My parents told me stories that still echo in my heart today. Like the one where Dad rowed right through a rainbow in a tiny boat, or when Mum dived to the bottom of the ocean without ever leaving her attic bedroom. By the age of eight, my best buddy had already won every ice skating accolade the world could offer and I’d danced the lead in Swan Lake with the Royal Ballet.
And then there are the stories you don’t even know you’ve written. A few months after my mother died, a doctor friend told me something Mum never got to know. During a consultation, a patient recognised the GP as the person who’d played the organ at my mother’s funeral service. “I hadn’t seen her since we were at school,” he said, “but when I read about her service in the newspaper, I had to go. She was a few years older than me and one day, some older boys were bullying me in the playground. She came and chased them off. I’ve never forgotten that.”
The stories of who we are, how we get to be the people we become, are as fantastical and ordinary and unbelievable and mundane as snow stopping play at a cricket match during a hot UK June (1975 if you want to check).
Whatever stories I pen, however many people read them, it’s the story I write with my life that’s most important. It’s full of flaws I can’t edit out, but love and grace and forgiveness mean that I get unlimited chances to make each page better.
Let my life be the proof …