Short Story Award in 2009. In 2010, her novel, Homecoming, earned Honorable Mention in the Georgia Romance Writers’ Maggie. That same year, the Heart of Denver’s Molly contest declared her heroine, Hannah Marsh, ‘Unsinkable’.
Sherry believes in romance, identity, and the depth of the human soul.