A smack of inspiration


Jason Smith

Columnist


Inspiration often comes from the most unexpected places.

Sometimes it’s in the words of a favorite song. Other times, you’ll find it in the laughter of a child.

Of course, sometimes it comes from a smack upside the head at just the right moment.

Regardless, I’m learning that when such inspiration comes along, you just have to run with it and see where it takes you.

A couple years ago, I started writing a book about my dad, who passed away in May of 2013. For one thing, writing has always been my preferred mode of expression, and the book would be helpful in the grieving process.

For another thing, I wanted to pay tribute to Daddy and to shed a little light on what it was like growing up with two deaf parents. I figured that’s a story that hasn’t been told a lot, and never by me, so why not? His life inspired me as well as many others who knew him. I wanted the world to know about him.

The first few weeks of the book project went pretty well, and it brought back a lot of memories – both good and bad. There were the funny stories from my childhood that the book enabled me to reminisce about with my mom. There were also times of heartache as I thought back to my dad’s cancer diagnosis, and his last days on Earth.

Regardless, the book was important to me. I wanted it to honor my dad, and my mom as well for the way she took care of him and the rest of us.

Along the way, I hit a snag in my efforts at book-writing. It wasn’t due to a lack of inspiration, really, but a lack of time. Until a couple months ago, I was a stay-at-home dad whose active four year old child required all of my attention. There just wasn’t a whole lot of time to finish writing a book.

When my little girl started preschool, I began to have a little more time on my hands. Sadly, much of that time has been spent missing my dad. I probably should’ve jumped at the chance to finish his book, but so far that hasn’t happened, whether because other things have gotten in the way or I’ve just been lazy.

However, I’m hoping that will change soon.

As I write this, my wife and daughter are preparing to go camping. I’m sitting this trip out so they can have a “girls weekend” with my wife’s best friend.

OK, so I wasn’t invited, anyway. I was fine with that. Stay with me here.

My dad’s birthday happens to fall on the weekend of the camping trip. I knew I didn’t want to spend the whole weekend at home alone, but I wasn’t sure what else to do.

Right about then, I felt it. It was as if God smacked me upside the head to remind me where I needed to be. I’m glad He did. I’m just ashamed that I didn’t think of it sooner.

While I was talking to my mom, it occurred to me that the camping weekend would be the perfect opportunity to spend some time with her. After all, as much as I’d be thinking about my dad on his birthday, she would be missing him even more.

Plus, she can help me out with stories and memories of him for the book. It’s the perfect scenario, at the perfect time.

I don’t expect to finish the book over the weekend. With everything I want to convey about my dad, it’s going to take a lot longer than a few days. But, I can at least get this project back in gear.

I don’t know what the next chapter of the book is going to look like at this point. I’m not even sure where I left off the last time I worked on it. But, I’m feeling inspired.

Besides, if God’s willing to smack me upside the head when I need it, maybe He’ll provide all the inspiration I need to finish this task.


Jason has worked in newspapers since 2005, spending the majority of that time in Henry County. He lives in Covington with his wife and daughter.