Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Words Live On

A few months ago, I featured my good friend, Wanda Bates here as a writer I admired. It surprised and pleased her to have been selected. Wanda celebrated her 95th birthday in mid-January of this year, and one week ago today, she passed away at our Hospice House.

I attended her funeral celebration this afternoon. The wife of one of Wanda's grandsons read an excerpt from a novella that Wanda had written. Three Years In A Teacherage describes the time spent living and teaching in rural Iowa in the 1930's. Written with subtle wit, it's entertaining and also gives a wonderful picture of the times.  When the reading concluded, I have a feeling that those in attendance who had not already read this piece of creative nonfiction would have liked the story to continue.

Later, when the pastor spoke, she concluded by telling about an essay Wanda wrote on her 95th birthday. In it, Wanda said she hoped she'd be able to write about her 100th birthday. As strong and clear as her mind was, I rather expected that to happen. But it wasn't to be. The pastor finished by saying that Wanda would surely write those words at 100 in the New World we all hope to achieve.

I left knowing that as much as I will miss my friend, her words will live on. I can read her work any day of the week and bring her back. That has got to be one of the greatest benefits of being a writer. The body may fail, the author may die, but words live on forever. Rest in peace, Dear Friend.

Read more of Wanda's work at http://www.ourecho.com/  Put her name in the search box at the top of the home page to find many of her stories and essays. Wars and Rumors of Wars is a three part piece that is superb.

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