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Life's What You Make It - Writing Workshop

There are five prompts on Mama Kat's Writing Workshop this week.  This week I'm going to treat the writing prompts like a meme and write on  every one.

1.) Lou Holtz once said, “life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it.” Do you believe this? Describe a time when you feel like you could have responded a different way and produced a different outcome.

Yes I believe this.  I live in a combined Indian family.  There are many situations that can arise and many different people.  People living too close for comfort get on each others nerves occasionally.  I cherish the dream of having a home of my own along with my spouse and kids in the not too distant future.  But, when growing too close together in the combined family home begins to grate, I go for peace, not power.  I don't respond, I keep to myself.  I tell myself  'this too shall pass'.  It does.  Spending time getting into useless squabbles over petty matters (like who used up all the soap, etc.) is a complete waste of time.

2.) I miss the friend you used to be.

When I was a single woman, my friends meant the world to me.  The girls with whom I 'hung around', went out with, confided in, cried with over the tragedies and laughed with over the joys of life.  Sometimes, though, a friend would drop out of your life never to return.  Why?  A new boyfriend, a serious one.  The days and evenings were filled with the boyfriend and matters regarding the relationship.  The girls just didn't figure.  That kind of rejection can leave you feeling very bitter.  When I met my husband I made it  a point to make regular time to see the girls.  I mean, if you don't have girlfriend, who do you have to complain to when the boyfriend drives you mad?

3.) The most unbelievable blue eyes you’ve ever seen…

I'm Irish.   White, auburn haired with brown eyes.  My husband is Indian.  Dark skinned, black hair and black eyes.   Our first two babies had their father's eyes and my bone structure.  Both had brown hair.  But the third baby, our second daughter Trisha!  My oh my, I never saw a more blonde haired nor blue eyed baby.  Her initial black hair gave way to a golden fuzz and the bluest eyes in the universe.   Everyone was amazed.  'She's like a doll!' they declared.  She was.  All my four kids are, in my opinion, beautiful.  Are and were and will be.  But this baby was.........different.  The fourth baby, a second son, followed the pattern of the first two.  There are a few pairs of blue eyes in my family background so I assumed got her looks through me if not from me.  But one day we happened visit a family very distantly related to my husband, all 100 per cent Indian, not a drop of foreign blood and lo and behold!  They had a two year old son (same age as Trish back then) and he was blue eyed too.  The parents explained that there's this gene in the family background which seems to surface once or twice in every generation.  So much for my little Trish eventually being given the title 'the foreigner' at school!   Oh, and she now has light brown hair and her eyes have settled down to a nice, hazel green!</span></em></strong>

4.) The craziest reason I ever got in trouble as a child.

<strong><em><span style="font-style:normal;font-weight:normal;">I didn't get into much trouble as a child, but my father was rather harsh with me around the age of seven and after, until his death of cancer when I was just thirteen.  I remember the teachers remarking on how nervous I always seemed to be.  I came to know in my adult life that my father's battle with cancer was a heartbreaking experience which went on for years.  He desperately wanted to live, he had a wife he loved and four daughters he wanted to see grow up.  Apparently he was terrified of  getting addicted to painkillers and often refused to take them.  The result he was half mad with pain a lot of the time and his tolerance level of the noise and mess of young children had him dealing more harshly than he should with us, especially with me, the eldest.  What he suffered is comprehensible to me as an adult, but beyond the comprehension of a child.  When I look back, I feel forgiveness and compassion for him.  However, it is sad that hospice care and counselling was not available to him then, back in the Seventies.  I'm sure it would have helped.</span></em></strong>

5) What would you ask forgiveness for?

I belong to a huge Irish family, with masses of people in it.  Some of us were fortunate to come up pretty well in life.  Others missed out because of family problems.  Some of us were just stuck in the middle.  Anyway we all managed to come through life, some of us rather more bruised than others.  As a child, I remember one of my cousins, a focussed and studious girl who had her eye on a bank job, speaking about another cousin who, out of circumstances, had dropped out of school at fourteen years of age.  Little Miss Studious was terribly worried about him.  'Poor thing,' she declared, 'he's got no future!'  She wasn't making a declaration in stone.  She was simply speaking about life as she saw it.  I, being rather resentful of Little Miss Studious' bossy nature, went back and told that cousin and all his brothers and sisters what she'd said, and I do seem to remember that she said it more in sorrow than in condemnation.  That was so wrong of me.  That cousin and his siblings have never forgotten that 'insult', which really wasn't intended and would never even have been known, had I not passed on the gossip.  If there's something I'd love to ask forgiveness for, it's this.  We cousins are all scattered over the globe now, but if I ever get an opportunity to put things right again, I will.  So what if it's thirty years later?

Writing practise is always good.  This post was inspired by this week's  Writer’s Workshop at the blog Mama’s Losin’ It.  I looked at the current week’s  prompts and got inspired by all the five.  Hence the post!

This post first appeared on Write Away on WordPress on 13/08/2010

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