By Cait Collins
Sometimes life throws you a curve. A sudden impact with a sidewalk landed me in the hospital with a broken arm that had to be surgically repaired. Good news is the hospital stay was short and I have no down time. And I’m back at work. I’ll be out of the splint in six to eight weeks.
The point is this experience has taught me valuable lessons that I can use to better myself and as reference for writing. You see, I’m having to learn to adjust to having on hand. I had to buy cloths that don’t need to be buttoned, hooked, or snapped. For the time being, any type of heeled shoe is out. Personal hygiene is a challenge. I’m still fumbling with applying make-up. Frustration has increased. But I will get through this.
When I begin writing a story where a character is struggling, I now have better insight into his struggles, feelings and frustrations. I will create a better character because I have, to a certain extent, walked his path. How can we truly write pain and loss if we’ve never experienced them? Our interpretation of the character’s actions may or may not be correct for the character. But digging into our own experiences, we can add emotion and empathy to the story.
Another plus is the people we meet along the way: a student nurse eager to learn, Dr. Barbie who did not inspire confidence, and three young doctors who truly cared. Add friends and family who made this journey easier and memorable and I have a roomful of inspiration.
I’m sorry this happened. I’m sorry my sisters and I had to cancel our trip. But I’m not sorry for the lessons learned.