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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Life Goes On… From The Inside…. The Characters within… Part 1

I could try to describe how I went about creating the characters in the story.  I could tell you how I worked to make them more realistic or believable, but I would rather just visit a bit and hope you get to know them.  When I write a story I have explained that I want the story to be so real you feel as if you can see, hear, and experience what is there in the story and know the people there.

John and Becky….  are first introduced in the story discussing their problems and fears.  He was layed off from his job and his unemployment resulted in them having to leave their home to reside where ever they could afford to rent for them and their children.

Unless we have actually lived through times that did more than challenge us financially but also posed a threat, we may not relate to the dire circumstances the family faced and was about to have to find a way to survive. 

As Becky and John talk it becomes evident that their circumstances had forced her to work in less than desirable and at times even dangerous environments.  As John gazes out the window and reflects back to what he knew about the area where they live it is clear that they grieve for the safe and optimistic life they had before the financial ruination they suffered when the company he worked for closed.

Life is filled with many things including challenges and problems we work to find solutions for.  We may even think the problems are so big until we find ourselves faced with some that are by comparison insurmountable.  John realized the life they had been forced into not only took away their hopes and dreams they took for granted but was a threat to all he held dear…his family. 

Life is also filled with changes.  Some changes bring pain and hardships.  Some changes are filled with excitement and joy.  Some things actually threaten destruction.   We somehow find ways to meet these changes.  Not all of our decisions or actions are the right choices but there are always consequences.  We often find ways to adapt, blend in, get around, avoid, or conquer in situations we face.

As John gazes out the window and compares what the area had been to what was before him, he also realizes what it is doing to his family.  He knows in his heart that to survive, the children will naturally find ways to fit in or be accepted.  In those circumstances there would be not bright and hopeful futures. 

John saw little hope to be found in the streets he saw below him but many pitfalls that were already claiming and stealing away the children he loved.  He could hardly believe they were the same people who had lived in security and comfort in a nice home, safe neighbor hood, wonderful schools and little worries compared to the life they had and would have staying in the place fate had forced them.

John had tried to be there for his family.  He had not only provided financially for them but tried to be a part of their hearts and lives.  He thought he knew them, but there were times the children were like strangers he had never met.  There were times the man he saw in the mirror looked so lost and defeated he knew him not.  John realized what a shock all of this was to each of them in their own ways.

He had gone from going to little league baseball games with his son to see the games to watching out a window and wondering where the boy was, with whom, and if he would make it home?  It was a different world. 

He wanted to lead and teach his children how to be responsible but now he could not even have the boy safely take out the trash.  When a dead body was found in the dumpster in the alley where they took their trash, John trembled at the thought of what might have happened if his son Bobby had been there taking out the trash.  The wrong place at the wrong time … is a phrase you could hear often, … but it will not bring you back from the dead. 

He wanted them to learn to get along with others but there were places where it was unsafe unless you belonged to one of the gangs and to do that and to belong was a life changing event….

Bobby had already changed so much that John felt he did not even know the boy.  His oldest daughter was caught up in a world he had no way to begin to know.  He felt shut out and lost from his children.  His youngest was learning and would soon imitate not only the two eldest but also others that would become important in her life.

Becky worked long hard hours in a place filled with all kinds of things and most of them he would never want her to have to deal with, let alone handle and be in the middle of.  She was trying with all of her heart and soul to help her family survive but lived each day with fear and resentment and no direction to place blame for their situation.  She had heard words like the economy and job security and many other topic so often discussed by people who thought they knew what they were talking about.  She had heard conversations and even been a part of those and more.  She had been part of the different charity drives to raise funds and awareness to social problems such a drugs, homelessness, gangs, hunger in the world, and people in need….

She realized a different perspective from the one she once had.  She realized no matter how much a person might talk or even think about some situations they never fully understood them until they had to live it themselves.   You could talk about being homeless or loss of your home but until it was you that faced that possibility you never really understood and felt what more there was to the issue.  How could you really know what it was like to be so hungry and see empty shelves when you open the cabinet if you were not homeless and had a cabinet to open?

She remembered a lunch she had attended for a local food pantry to help with contributions.  People had gathered at the expensive restaurant chatting about many things.  One woman proudly announced that although she did believe in the cause she thought many times it was abused as people that had jobs just did not manage their money and wasted it.  Food should be their first priority and if they did not do that she had no sympathy.

Becky was working full time and then some.  John had used his unemployment until it ran out but what priority was most important when there was not enough to cover them all?  She pondered now how anyone could say such a thing if they were faced with the rent, utilities and other things that stood between them and being homeless?  She felt so enlightened to understanding of things she had never dreamed and so hopeless and helpless at the same time.  Now it was she and her family they would have avoided standing too close to, but did not mind making a deductible contribution to help and then discuss how worthless some were over their coffee or dinners.  Becky was afraid and angry and desperate.

Becky had always thought they needed to be there for their children too.  She believed she was not only their mother but their best friend.  They would always be able to share everything.  She often would talk and discuss things allowing the children to have their say and help in making decisions.  Becky felt that was a good thing in their relationship…before….  She had begun to feel as if she did not even know them and they looked at her as the enemy or at least something to get around so they could run away into their new life and do what ever they wanted to do.  She was afraid of who and what they were with and had no way to know because there was no sharing with their best friend…or their mother.  She had begun to feel as if she had lost them completely.
Who and what these people were and what was to come of them were questions no one had answers for.  What and where they would go or how they would get there were soon to be more than just something to discuss.  They would soon be in a position to experience even more difficulties and the choices they made, would change their lives forever.

I wanted to write a story.  I wanted it to be filled with people, places and things of interest.  This story has so much more when we think about these people and their story.  It could be our story if life took certain turns.  There may be things we know and believe to be true but then again in other circumstances … what then????  How heartbreaking would it be to feel as if we are loosing those we love the most and what would we do?

What about the children?  If the things they had always heard from their parents was so true, then why were they where they were living as they were?  If good people they had known all of their lives were so special, where were they when you needed help?  They did not understand life but were finding new friends they could be accepted and become a part with.  They were finding new friends that had all kinds of things to tell and teach and so many so called answers.  Children do have a survival instinct but what was it and who, that was trying to save them…or was it more to recruit them to their world for what they wanted from them?

The children were not prepared for any of what was now all around them and they were a part of in the neighborhood and the schools.  We all have choices to make and consequences for good or for bad from those choices.

No matter what Life Goes On and we have to find a way to go on in life and make the best of what we have to do the best that we can do.

I will be back soon to share more from the inside…

Life Goes On   ebooks US
                        paperback Canada 

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