On October 13, 2015, I had the distinct honor of sharing my writing journey with members of the Plano Retired Teachers Association, otherwise known as PRTA. As I gazed out at the audience, I reflected on the enormous contributions these colleagues of mine made to the Plano Independent School District over the past forty years. As teachers, our work never ends, not even for retirees. If I could add up the number of hours these folks volunteer, it would astound even the severest workaholic. Their volunteerism runs the gamut, ranging from learning new crafts to wandering through Bob Woodruff Park picking up trash. I shared my writing experiences with these lovely folks, and discovered that, although it’s cliché to say, “the best is yet to come,” there’s a good deal of truth to it.
The average age of PRTA members probably hovers around sixty-eight years old and many are challenged with health issues. In spite of this, most continue making a contribution to this world, in hopes of leaving some type of legacy. I gave a brief summation of the most recent series I’ve written, one in which the patriarch of the family struggles with Alzheimer’s and frantically strives to leave his legacy before he’s robbed of his faculties. After my presentation ended, several educators approached me, asking how they could turn the memoirs, poems, and reflections they’d accumulated during a lifetime into a written peace of work that could possibly help others.
I must confess that during the past couple of years, I’ve whined a bit about the perils of aging. But after watching this band of merry teachers make plans to revisit their writings, edit their work and pursue the road to publication, I’ve decided that the aging process, wrinkles and all, is well worth it. The memoirs we write, the stories we pass on to a younger generation will have authenticity and hopefully, change the course of people’s lives. Not only am I convinced I gained some fellow writers during that brief presentation, but I’m wondering if there’s a potential Pulitzer Prize winner out there. Who knows? Stranger things have happened!