Early in the year 2010, I had a dream that my deceased grandfather visited me. William Arthur Faircloth, Papa Faircloth, has visited me several times in my dreams since he passed away in 1997, yet there have been two distinct dreams that I knew without a shadow of a doubt that he felt he must pass a message to me about my life or my mother’s life. He and I were so close that I often cling to the memories of those two dream visits. However that night in 2010, I had no clue what his cryptic message meant, yet by 2016, I think I finally understood him.
The dream began in the living room of Nannie and Papa’s First Avenue house. Before he died, they lived in a red brick house across the railroad tracks on First Avenue, Eastman, Georgia. Nannie sold it soon after Papa died, yet in my dream, we were in the living room of the First Avenue house. The brown recliners and beige sofas were in the living room, and Papa and I sat side by side in the recliners. Nannie was on the couch, laughing and talking to younger Anya and Sophia. I remember this dream seemed to move in slow motion, and I looked at him very seriously.
“Papa, what is it?” I asked him.
“I’ve come to visit, y’all.” he replied.
“I am checking on Nannie and spending time with her. I visit regularly.” I retorted. He rocked a minute or two and smiled.
“I know, Pumpkin, that’s not why I am here. Nannie, is doing really good lately. I am proud of her.” I remember thinking he was about to drop a bomb on me, and I wasn’t ready for it. Then, he spoke again. “After December 10, your life will never be the same. Everything you’ve ever known will forever be changed.” I blinked a few times, and I felt my eyes strain while I examined his crisp white shirt and his gray slacks.
“Papa, I have no idea what that means.”
“I want you to know that I am always here with you. Always. Don’t forget that. I’ve got to go.”
“No, wait!” I yelled.
Suddenly, I woke with a jolt and called mama to tell her about it. I remember being afraid he was meaning December 10, 2010, which was a couple of weeks away. I worried I was about to die. Mama thought I was being ridiculous as usual. She doesn’t always take my dreams well, especially since he sometimes tells me things about her in them. Fortunately, several December 10ths came and went, and I became numb and forgetful of that dream or visit from him.
By December 10, 2016, the dream rang true for me, and even on that very day, I had no clue how much my life would change then. December 10, 2016, my paternal grandmother, Carolyn Greene died, and her death followed my daddy’s death by 7 days. Ten days after Grandma’s death, I gave birth to Liam, and for the next three years, my grandmother’s estate existed in limbo with no resolution.
Yet on December 24, 2019, a decision was made that left me without my childhood home and without the property that built me. Losing Grandma and Papa’s property to other people’s greed brought the grief and loss of my daddy and my grandparents back to the surface, as if a scab had been removed from my heartbreak.
I have struggled to pull myself out of the abyss of loss since then. I have suffered an orphan spirit. I have prayed and begged God to help me find closure and forgiveness. I hated it for my mama most of all because she is the one who had to hear and to see my pain and my devastation. She gave me such a wonderful piece of advice just a few months ago, “Jennifer, spend the money from Grandma’s on something that will last a lifetime. Spend it on something you really, really want.”
Ultimately, in April 2020, I spent some of it on rebuilding Daddy’s bridge and the dock. The bridge and the dock needed repairs after Daddy’s illness and the three years of lack of upkeep, following his death.
I held onto the rest because I needed something that would last a lifetime, something special. By November 2020, I made a decision; I would spend the rest on my writing career–I would spend it on my books. See, I have “writings” scribbled in journals, napkins, and in notebooks. I have random pieces on floppy disks (HAHA) and on my Google Drives.
The pieces that make me the most happy are my children’s books. When I write for children, I feel free, happy, hopeful. I took a giant leap of faith, and I spent 1,500 dollars of Grandma’s estate money on the illustrations for “Purposeful Day.” I spent 600 dollars of it so far on “Esmerelda’s Surprise.” As of today, I have spent 2,000 dollars more on advertising expenses for my contract with Trilogy Publishing aka TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network).
I also find myself left with several things:
1) a contract for “Purposeful Day” for three years
2) a thousand dollars remains of Grandma’s money
3) a hundred or so happy tears when I watch children read my book
4) a proposed deal with Pegasus for “Esmerelda”
5) an idea for how to negotiate from here on out
Most importantly, I have my peace of mind. My God has provided ABUNDANTLY and EXCEEDINGLY in my life. I released my heartache to Him so that a seed could be sown. I believe Grandma would be proud of me and my books. I learned my elevated vocabulary and my ability to spin a tale from her, and it was her gift to me that has helped me see the fruit from my talent.
The Lord has also released me from unforgiveness and resentment from previous wrongdoings. I plan to continue to reap the benefits of releasing these life changes and heartaches to Him. I feel JOY and EXCITEMENT for future illustrations and future books. I have so many in the queue, waiting for Joshua to add his flare and magical illustrations. Also, I have Rhett Harwell and my new editor, whoever he or she may be (I will know soon enough). Praise the Lord, I have a publisher!!
I will hold these verses in my heart as I continue to learn and to grown on my writing journey.
American Standard Version
14 and above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfectness. 15 And let the peace of Christ [a]rule in your hearts, to the which also ye were called in one body; and be ye thankful. 16 Let the word of [b]Christ dwell in you [c]richly; in all wisdom teaching and admonishing [d]one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts unto God. 17 And whatsoever ye do, in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.