Famous Firsts

Thanks to DB Corey in Writing Wranglers and Warriors for inspiring this post. There’s a first time for everything, and we all remember the first time we did this or that. As parents, we remember our kids’ first steps, first words, first day of school, the first time we let them drive the car solo. As adults, we remember our first love, first apartment, first job interview.

According to my mother, my first word was “ash tray.” My parents smoked so go figure. When Dad got his first computer in the 1980’s while I was in college, the first word my younger brother typed on it was “half-assed.” My first apartment was a ground floor unit in an old house with a Mickey Mouse kitchen and bathroom, expansive living and dining rooms, a front and back door, and no laundry facilities.

My first and only love was my late husband Bill. He was totally blind, and three months after we were married, he suffered two strokes that paralyzed his left side. I remember how proud he was when my first book was published. “Let me see it,” he said when copies arrived in the mail.

I placed one in his lap and described the cover, as he fingered it lovingly and smiled. At my first book signing, he was by my side, sitting in his wheelchair with a shit-eating grin. At times, he put his arm around me and rubbed my shoulders. He didn’t care that we were in public. All that mattered to him was that his wife was a published author. I hope he’s smiling down on me from wherever he is, as I continue to write, publish, and sign books.

What firsts do you remember? Please feel free to share them below.

Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author of We Shall Overcome and How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

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4 thoughts on “Famous Firsts

  1. I remember vividly the first human to step onto the surface of the moon. Being keenly intersted in science, I believed I’d be living on the moon or another planet when I grew up. I remember the first time I boarded one of Canada’s destroyers with the rest of the kids from Jericho Hill School for the Deaf and Blind. The sailors gave us a tour of their ship and a ride around the harbour on it.

  2. Abbie–The part of your post concerning your first book and first signing was especially touching and memorable. The “first” that is most memorable to me is my first independent walk with my first guide dog, Keller. What an exhilerating feeling to walk with my beautiful and intelligent golden retriever as my Leader Dog. When she stopped perfectly at the first curb, I knew I was on the road to renewing independence. Keller loved working as much as I was privileged to work with such a well-trained and dedicated Leader Dog. Take care–Alice

    • Alice, you should definitely write about your guide dog experiences and send your work to Magnets and Ladders or some other disability or guide dog users’ publication. Thank you for sharing your memories.

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