Surprises can come in many forms and in unexpected ways. They can be unexpected incidents which don’t go the way we planned or they can be something beautiful.
A little over a month ago, I submitted my manuscript Fiona to Kindle Scout where I participated in a campaign for obtaining possible publication. Over the course of the thirty days of which the campaign ran, the number of views I received increased significantly with each passing day. Although it was encouraging, I had gone so long without my novel being placed in the “Hot and Trending” category.
I checked everyday with anticipation to discover the number of views received increasing; however, I faced disappointment when several days went by without the novel being in the “Hot And Trending” category. I reached the last day of my campaign, and the same thing happened. So I went the rest of the day and the following morning without checking my stats. The next day after my campaign ended, I was pleasantly shocked and surprised to see my novel was in the “Hot and Trending” category during the last three hours of my campaign.
Although I didn’t obtain publication through Kindle Scout, it was a gratifying experience. Making the “Hot and Trending” category for the short amount of time I did validated to me I am a talented writer. It meant a great deal to me folks to enough interest in my story and showed their support. Doubts about my capabilities as a writer were lessened. I’m still trying to find a suitable publisher for my novel Fiona; however, at least making the “Hot and Trending” category for the last three hours of my campaign assured me I had gained interest from my readers.
Another surprise which happened in my lifetime didn’t happen to me directly. My brothers and I were in the early years of elementary school. I talked to my brothers about having a surprise birthday party for our great-grandfather. Our mother helped us bake a cake. It was in the shape of a rabbit. A couple of close childhood friends who lived across the street from us helped us set up decorations in the dining room of our house. They came to the party with their parents. My mothers sister, my maternal grandmother, and a close male cousin on my mother’s side of the family were also in attendance. My father cooked some steaks for the occasion and made Greek salad.
I went downstairs to my grandfather’s bedroom. It was off from the kitchen. He reclined on his sofa watching television. Upon entering his bedroom, I approaching him, touching his shoulder. “Excuse me, papou, but mommy needs some help with something in the dining room. The boys knocked down the adding machine, causing damage to it. She wants to know if you can help her fix it so she can do her bookkeeping work.”
Turning around, he looked up at me. “Those boys got into mischief again. I don’t know what to do with those kids. Don’t misunderstand me. I love them as much as I love you and the rest of the great-grandchildren, but why can’t they behave themselves and do as they are told instead of running rampant. When I get a hold of your brothers I’m going to spank their fannies good. That’s all there is to it. I don’t think they’ll ever learn from their mistakes.” Leaning against the armrest of the sofa, he pushed himself up, and followed me upstairs into the kitchen.
“I think you should walk in ahead of me, papou. This way you can get a good look at the damage they did and the mess they made. Then, you can grab a hold of them and spank their bottoms.” I smiled while my great-grandfather proceeded to walk in the front of me.
He pushed open the door. It was dark. “What goes on in here. What happen to the electricity.”
My father turned on the lights. Everyone yelled, “Surprise. Happy birthday, Papou.”
My great-grandfather was overwhelmed with emotion. He tried to catch his breath as he struggled to hold back his tears. “I’ve never had a birthday party before. When I was growing up, my family didn’t celebrate birthdays. Then, after arriving to the United States during the early nineteen hundreds, I focused on working hard, getting married, having children and raising my family. When they were grown up and had children of their own, I focused my attention on my grandchildren. They all have been my greatest joy. Now, three of my great-grandchildren and a few of my grandchildren and my daughter and other family members and friends do such a beautiful thing for me here today.” He took off his glasses, grabbed his hanky from his pocket, dabbing his eyes and his nose. Opening his arms, he cried, “Thank you all so much.”
One by one, we approached my great-grandfather, giving him a hug and a kiss. Looking back on this memory is such an overwhelming loving experience I’m proud to have shared with him and the rest of the family members and friends whom were in attendance for his birthday party.
Sometimes it’s the little things in life we do for others which matter the most. One’s expressions of love for his or her friends and/or family is the greatest reward. It’s something which is reciprocated. Kindness is contagious. The warmth I felt on the day we celebrated my great-grandfathers birthday party has been carried over thru today.
My great-grandfather passed away in April of 1992 at the age of 100 ½ years old. Even as his body lay in his casket, he had a beautiful aura upon his face. In his late-late years in life, he had lines, but he never had any wrinkles. His skin was beautiful up until the end of his day on this earth. I like to believe he has been one of the many guardian angels whom have kept watch over me during these past twenty-three years.
His spirit lives on through his descendents. Even now as I write this beautiful memory of his birthday celebration, I can feel his presence, observing every word I write in this article. It was his dream to become a writer; however, the opportunity never presented itself to him. Through becoming a writer myself, he can live his dream through me and my accomplishments I’ve had as a writer throughout the years.
© Copyright, Kiki Stamatiou, 2016