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Thankful Thursday

Today I’m thankful for the opportunity to put something new (?) on Lisa’s blog. Lisa kept scraps of paper, notebooks, note pads, journals, programs, you name it. She loved her paper. I’m thankful she kept these treasures for me to find and read, and for her many readers, fans, and friends who have written these past weeks. I read everyone’s messages.
This bit comes from her journal entry of May 22nd 1986, during her year of study at the University of Bradford, in the north of England.


I have a theory about success which comforts me a great deal. Looking back through my family’s history, I can see the various trends in the women: my great grandma Wilkening was a strong, sturdy, hard working, and loving woman, but her downfall was religion. She let it rule her life. My grandma “onna” was a hard-worker who led a somewhat “fast” life (back then) by drinking, smoking, neglecting her daughter, and getting divorced, but her downfall was booze. My mom was a trend-setter by surviving her patchwork up-bringing and wanting to go to college, but her downfall was getting pregnant with me.

Now I have set the family-trend by getting a college education and traveling at a young age, but maybe that is all I will accomplish. I haven’t discerned my downfall yet, but maybe I’m not destined to write books and do anything out-of-the-ordinary. Maybe that destiny belongs to my child. That thought comforts me when I fear that all my scribbling will come to nothing. I can imagine that all of us, the women in my maternal line, possess(ed) great ambition, but are premature in our desires. My mom wanted to do the kinds of things that I am doing. Maybe my child will do the things that I want to do. On and on in an “improving progression.”


Lisa at the University of Bradford, "C" floor kitchen sink. Photo by Kevin Colling

Comments

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jamarattigan
Mar. 17th, 2011 09:25 am (UTC)
Thanks so much for sharing this, Neil. Gorgeous pic of Lisa -- and she *was* destined to write books after all. What an impact her words, and the life she led, has made for so many. I think about her every day. ♥
ex_kmessner
Mar. 17th, 2011 09:46 am (UTC)
Thank you for this.

Lisa's FLASH BURNOUT was just named to the Pennsylvania Young Readers Choice Awards list, and I've been thinking of her all week, knowing how much it would mean to her that so many more teens will get to meet Blake.
jbknowles
Mar. 17th, 2011 11:35 am (UTC)
Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful moment of reflection, Neil! I continue to be overwhelmed by Lisa's words. In a good way.

Love, Jo
barbarabaker
Mar. 17th, 2011 12:18 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for sharing Lisa's note and her beautiful picture. Her words have inspired me and so many others and they will continue to do so.
(Anonymous)
Mar. 17th, 2011 01:32 pm (UTC)
Thank you
Thank you for sharing Lisa's voice with us. It means a lot.

Yvonne
artistq
Mar. 17th, 2011 02:05 pm (UTC)
Thanks for sharing this. So wonderful that she left her words for you, your son and for us too. She was a smart and beautiful young woman... destined to be someone great!
~~Laura Hamor



Edited at 2011-03-17 02:44 pm (UTC)
brian_ohio
Mar. 17th, 2011 02:05 pm (UTC)
Wow! Very thought provoking. Thanks for posting.
daniellejoseph
Mar. 17th, 2011 03:03 pm (UTC)
Thanks for sharing, Neil! I too continue to be inspired by Lisa. It's so wonderful that she kept so many paper treasures.
lisaalbert
Mar. 17th, 2011 03:04 pm (UTC)
I'm sure posting this had to be difficult and comforting and I thank you for doing so. She was a beautiful person inside and out.
robinellen
Mar. 17th, 2011 03:09 pm (UTC)
Lovely -- it's great to 'hear' Lisa's voice again. Thank you for sharing her with us!
boreal_owl
Mar. 17th, 2011 03:26 pm (UTC)
This is wonderful and inspiring. Thanks for posting it.
dampscribbler
Mar. 17th, 2011 04:11 pm (UTC)
Thanks for posting this, Neil. I caught my breath, seeing this on my Friends page this morning. What generous spirit. Yours, and hers. Both. Thank you.
(Anonymous)
Mar. 17th, 2011 04:34 pm (UTC)
Thanks for posting this neil, it brings back so many great memories of the year i spent sharing accommodation with lisa. she was the "voice of reason" on C Floor amongst a swirl of insensibility. she was always full of fun and tolerated so much bad behaviour from the rest of us, but always in good humour and with a stoicism and appreciation for the absurd.i have a lot to thank her for, not least my enduring affection for the USA, and I was so thankful to be able to meet up with the two of you again (and to meet nate) on our trips to your side of the pond. I really hope we can meet up again when we return again later in the year. lots of love kev.
fabulousfrock
Mar. 17th, 2011 05:51 pm (UTC)
Aw. I'm so glad her scribblings came to something!
azang
Mar. 17th, 2011 06:18 pm (UTC)
Thanks for sharing some more of Lisa with us.
jeniwrites
Mar. 17th, 2011 08:43 pm (UTC)
It is so wonderful to hear her voice again. What a great reminder of the need to keep dreaming and keep persevering. You never know where your dreams can lead, and at what age you might achieve them.
writerjenn
Mar. 18th, 2011 12:19 am (UTC)
"maybe I’m not destined to write books and do anything out-of-the-ordinary."

But you were and you did, Lisa.

Neil, best wishes to you and your son.
shoebrera
Mar. 18th, 2011 07:31 am (UTC)
Thank you, Neil, for sharing.
The photo is precious.
I pray all these adoring fans, missing her, help bolster you.
candice_ransom
Mar. 18th, 2011 12:33 pm (UTC)
Lisa did more than write books . . . she has inspired hundreds of people with her courage. Thank you so much for sharing this and the photo of her sweet younger self.
ardeeeichelmann
Mar. 18th, 2011 01:28 pm (UTC)
Thank you Neil...
Thank you for sharing a little more of Lisa with us. It was a wonderful post, it made me wonder about what dreams the women in my family may have had because all they ever seemed to aspire to was to have a family. That is an important aspiration but I wonder if they ever dreamed of more. There is no one to ask except my mother and she didn't feel that she had any options but marriage and babies, this I know already.

Anyway, thank you again for sharing.

Blessings,

Ardee-ann
(Anonymous)
Mar. 18th, 2011 10:12 pm (UTC)
So lovely of you to post this. It is wonderful to know that she was able to live that dream and become a writer. She looks beautiful in the picture by the way. It's very touching reading an entry from her Diary, I have one so I know how special one can be to the owner :)
(Anonymous)
Mar. 19th, 2011 07:19 am (UTC)
Lisa
So thoughtful of you to share. She may have doubted herself at times, but she was strong and smart enough to follow through with her dreams, and we are so grateful for her legacy. What a remarkable role model for your son, and all of us who dream.
cindy_pon
Mar. 22nd, 2011 04:27 am (UTC)
thank you so much for sharing, neil.

i love lisa's point of view, it comes
through in all of her writing. her
voice is so strong, so lisa.

i miss her and i only met
her once.
thebookpixie.blogspot.com
Mar. 22nd, 2011 04:36 am (UTC)
I can't even begin to express how much I appreciate you posting this. It just goes to show how beautiful of a perspective Lisa had on things. I wish I could have met her.

~Briana
junegoodwin
Mar. 22nd, 2011 03:17 pm (UTC)
It's so cool to check in and see this. Thanks so much for sharing. The written word never fades away...
(Anonymous)
Apr. 2nd, 2011 03:34 pm (UTC)
Thank you for sharing this small bit of Lisa's past with us. I cannot even imagine your days.

You must know that I am ever grateful for her book Flash Burnout. It helped me reconnect with my own son.
onegrapeshy
May. 6th, 2011 05:18 pm (UTC)
I am just seeing this now, and I'm so grateful to you for sharing this with those of us who loved Lisa, even if from a far, far distance. I still think of her often. My prayers remains with you and your family. xox Jeannine Garsee
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