I can hear it now! All those bloggers whispering under their breath, "Thank God! She's off her political and religious rants!" I thought I would give you all a break and highlight my son Joey's writing for a change. I read about a writing contest on Studio 360's website and decided to participate. The subject was called "Significant Objects," and the contest contained photos of three, rather strange, objects found in thrift stores. Two were of particular interest to me. One was a hand-made wooden thing whose purpose was definitely lost to me. I chose that one to write about. Another was a strange-looking handmade doll. I told my son about the contest, and he chose to write about that doll. Neither of us won the contest, whose prize was the object about which our stories were written. Nevertheless, it was a fun writing exercise, and just perfect for Jenny's Alphabe-Thursday assignment this week--the letter "W." If you haven't seen Joey's blog, go here.
(doll, $5 thrift store find)
This is my papa. His name is Abdyl Kreyziu. He was born in
many years ago. This
place does not exist anymore. He grew up in a place called Kosovo. This place
was not a safe place for my papa. There was much hate for him. Now he lives in
my room, watching over me to make sure I am safe. Yugoslavia
I see you smile, laugh, think, ‘That is a doll, an ugly homemade doll. Why does she show us this? Where is Peter’s snapping turtle again, or Emma’s colorful hermit crabs?’ This is no doll. This is my papa. See how he wears my papa’s shirt, the cuffs trimmed just the way Papa would wear them. See the bright sash of his favorite football club? The woolen socks Grandmamma knit for him. See the wink he wore so often, a trickster who loved to laugh? See his hair, his poor hair that would not stay upon his head? ‘If I cannot have a head of hair,’ he’d say, ‘I’ll make the hair that stays memorable.’ Like a cartoon, he wore his hair, sticking up. My papa.
“Mama says that our soul lives on. In the places we live, in the people we meet, in the clothes we wear, in the objects we touch our soul lives. We live. You see a girl with garbage, a frightening doll made from a dead man’s clothes. But to me, this is Papa. Not a memory or a doll. My papa. Alive. He was trying to make for us a better place, a safer life. We are here, I am here because of my papa. This is my show and tell.”
Blerta walked back to her seat and stowed her papa in her bag. As she watched Carlie discuss the Coach purse her mother purchased for her in
Shawna Adams, jogging home, saw Blerta’s papa lying prone on the sidewalk. “Weird,” she remarked as she picked it up.
The idol of the Albanian patriarch was with her as she and her boyfriend joined the throng at the
“What are you going to do with that thing,” he asked.
“Watch,” she said as she removed a He-Man action figure from a table of retro toys, pulled off the $5 price tag, and replaced it with the priceless protector of a 10-year-old girl whose father had been killed fleeing his home. “Think they’ll notice?”