An Unexpected Encouragement

It only takes one yes. That’s what you’re supposed to tell yourself, right? Because it’s true. But on a day like today, when I sit down to work, only to be greeted by yet another rejection letter, that message can be difficult to internalize.

20160213_085257I love writing, but it’s hard to know whether or not I’m chasing after a lost dream. Even though everyone experiences it, rejection can make me question why I’m working on my computer instead of washing the pile of dishes currently sitting behind me on the counter.

This week has been tough. My children seem to be permanently sick. My 5 o’clock alarm has gone off several times in a row, only to be ignored. I’m tired. And my internal assurances haven’t been enough to motivate great or even mediocre strides forward in my manuscript.

But sometimes outside help finds you at just the right moment.

I got an email saying I needed to moderate my website, which was surprising. Because even though I’d vowed to keep posts coming, I’ve already fallen behind. The email contained a comment in my About section, from my Dad.

“As I write this, I am thinking how proud your grandfather would be that his granddaughter is a writer!”

My grandpa, Robert T. Reilly, is one of my writing idols. He could do funny, serious, novels,Untitled design poetry, articles. For children and adults. You name it, he could write it.  And, as a child, every time I shared something I’d written, he’d ask for a copy and add it to the file he kept of my work. I loved seeing him slip my white sheet into that manila folder. Since his passing, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wished I could share my latest projects; see him add them to my file.

It made me happy, picturing him smiling down at me, his granddaughter, the writer.

So thank you Dad for reminding me, that even in the tough weeks (or months), and even though I can’t send him anything to critique, I have to keep going. Because I have a legacy to live up to. And someone on the other side who’s waiting to put my first novel on his shelf.

6 thoughts on “An Unexpected Encouragement

  1. On Sunday, your mother and I spent the afternoon emptying out the old green file cabinet in the garage. It had belonged to Grandpa and we had stored old taxes and other papers in it. Mac needed a file cabinet for his spare room/office and had asked if he could have that. Most of the stuff was old Terry Flynn Tours papers, old tax reports and other financial data.

    There, in the bottom drawer of that old war surplus cabinet, was this single sheet of paper. It was Dad’s poem about your first watch. There was no reason for it to be there with all the old tax papers. You were thinking about him and he was thinking about you. It’s as if he said, “I want Tacheny to see this right now. She needs to know I’m thinking about her.” I’ll send it to you tonight.


  2. Chris Mohr

    You let the reader see your heart. I love it. You don’t know how many times I was taken a back of the talent Jr. High students possessed. Yours has only matured and reflects you so well.


  3. Moira Mangiameli

    This made me cry, Tacheny and, unlike many of my siblings, that doesn’t happen that often. Encouraging people was one of Dad’s greatest gifts. He really believed that every one of us was capable of doing great things if we believed in ourselves the way he believed in us. I miss him so. Thanks for conjuring him up tonight. I know he is proud of you and who you’ve become, as are we all.


  4. joe o''riordan

    Brother Bob always had the ability to come up with the right thing to say to people whether it was words of encouragement, criticism or compassion.The bottom line was that mwhatever the words, they were sincere. He was a substitute father to Barbara after their father died. He was a brother to me that shared his uncertainties with me regarding his caring for Jean. The talks we had will live with me til I die. I was always close with Jack but I deeply loved Bob. Whatever words he offered you Tacheny were from his heart but were always sincere. Luv ya , Uncle Joe


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