Thursday, October 25, 2007

A Door Always Open

I love this story; I’m sure you will, too:

A daughter can return home to Dad whenever she wants to.

Lorinda was her father’s fourth child and the most difficult to manage of his children; she had a terrible rebellious streak, always sassy and defiant to the nth degree. Whether it was ignoring homework or feigning sickness to get out of her household responsibilities, Lorinda did what she could to spend more time with her friends, especially those her father didn’t approve of.

Dad was the vessel of reason and wisdom in their home, and Lorinda fought him at every turn. She either ignored his advice or appeased him with a cursory agreement that she never intended to live up to. By the time she became a high school senior she had grown tired of being dishonest with her parents. Deciding to be all the more defiant, she left home to live with friends, much to her parents’ considerable heartache and disappointment.

However, she wasn't gone long. One week later her dad came to her and admitted that while in his frustration he has wished he could just sit back and let her make her own mistakes, he couldn’t bring himself to let her go, especially when it was so obvious to him that she was headed for trouble. He couldn't give up on his daughter, and he begged her to listen to his concerns and come back home with him.

Lorinda, still defiant, declined his request. For a few hours.

Later that evening, feeling the need for a little support and compassion, she looked around for the friends she thought she could count on. No one was there for her; her friends turned out not to be friends at all. In the loneliness of that moment she realized her parents were the people who loved her more and wanted only what they thought was best for her.

Remembering her dad’s pleas and the look of worry in his eyes, she decided to go home though was apprehensive about how she would be greeted once she got there.

Her dad met her at the door with a smile and open arms. He embraced his daughter, told her he loved her, and then carried on as though nothing had happened. On that day, Lorinda’s life began to return to normal, and her relationship with her father began to turn sweeter. For the first time she understood that he had never tried to oppress her; he simply wanted to protect her from her own naïve judgment.

Today, nearly twenty years later, Lorinda knows that if she ever needed to, she can still go home to her dad, and he would welcome her once more with open arms. Her judgment is much better, too, thanks to her dad, the mentor she has emulated since that day when she came home.

A book update:

I received the copyedit version of the book yesterday. Believe me; it has plenty of red-line in it, but rightly so. I’ve never won an award for correct spelling or use of punctuation. I have to read it through, deciding whether to agree or not with each edit, make a few requested revisions, and answer some questions to help the Copy Editor decide if certain sentences or paragraphs are written well enough to remain in the book.

It’s funny how the editing process has evolved. I once labored so hard to write a paragraph, I did everything possible to save each word, even when an Editor said it was awful. I ended up restating the same idea but with synonyms, hoping it read better. Today I just hit delete and start over. Better to be fresh than regurgitated, I’ve learned.

Anyway, I shed a few tears in Linley’s orthodontist’s waiting room while I read the quotes (they are wonderful!) and replayed memories of my conversations with you as I read back over a few of your stories. I’m very happy with this book; I hope you will be, too.

No comments: