Every day was Father’s Day for Grandpa John, because he treated all of us kids like we were his own.
See, my father left momma before I was born, never to be seen again.
I think about him… What does my father look like? Does he ever think about me?
Grandpa John wasn’t my “real” Grandpa, yet he ‘adopted’ me, along with a bunch of other kids in the neighborhood.
Grandpa John watched me after school while Momma was at work. He helped me with my homework—to a point.
“Grandpa John, I’m gonna start on my homework now. Thanks for dinner.” I gave him a thumbs up.
“Thank you, Jamal for eating it.” He sighed, “I do the best I can. I gave my cook the night off.”
“It was good—seriously it was really good, honest.”
“I’m glad you liked it.” The he looked at the pile of papers and books strewn on the ornate dining room table. “What’re you workin’ on tonight?”
“Well, I got some math…” I ruffled through the papers. “And then… I need your help with writing a paper for English.”
“Okay, let’s see what you have for math.”
“I have this Chapter on Solving Basic Equations and then a 25 question quiz.” I started reading the instructions on solving equations.
“Whoa, hold on, son. The key to understanding equations is the word, equation. An equation always needs to be equal on both sides of the equals (=) sign. It’s actually very simple. Words—”
“‘Words have meanings’,” I finished his thought. “I know, I know…. You always say that. And, ‘Words are powerful, be careful how you use them.’”
“With that in mind, Jamal, you should be able to fly through all 25 questions. While you’re doin’ that, I’m gonna sit down and write the latest chapter for my new book.”
“Okay, thanks Grandpa John.”
“You’re very welcome.”
He was right. Keeping that simple thought in my head was the key to solving all 25 questions on the quiz. It just took time—almost an hour. After I finished, I stood up and stretched. Then I went into the parlor where Grandpa John was busily typing on his laptop.
“I’m all done with math, Grandpa John.” Then, I asked excitedly, “Hey, what’s the name of your new book?”
“I gave it the title, ‘We Do’ with a subtitle of ‘Marriage is a Spiritual Journey Together.’ I’m sure my editor will change it, which is fine—that’s her job.”
“Wow… What’s it about?”
“Basically, marriage is about the commitment to becoming one: United in purpose, united in heart, mind and soul. United in God’s love—through Christ all this is possible.”
I just nodded, then asked another question, “What’s it like to be a famous writer, Grandpa John? Do all famous people have a mansion like yours?”
He laughed, “Oh no, Jamal. Not all famous people have mansions. Some choose to live in poverty, like Mother Teresa. She is now living in her heavenly mansion.” He clicked the Save button to save the changes he was making to the chapter he was working on. “‘What’s it like to be famous’, you asked?”
“Simple answer: annoying. When fame hits your life, people flock to you from all over the world, like a flood. With the internet, it’s even faster and more intense.”
“You mean like when my friend posted that goofy video of the dog singing the Barney Song on YouTube?” I started mocking the sound of the dog’s voice.
Grandpa John laughed again. “Right! The video goes ‘viral’…which equals instant fame. Speaking of ‘equals’, did you have any questions about your math quiz?”
“No sir. When you told me the key, everything fell into place.”
“Good. Very good. Now, for the fun stuff. What’s your writing assignment?”
“‘Choose a famous Author and write a Summary of the Author’s life. Word limit: 750.’”
“And you chose me?”
“Yes Grandpa John, of course I chose you. But, how can I write about you in only 750 words? There’s no way.”
“The key to writing a biography is to ask the right questions. So, Jamal, what would be your first question to me? Think about it before you ask.”
“Okay… What is the key to becoming a famous writer?”
“W.U.S.H… WUSH!” He pronounced it whoosh.
“Okay, what is whoosh?”
“WUSH is Write Until Something Happens!. There is a lot of rejection out there. So, keep on praying, keep on seeking God’s face. Write, write, write…