There's an interesting discussion going on here on my daughter, apricot-tea's blog on what makes a blogger a writer. The person that questioned this basically feels that unless you have a degree and/or published works, you have no right to call yourself a writer.
This actually amazed me because I have always considered myself a writer. I have written published and unpublished songs, short story fiction, articles, poems and a children's book. Not to mention that as a blogger, unless I'm stealing work that isn't my own, (which I'm not..I'm just saying...) then, I'm a writer because all of these thoughts are creatively mine.
This week, I've had a few people tell me that they didn't realize that I was a writer. I often don't talk about the things that are published and waiting to be published, but yes, I am a writer.
I've decided to attach a submission for an unnamed publisher that has a poultry hint to it's name (if you know what I mean). The poultry publisher left a bad taste in my mouth when they ran with the book idea without giving my sister and I the credit. It's water under the bridge. Here's the story...it's a bit lengthy so if you would prefer to not read it, that's okay.
“Hi Marky!” I said as I sat down on the grass next to the boy of my dreams. I was 5 years old and wildly crazy for a boy named Mark. What was even more fascinating was that Mark was the youngest of triplets and I was the oldest of identical twins. My sister and I often played together at the park under our mom’s watchful eye, that is, until I met Mark. My Marky.
I remember the day like it was yesterday. It was starting to drizzle so our mom called out, “One more slide down, twins.”
We climbed up the stairs to the slide. Suddenly, my twin sister pointed down below. “Neicey, look!” There were three boys running towards the slide. Same size, same hair, same clothes, same everything! Ney Ney slid down and I followed.
“You’re twins? How come there’s three of you?” my sister asked. I wondered too. The boys looked at us and giggled.
“We’re not twins; we’re triplets.” said one of the three lookalikes. “Haven’t you heard of triplets before?”
“Nope. Only twins, ‘cause we’re twins,” I said, boldly.
That began the start of a friendship between the trio and us. My sister and I loved playing together but having three playmates was better than one any day!
The boys, Adam, Mark and Bryan were almost alike in every way but one. Mark was different.
The triplets were born premature, at 32 weeks. Bryan was the biggest of the three weighing 3 pounds 7 ounces. Next came Adam, weighing 3 pounds 4 ounces. Mark, the littlest of the three, weighed 2 lbs 9 ounces. In spite of their small sizes, Bryan and Adam thrived and were soon out of the NICU and home. Mark struggled. The cardiologist diagnosed Mark as having a ventricular septal defect, a hole between the right and left pumping chambers of his heart. There were many critical moments where Mark’s parents prayed their baby boy would make it through the night.
After staying 39 days at the hospital, Mark reached 4 pounds 2 ounces and was finally released to go home. The triplets were together again.
In spite of the complications, the hole in Mark’s heart began to close as he grew. On good days, Mark ran and played with his brothers. On bad days, he became easily tired. His lips would turn blue. Lacking energy, he would lie in his mom’s lap and watch his brothers play.
While our mothers sat on the park bench talking, we were lost in our own adventures. The five of us were stranded on a deserted island after our ship (the slide) drifted out to sea. Adam, the captain, would yell, “Hold on! A storm’s coming up ahead!” We would all huddle together, waiting for the splash of the waves surrounding the boat. Once we were officially stranded on the island, we’d put our survival plan into action. The triplets covered the monkey bars with our jackets for shelter while Ney Ney and I cooked leaves over a pretend fire.
When Mark was too tired to play, I would sit with him. Sometimes we’d play I Spy but most of the time, we played house. He was my husband and I was his wife. He would patiently listen to me complain about how naughty our triplet daughters behaved while he was at work and how my feet were “just aching” from washing dishes, mopping floors and doing laundry. I will never forget the day Mark said to me, “I’m going to really marry you when we grow up.” My heart smiled.
The triplets 6th birthday fell on a warm summer day. Adam, Mark and Bryan were bursting with excitement as they handed us each an invitation. Only a twin or multiples’ mom could understand the importance of giving out individual invitations to Ney Ney and I. It was going to be a pajama party. We were the only twins and girls invited.
It was the grandest party we’d ever been to. Adam’s cake was decorated with red fire engines. Bryan had a train on his. But Mark’s cake was the best of all. His had yellow stars sprinkled all over. His dream was to become an astronaut one-day. We ate cake and ice cream and then went on a treasure hunt. With flashlights and shovels, we went in search of buried treasure. The end result was a giant chest filled with gold foil wrapped chocolate coins.
Later that night, Mark and I went outside to look at the stars splashing across the sky. “Neicey, do you see that star?” Mark asked, pointing up at the sky. Sure enough, there was a bright star, twinkling. “When I’m an astronaut, I’m going to grab that star and bring it home to you.”
That was the sweetest thing anyone had ever said to me. The funny thing is that I believed him. Marky was going to be an astronaut and my husband. Most of all, he was going to bring a star home just for me. I leaned over and kissed him on his cheek. “Thank you, Marky.”
Shortly after the triplets’ birthday party, their father got a new job in another state and they moved away. We never got to say goodbye.
As years went by, I often thought of the triplets. Especially Mark. I wondered whether he had become an astronaut. Even though I was happily married, a small portion of my heart still belonged to Marky.
I dropped my three-year-old off at preschool then ran into the coffee shop for a cup of java. The place was packed. I scanned the room for an empty table. No luck. Just then, a man wearing a business suit motioned to an empty chair beside him. Desperate for a place to sit, I grabbed my cup and took the seat. “Thanks.” I said, looking at him. There was something familiar. Those piercing blue eyes. The triplets had stunning blue eyes!
“I think I know you,” I stammered. “I’m Shaneice. Neicey.”
“I know. I’m Bryan,” he said, eyes twinkling. “I’ve seen you here before but was too afraid to approach you. I didn’t know if you’d remember me.”
“I could never forget you or your brothers,” I told him. “What is Mark up to these days?”
Bryan’s eyes darkened as sadness shadowed his face. “Mark died when we were 7 years old. Congenital heart failure. He was a tired little boy. His heart just gave out.” He put his hands in his face for a minute. Then said, “He never forgot the promise he made to you. He wanted to give you a star.”
That night, as I sat outside on my deck, I glanced up at the stars and thought about Mark. I began to sob huge sobs for me, for Mark. For the stars he never got a chance to capture. Then I saw it. Set apart from all the other stars was the most brilliant star I’d ever seen. Marky’s star. It twinkled through my tear filled eyes. “Marky! You didn’t forget! You left it in the sky so I would always remember you. I will never forget you, my Marky.”
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