We all have stories that have shaped the person we have become and, like many before me, I thought I wanted to write.
I like to encourage people to write their life stories. We must write our stories and tell these stories to our children and their children. Every one of us has a past. However sad that past is, it is a part of us. Without a past – good or bad – how can we expect to move into the future and say “I am” or “I was.”
So let me start by telling you a little about my own story.
I am Susanita Kay: Mother, Wife, Writer, Pilgrim and Oumie to five (nearly six) grandsons.
I grew up in an orphanage from the age of six months to the age of twelve years. I knew very little about my parents, as I had no journals or information about their lives. I know next-to-nothing about the kind of people they were before they became my parents. It is very sad that my children will never know the people their grandparents were, and they will never know the stories of my family. And my parents will never know their grandchildren or their great-grandchildren.
What I did learn about my father, I wish I never learned. But, as I said, good or bad, our past can tell a story.
My parents were the people that I grew up with in the orphanage. I grew up with forty two other children in a big home with a green roof.
The sad truth is that the legacy of my parents was in a shoe box of pictures of people I did not know. One day, I started to write about those unknown faces in that shoe box. I often go back to the pictures in that shoe box, using my own words and imagination to write all types of stories in the hope that one day I will find something that is part of me.
It is hard to remember those years and how far I got in school. When I was older, and the mother of a few children, I decided to study for the last three years of my schooling through the post. It was not easy, but I was proud of myself when I received confirmation that I passed!
I studied many things. I studied nursing, and then journalism. Then came art, natural healing, then working with abused kids and so I went on. I never became a master in anything I studied. However, through all of this, I always wrote. I wrote children’s stories, poetry, plays, non-fiction and fiction. I wrote about anything and everything. However, I always considered that my most important job and something that I took very seriously, was to be the best mother that I could be.
Writing my stories has helped me to face battles that I have fought and won. It helps me to express my feelings about those battles and helps me to heal in private whilst writing.
There is no time frame to these meaningful stories. There is no judgement to these stories, and some of these stories only makes sense to me. Once I have completed my stories, it will be a reminder to my family one day that ‘I am and I was’.
My stories are filled with lots of questions. I hope that one day all of the important stories and events will come together. The stories are a lifetime of memories written in my own words. To me my writing is priceless. My books are on sale on Amazon – for two reasons, in the hope that people will enjoy reading them, and to make a little money.
My shoe box it is quite symbolic of whom I am. We all wander through life with our own shoe box which has many colourful stories in it.
I urge you – don’t let your story be one of many stories left untold, forgotten somewhere in an old shoe box. Everyone has a story to tell – good or bad. Write about all the things in that shoe box, one memory at a time, and even if there is only one picture in that box that means anything to you. Your children will learn from your past, and you will not just become a face in a shoe box.
Thank you for reading this
Susanita was brought up in an orphanage from the age of six months old. She grew up with a woman she called Mother Eve. Eve was the only mother Susanita knew. Knowing how important the stories of her childhood were to her, Susanita started reciting her own stories to her children and later also to the neighbourhood children that would come over to sit around her and listen to her stories. Words were eventually put to paper, and a number of stories and articles were either published in magazines and newspapers as well as being broadcast on national radio. After many years of sickness, the writing bug caught up with her again. Pilgrims and Fairies, a book on her experiences encountered whilst walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain was the first book to be published on Amazon. Susanita is the mother of five adult children, three boys and two girls, and lives with her husband Kenneth in Cape Town, South Africa. She is also the proud grandmother of five grandsons. Susanita’s books can be found on Amazon here.