She used to call them ‘funny books’.

Half the time, the stack of reading material and my notebook would survive the trip to her house untouched, but my chronic fear of not having anything to read or being without a pen often overrode whatever good sense she instilled in me. If you want to get alarmingly technical, she unknowingly provided the ‘spark’ I’ve been referring to with increasing frequency. Difficult as it is to pinpoint the singular moment in which I became a future storyteller, only one thing is certain…Star Wars was involved. Two hours and a galaxy far, far away was all it required to shift my tiny brain onto the eventual path of the Story Engine.

I’m pretty confident that my Grandma had no idea what she was starting with that innocent little video cassette. That’s what separates the good from the great I think, an innate ability to change perspectives and impart knowledge without even realizing they’re doing it. What’s problematic is that most don’t even recognize greatness until that encouragement is gone. I’d like to believe that some part of myself was aware of, and greatly appreciated, everything Grandma was here to teach me and I hope she knew that.

I hope she knew that because of her…I’m going to win. That no obstacle is insurmountable and every dream is worth fulfilling. I tried explaining to her a few times what an internet was, and what an ‘ambidextrous’ was, and though she probably didn’t understand everything, she knew it was important to me. And that was enough for her. So it was enough for me. I hope she knew that.

I hope she knew that ‘funny books’ were only the beginning…

DOROTHY J. COLEMAN
November 18, 1935- February 10, 2003
 

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