Monday, February 4, 2013

The Overcoming Adversity Bloghop

The wonderful Nick Wilford is hosting this fantastic bloghop. Nick's stepson Andrew has cerebral palsy and is coming to the end of his time at his current school. Unfortunately post-18, things don't look quite so good in Scotland. Andrew was basically told he would be attending Motherwell College (no element of choice), where he would be doing the "Access-8" course which more or less amounts to daycare (fingerpainting and the like), nothing that was going to push him to develop, or end up with a career. Nick's family would like to send Andrew to Beaumont College in Lancaster. Andrew has visited the school and it offers amazing facilities like Eye Gaze technology which would enable Andrew to use his eyes to select from different phrases and communicate much more effectively. He is interested in following a film editing course. The main issue is fundraising, and for that, Nick has created The "Overcoming Adversity" bloghop. With flash pieces and poetry written by the participants, Nick will create an anthology to put up for sale on Amazon. The sales will go to Andrew's college fund.

The rules are simple:
1) Sign up on the linky list.
2) Please write about overcoming adversity and keep your entry to 500 words.
3) Please post on February 4th or 5th. 
4) Keep it family-friendly.

Here's my contribution:

NEVER TOO OLD
By Christine Rains

I was expecting it when they called my name, but my hands still shook with hearing it. The crowd broke out into applause as I stood. Perhaps I should've felt big amongst the hundreds of people, but I still felt small. Not like a grain of sand on a beach, but more like a shell gleaming with a rainbow of colors.

Glancing at my walker, I didn't want to use it as I walked to the stage. I wanted to make it on my own two feet. Yet the first step reminded me this old body didn't have the strength.

My grandson hopped up and came to loop my arm through his. He winked and grinned. Not his usual mischievous one, but one of pride. It was worth everything for that alone. I squeezed his forearm, and we walked to the stage together.

The presenter was a young woman. No more than thirty. She was a best-selling author with several books under her belt. I had one.

We shook hands as she said her congratulations and passed on the award. I put the bulky trophy on the podium. A speech was expected. I'd gone over the words a thousand times in my head. None seemed right. I was a mother of five and a grandmother of eleven. I never worked and I never went to school. I feared my few words of wisdom would be lost on this crowd.

“Thank you.” I cleared my throat and spoke louder into the microphone. “Thank you, everyone. It's an honor to be here today and receive this wonderful award.”

Everyone was silent. I wet my lips. “I'll keep this short and sweet. I'm a bit flushed, but goodness knows I could use another glass of wine right now.” There were a few chuckles, but they helped relax me. “Five years ago, the only stories I knew were ones other people read to me. And while I did appreciate them taking time to read to an old woman, they couldn't read fast enough for my liking. So I thought, why wait for them? I need to do something about it myself.

“Two years later, I could finally read stories to my grandkids. A joy I cannot begin to describe. And then I thought, why stop there? You've got bunches of stories in your head. Share them with your grandkids, with all the kids.” I swallowed, still feeling that desire.

“I heard a lot of laughter. Not at what I wrote, but at me. People told me I was too old. Their protests were fueled when they discovered I just learned to read and write. They claimed I couldn't possibly write anything worthy to be published.” I patted the trophy. “Well, maybe this old woman didn't hear them right. I went on and did it anyway.”

The crowd stood as they applauded with a near deafening roar. My heart fluttered as I smiled. Maybe they could appreciate an old woman's story of perseverance.

41 comments:

  1. This is such a fantastic blog hop! I really love your piece for it. So inspiring and sweet at the same time!

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  2. Excellent story, Christine. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. Brilliant! Put a smile on my face this morning - great job!

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  4. Christine, you've become my source of information for blogfests, challenges, bloghops, sites and markets for my work. You've made a loyal follower.

    Btw, Great story, I enjoyed the moral!
    If only we were more motivated, more decided, more ambitious!

    Have a nice day filled with inspiration!

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  5. I know just such an old woman, who took a fiction-writing course at the age of 83, and published for the first time at 85.

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  6. I love that she had just learned to read and write. Okay, I'm jealous that she won an award for writing so soon after that. :)

    Perseverance always pays off at the end.

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  7. Wow, thanks for this creative take on the theme, Christine! A very inspiring read. It reminded me of my grandmother - she was going to write her memoirs, but now she's suffering from depression. Maybe such a story would inspire her, too.

    Thanks so much for taking part!

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  8. Aw...such a heart warming story :)

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  9. The fact she learned to read was triumph enough!

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  10. Never too old!! I tell myself that every day (though I hope I'm not wobbling on a walker when I finally get published). :)

    Great story about overcoming adversity.

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  11. It is never late to learn something new or to take up a new challenge. :)

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  12. That was a beautiful and inspiring story, that left a little lump in the throat. And as I've always believed, if you persevere, you will succeed. :)

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  13. Beautiful story about perseverance and beating the odds...
    You're never too old to learn...

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  14. Was really looking forward to reading your piece for the hop, Christine, and you didn't let me down. :-) Very emotional and awesome. Well done!

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  15. This had me grinning from ear to ear! I love her!!!

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  16. Thank you, everyone. This has been a fantastic bloghop with so many amazing entries.

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  17. Great story. I just love this inspirational bloghop!

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  18. Aww. I really like this and the emotions you triggered. Great job, Christine.

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  19. I had goosebumps through this whole thing. Just wonderful.

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  20. Such a wonderful blogfest and cause... Wonderful story:)

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  21. Christine,

    That was a stunning story.... I love the fact that this amazing woman still wanted to learn... A lesson for us all!

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  22. A great story Christine, lots of emotion!

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  23. Great story, and this grandmother is a real inspiration!

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  24. What a great story. It gives hope to everyone.

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  25. That was awesome. Now, if I could learn to handle public speaking like that ... how cool would that be? Thank you for sharing your story! :)

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  26. Thanks so much! This bloghop has been fantastic.

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  27. This is the BEST! My favorite entry so far. So inspiring and touching!

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  28. Hi Christine .. so so true that we can all help ourselves at whatever age - a lovely endearing story and one we should encourage our elders to aspire to - even with help from others.

    Your grandson paragraph was wonderful to read ... cheers Hilary

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