Centralia Fireside Guard

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Story Time: The power of words

Posted on Tuesday, September 22, 2020 at 1:38 pm

By Lorry Myers

I made the mistake of picking up my phone at a family gathering and noticed an email alert associated with my newspaper column. I didn’t read it right away but the title of it nagged at me. Finally, I left the room and opened it.

It was an anonymous email, only a single name was used. The email contained quick sentence structure, limited punctuation and carried a tone of anger and disgust.

It also carried a powerful punch.

Lorry Myers

Lorry Myers

Basically, the email reads, I married underneath me and now like to complain about it. I perceive myself to be the brightest one in my family, my column topics are poorly chosen, and nobody is really interested in what I have to say.

The rest, you can read between the lines.

After a couple of deep breaths, I walked back to where my husband, three children and their families were preparing for a celebration. My daughter, Hilary, immediately asked, “Mom, what’s wrong?”

There was no wiggling out of it because my face said it all. “I got an anonymous email about my newspaper column and it hurt my feelings,” I sighed. My son, Taylor, who was listening, said, “Read it.”

So, I did, skipping the part between the lines.

My youngest daughter heard everything. Mariah began analyzing the anonymous person, speculating about personalities and perceptions and the reasons why people need to shame others.

“You know what, maybe I need to grow tougher skin.” I said. “Or, maybe, this guy is right.”

Early on, I knew that I would not be a political writer, or a fancy writer or a writer with tangled words. I decided I was more suited to write about what I lived. I wanted to write about the days of your life that are filled with the little things that are really the big things.

The days you can’t get back.

I know my sentence structure is sketchy, and my use of punctuation is inconsistent. Sometimes I write tongue-in-cheek, sometimes with sarcasm, sometimes with tears on my face. My stories are simple and sometimes private and are mostly about family and community. I write about moments that everyone has, people that everyone knows, and heartaches and joys that everyone shares.

Apparently, everyone hates it.

I was surrounded by my family when a moment later, my phone went off again…another email. Everyone watched as I opened this one, a smile already on my face. This email was fully signed.

Bob Tanner.

For the complete column, see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.