I am a writer.
I am a historian.
I am a healer.
I am many other things, which I captured in my numerous journals, pieces of blank paper, the back of military records, post it notes, and documents on my computer, especially over the last four years.
Some of us write because we are in transition in our lives and need help sorting our thoughts and feelings. We write for a place to dump problems. We write to keep track of all we are grateful for. We write ideas for future books. We write when our souls scream out, ‘it is time to heal all this negative stuff so you can be lighter and stand in your true power.’ We write in times of grief. Whatever the reason, many of us write and whether or not we ever show this side of ourselves to anyone else is up to us.
My life made a major transition in June 2012. Not only did I move out with my boys to get a divorce, but I was also on a new, uncharted path with my work. No longer was I only doing genealogy work for clients or teaching how to research. I was writing the stories of war and learning how to do that type of research, sometimes tripping down a path I could only see a few steps in front of me, trusting the universe would take care of me.
The universe DID take care of me. I followed the energy of my business and went where it said to go. I set yearly goals, thinking I wanted to accomplish x, y, and z, only to get to the end of the year to find I reached a handful of goals. Not only did I accomplish those seemingly few things, but I wrote out at least a page or two of things I never expected to learn, do, or create. By 2015 I made shorter goal lists and trusted I’d be where I needed to be with work and let the universe help carve the path I was walking.
My journals are stacked high now and contain happy and sad things, a lot of channeled writing, and many pages of discovery about who I really am, what I want, and where I’m going. My soul kept asking the question this year, when are you going to write YOUR story to share? My response was, ‘what do I really have to say about all that?’ My friend Ginny, who I wrote about in my book The Tiger’s Widow, has said numerous times the last few years, ‘I’m watching you grow, transform, and write your story which needs to be told, but I don’t know the end.’ Ginny and I spent time together for the first time, before my major transition in 2012. She has been a guiding light and inspiration.
Do you know the love story of Ginny and Robert Brouk, my Flying Tiger? Robert Brouk was fighting the Japanese prior to Pearl Harbor, with the American Volunteer Group, the Flying Tigers, in China during 1941-1942. Robert returned to Chicago in July 1942 and met Ginny a month later. Late November they married and went to Orlando, FL, where Robert was stationed and training pilots. On December 19, 1942, Ginny watched Robert die in a plane crash when the squadron was returning from Kissimmee to Orlando. She was a widow at 20 after three weeks of marriage. That was just the beginning of their story. You can read Robert’s story in Stories of the Lost and Ginny’s in The Tiger’s Widow.
Robert and Ginny’s story provided light in the darkness and hope when I thought no good future was in store. Tragedy and loss come to us to help us grow stronger and though it may take decades to understand why something happened, sometimes we get answers. With those answers come great healing for all involved. That was what happened for Ginny and I in 2012 and continues today. After Ginny lost her second husband just before we connected in 2005, she began hand writing her life’s story. She did this to heal and not fall into a depression from which she would never recover. We have that in common. We write to save ourselves and heal. She probably didn’t realize when she started writing that some of those pages would help a woman struggling through a major transition, or bring love and hope to the world.
Last night the words demanded I start writing to share my story. Will this story ever see the light of day? Will anyone beside me ever read it? Maybe not. Sometimes no one else needs to read it. The process of writing our story is often more important. It brings insight, growth, healing, and love. I have a feeling that whatever all this soul writing turns out to be, will somehow contribute to the world. I feel there are pieces that will see the light of day and be used in new projects. My pain, joy, struggle, healing, and love will somehow help someone else. We are all connected you know. We may endure our own darkness, struggles, and pain, but none of us is ever really alone.
There is a song called, I Hope You Dance, about a wish that we all dance and enjoy our life. My wish to you is I Hope You Write. Tell your stories even if you are the only one to read them in this life. When you do, your world will shift in amazing ways.
© 2016 World War II Research and Writing Center