I was just printing out the draft of my speech for the Lions Youth event and checking blogger updates, so I think this is the perfect oppertunity to share with you a couple of paragraphs that are providing the meat, though as yet, no real bones, to my speech. By the way, my speech is supposed to be five minutes long and about whatever I like. Imagine the possibilities!
The greatest pain that I have ever felt was not at death, but at goodbye. It was at the end of my favourite book, All Things Bright and Beautiful by James Herriot. James Herriot told me chapter by chapter the true story of his life as a country vet in Wales, the tragic, the infuriating, the hilarious, and all with a gentle, humorous and loving voice. It was the voice that I fell asleep each night listening to. His tales were witty and over-roastedly authentic. I was in love with him and his gum boots, his midnight emergency calls, the gossips and the inside-jokes in which I shared a slice of paradise.
But I took it for granted that World War One raged in the background. And soon enough, my James Herriot was enlisted and I was faced with his departure and the horror of Change. I become the wives and lovers of all the troops. My boys were facing danger and I had to face being left behind, alone. I tearfully waved my handkerchief out the window as he left and then the book was over. That was the greatest pain that I have ever felt. Sitting in my room, alone, with the closed book on my knee, sobbing hysterically.
George R. R. Martin said that “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.”
The reading that I have done has added to me as a person. It has given me experiences, made me close and lifelong friendships with beautiful people. These stories have become my own and grown into my legacy. It’s a legacy that I desperately want to share. I want to share my friendship with Anne Shirley of Green Gables, with Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson, with Julia Child and Doctor Doolittle, with Frodo and Sam, all 101 dalmations, and James Herriot. I have already lived a thousand lives and my legacy is full of best friends and glorious journeys. What will your legacy be?
Yes, so I have a beginning, and end, and a quote. There will be a couple of minutes worth or middle too, by the time I'm done with it. But as readers yourselves, what do you think so far? Is there something that you feel needs to be added or changed? I would appreciate your input knowing you are more or less on the same page as me on this topic.