The day I started writing The Dream Tree was April 5, 2017. I remember that day vividly.
My husband and I lived overseas for 6 years and during that time we had a little safety deposit box to keep our treasures and documents safe while we were away. After our return from our travels, we figured we should retrieve some of those items and bring them back into our life. Mind you, there wasn't anything of major value in there. Just some sentimental treasures that we didn't want to get lost in our travels.
I retrieved our box and took it out to my car. I carefully opened the little box to see what was tucked and hidden inside. As I was searching, under the treasures, to my delight I very carefully picked out a gold ring that held a beautiful ruby. The gold band wrapped around and formed a rose on one side that held a tiny diamond in it and on the other side was a woman formed into the gold that reached up to the ruby stone. I took a deep breath and said, "Hello Abuela!" I smiled and put it on my right ring finger and cozied it up to my Celtic knot ring (I'll talk more about that one later). I just sat in my car and admired the ring and thought of my dear Abuela. It was a quiet special moment. Like she was right there in the car with me. I still get tears in my eyes when I think about it. It was like time froze. I then said, "Thank you."
Abuela gave this ring to my mom and several years later, my mom gave it to me. I hid it away safe and secure in that box and little did I know how much that ring was going to change my life.
I drove away after retrieving our treasures and all I wanted to do as soon as I got home was flip my laptop open and write. It was that day where my dad's poem turned into a story. As I typed away the ruby ring danced along the keyboard with me. By the end of the day, I had my first draft done. The Dream Tree was birthed.
The next morning on April 6, 2017 I received a message from my brother. Our dear Abuela had passed away the day before. I cried. My brother shared he had the urge to make paella the night before thinking of Abuela, my sister shared she made a cuban meal and put ice in her wine thinking of Abuela, and I shared about Abuela's ruby ring experience. We all agreed we had a special visit from her - April 5, 2017. Her way of saying she loved us.
I know, it might sound a little strange but I hold it dear to my heart knowing her fly over to visit those she loved dearly - was felt.
Abuela was married to my Grandpa Gene (my mom's dad) when I was around 5 years old. She was a little cuban woman who captured my Grandpa's heart and made him whole. She bridged the gap and brought my Grandpa Gene back to us. We had many years of wonderful memories. She was an elementary school teacher and my grandpa Gene was a poet.
It's Abuela that gave me that "Come on Bridgie, what are you waiting for?" in her scratchy sweet Abuela voice and my Grandpa Gene's rhythmic poetic reading voice that pushed me over the hurdle of self doubt and onto the writing path. There are no words to describe that special connection. It was an inspirational nudge.
The Tree of Life, necklace, Ruby ring, and Celtic knot ring. All part of this beautiful journey.