"I like your essays. You write things that readers want to read," someone in my exercise class said recently about my WTE column. I smiled, remembering how many things I'd written, and attempted to publish, that nobody in the business felt strongly enough about to give me a leg up. An entire manuscript sits on my desktop, ready to go, if things should change. But maybe I learned something from my failures. Maybe I learned to let go of the desire to amount to something in the eyes of family, community, friends.

Then, when I no longer expect it, something good pops up. "Someone said to me, 'Aren't you the son of Edith cook?'" Walter recently mentioned. The individual went on to tell him to mention to me that he admires my writing.

In the past, Walter had been the notable one in the family, the one known and respected in the community. I, on the other hand, was the retired one. An old woman. Passe. 

I cannot tell you how good it feels to know that my contributions are yet valued. It's tough enough to face the inevitable and fast-approaching end of life. To suffer oblivion while yet living--that's truly dispiriting. So. I'm glad for these offhand remarks. They are something good that comes my way when I no longer expect it.