When my daughter was nine or ten, while her father and I were in the midst of a divorce, she gave me a small blank book as a Mother's Day gift.
"Mom, I want you to write in this every day," she said, solemnly.
I found it the other day, and opened it. There was a jagged edge of paper near the spine where I'd ripped out the first half-filled page and thrown it away. The rest of the book is empty.
As I held it, I thought of where I was when I was 25 years old, the age she is now. I was here, living with my grandmother and wondering what life would bring.
Almost thirty years later, I am spinning tales to entertain my friends and enjoying the camaraderie of those whose sparkling talent makes me feel as though I've become a character in the best novel I've ever read. The gift my daughter gave me so many years ago has finally been put to use.