The man, finding himself awake from the horrible dream, decided he would never think about his life’s work in a negative way. He picked up his pen and paper that he had used the night before and made a list of things he would do to make himself better. His list would be things that he’d wanted to do with his life, but he was an old man and he wasn’t sure he’d be able to, so he started with a list of things he could do in the next year.
His list began:
- I will never think of my life’s work in a negative light.
- I will try to help those who need helping.
- I will find more time to practice the one thing I love more than anything, my writing.
- I will never think about my past in a negative light, it’s what brought me to where I am
- I will find a way to treat those around me better.
The last one was the hardest for the old man, his kids didn’t talk to him anymore and he told himself they weren’t worth the effort many times, but as he wrote it on his list a new sense of urgency took over, he wasn’t sure why, but he would send letters to his kids.
A letter, he told himself, was more personal and it felt more like himself. Writing the letters, tears came to his eyes and he felt something in his heart that hadn’t been there in a long time. It had been years since his wife passed away and in those years his heart had become solid, he went to the store, bought the things he’d need for the week, returned home and would sit on the couch, writing a new story, one he thought only he would read, for the fear of being judged was too great for him.
One day, a letter came from his oldest son, he had two, it said…
I’m very glad you’re doing well, I was thinking of coming to see you, but we haven’t talked in very long and I knew it would be best not to contact you.
That was before this letter showed up. We plan on coming up in the next week.
See you then.
More letters came from his kids until all of them would be coming at the same time. The old man was overjoyed and couldn’t think of anything except embracing his five kids and their kids, some of which he’d never met.
As the man lay down one night he thought of the letters and the dream he’d had those many months ago and knew that he had found love again. He knew that writing those letters and telling his kids he was sorry for how he’d been to them after their mother had died helped bring their love back to him.
While he was laying there, he grabbed his notebook, finished the book he’d been writing for the twelve years since his wife died and fell fast asleep. The love in his heart for his writing and for his children had returned and he felt content in what he was doing with his life again.
As he was sleeping he had another dream, but it was pleasant and he stayed asleep and never woke.
His kids, were called a few days later, and while searching his house they found his book. They knew he was always writing something, but never knew since he was too afraid to show anyone.
They flipped through it and discovered it wasn’t a novel at all, but stories he’d put together of them when they were children.
Each child cried reading passages that pertained to their childhood. Putting the book down, the cover page read…
My Wonderful Life.