Blog Schedule

I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

F is for Freedom, G is for Great Expectations

First, a big THANK YOU for all your kind comments on the death of my mother. Though not unexpected, it is still sad and she will be missed. I already have reservations to go to the islands the end of May and be there for a couple of months. (There's a family wedding to attend and my 40th class reunion.) Since my mother is to be cremated, my sister and I will make plans for a memorial when I get down there. Life goes on.

Second, I plan to continue with A to Z Challenge. But to sort of play catch-up I will post two letters a day for a while. So today, we have the letters F and G.

Free from Middle English fre or free from Old English freo, akin to Old High German fri, Old Norse frjals, Gothic freis, Welse rhydd (meaning free), Greek prays (meaning mild, gentle), Sanskrit priya (an adjective meaning dear) and priya (a noun meaning friend.)

dom: suffix from Middle English, akin to Old Saxon dom and Old High German tuom, Old Norse domr all from a prehistoric Germanic noun represented by the Old English dom meaning judgement. There is a connection to doom in this suffix.

So it seems that freedom basically means free of judgement.

On the highest level, the "freedom" we enjoy in the United States came, and continues to come, at a cost. The cost is high as it is paid for with human lives.

Our genius Founding Fathers wanted to secure for us three inalienable rights: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. But just because we have them doesn't mean we have the right to seek them if it impinges on the freedom of others.

With freedom comes responsibility, something I'm not sure is really taught. It requires that we be self-aware, in that we realize what we are doing and why. It requires that we be awake and conscious, that we know and understand how what we do affects others.

Freedom is the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Freedom begins with me, with you, with each individual. We have to work for it, strive for it, earn it. To be truly free we must become enlightened beings.

My mother attained the ultimate freedom on the 15th. There is a cost in that as well. Though my sister and I knew this day would come and were in many ways prepared, something is gone now that can never be replaced. There is this space. From the moment of my conception to the day she died, her heart beat with mine. We breathed the same air. Her breath and heartbeat is no longer here and this is the empty silence that I feel. I know in time it will fade as it did after my father died. Yet here it intangible something missing. I am a motherless child.

But she is free now, free of judgement. I choose to believe that the smile on her face was Dad coming for her.

Freedom, whatever form it takes, is not free. Use it wisely.

Great: Middle English grete, from Old English great (pronounce greet); akin to Old High German groz, meaning large.

Expectations: Expect from the Latin exspectare, meaning to look forward to.

I make no excuses or apologies for copping a title from a great book.

As writers we all have them...Great Expectations.

In my case I didn't think about writing and publishing for children until after I retired. (Retired: a word I'm not all that crazy about because the word "tired" is in it and I'm certainly NOT tired.)
Up to the point of being um...retired I didn't think of myself as being a published author. And yet I was. I had articles in my yearbook and articles in a local newspaper. Most particularly, as an assistant editor, I had 18 years of articles and stories that I wrote for a newsletter that promoted a home for abused and neglected kids.

The newsletter went out six times a year to about 10,000 people. It went to such far away places as New Zealand and England. I wrote stories about the kids and their successes. I did interviews with the generous people who donated their time and money. I wrote about the numerous programs and our fabulous summer trips.

So many, many stories.

Yet for some reason is it never occurred to me that this was being published. I was wrong.

Those stories and articles were/are just as valid as being published in Stories for Children, or Wee Ones, or Fun for Kidz, or Spider, to name a few.

Without realizing it my Great Expectations of being published were met long ago when I published a poem in my high school year book. (Did I tell you I was the copy editor? Me? Who can't spell? HA!)

Great Expectations can come hidden in small packages.

I may never get a book published (though I keep working on it) but they will continue to be written. To date I have one YA, 3 MGs and a collection of retold tales.

Ideas abound for other novels. Great Expectations waiting in the wings.

What are your Great Expectations. In working/hoping for the big ones have you over-looked the small?


  1. Bish, thank you for sharing your thoughts on the passing of your mother and the cost of freedom. That touched me and gave me much to ponder.
    You got me, as well, with the great expectations. I have been published thousands of times as a news & features writer. I worked for a paper that reached hundreds of thousands of readers, and many thanked me for stories I wrote about them or their causes. So I know I have done something worthwhile with my writing even if I haven't yet finished a novel or seen it on a bookstore shelf. You are so right, that it's important to acknowledge the many accomplishments we do make in life. Thank you for a profound post.

  2. Great post, Bish. I agree with you that our freedom comes with responsbilities and that it's not taught like it should. We're in an odd time of people not thinking they have responsibilities and how their actions affect others. I get so upset when the "bad guys" seem to get more rights and freedoms than their victims.

    I'm glad you'll have a chance to go to the islands in May. I hope that's a good trip for you and that it brings you joy and peace.

  3. So so sorry to hear about your mother. Hoping your trip brings healing.

    Great post btw. I try not to overlook the small things because they are so fleeting. But thanks for the reminder; it's easy to forget to do that.

  4. Great thoughts on freedom. You're right - it starts with us. We need to take responsbility for safguarding and protecting it!

  5. As always, a great post. I am always surprised when I meet people who've written tons of stuff for their work (like you did) but do not consider themselves writers.

    Great expectations: None really. I am content with my family and work. It is a full life. But I continue to write.

  6. A wonderful post, Bish and glad to see you back :o)

  7. Well said, Bish. You did a lovely job connecting all the dots for us. My condolences for your loss, but I love your view on things: the ultimate freedom. Very touching.

  8. What an beautiful and thoughtful post. Hopefully the vacation will heal your soul and give you some needed time off.

  9. Such moving thoughts you had on freedom. I have nothing else to add other than taking a moment to reflect on your words. Very powerful.

  10. Precious thoughts on freedom, particularly in the act of giving. Funny about 'retired' not being tired!!!

  11. Oh, Bish I love your words about your mother and freedom! I am thinking of you!

  12. Bish, I'm so sorry to hear of your mother's passing. You've paid her a beautiful tribute.

  13. I am so sorry for your loss. I have no words or experiences that I can say that will mean enough. My only advice is to take care of yourself, deal with your grief in your own way. When my husband lost his Dad, he immersed (sp?) himself in his work/studies and video games. We played a lot of tennis. Life will never be the same, but you will get through this. HUGS!

  14. Again, I'm so sorry about your loss, but it sounds like you have a wonderful attitude about everything. I hope you enjoy your time at the islands. Great thoughts on freedom and expectations - and yes, I'd say all those stories definitely qualify you as a published writer.

  15. Great post. I especially like your thoughts on great expectations - it is easy to overlook those positive events. Thanks for the reminder.

  16. So sorry about your mom's passing. But I loved what you shared about how you feel. (My mom is fighting for her life against relapsed cancer right now, so your thoughts were a Godsend.)

    Glad I found your blog...

    My Great Expectations are the equalivent of my big dreams--and in there somewhere is to publish MG and YA too!

  17. Sorry about the loss of your mother. I'm looking at her picture here on you last post. She is stunningly beautiful. And she's born the same year as my mother, 1917.

    Great Expectations is my favorite Dickens novel, and like you I love the suggestions and meaning of the title itself. My expectations are so great & lofty that I'm usually quite embarrassed to tell anyone, so I write it all in my journal.



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