Grandma, Light Bulbs, and My Epiphany

It’s the new year. We’ve all been reflecting on 2013 and making resolutions for 2014.

2014I look back on 2013 as an eventful one. It was a year of making new friends, losing dear loved ones, publishing my first novel, securing an agent, earning several writing awards at a writing conference, winning first place in the main course category of the Atkins Low Carb Recipe contest, and managing to visit home not once, but twice (a rare treat, living 1,000 miles away). My son was inducted into NHS and got his driver’s license. My daughter graduated from middle school with a 4.0 for all three years and made conference on the high school tennis team her first year. Yes, it was an eventful year. And we have even higher hopes for 2014.

epiphanyBut January 6 is already almost a week into the new year. It’s officially Epiphany, the church feast uniting three events in Christ’s life when His divinity “shines” through His humanity: the adoration of the Magi, the baptism of Christ in the Jordan, and the first miracle at the wedding feast of Cana. See, that “shining” is important. During Advent, the world was in darkness, and we waited in expectation of the Coming Light. At Christmas, the Light shone forth, but dimly, seen only by a few around the crib—Mary and Joseph and the shepherds. But at Epiphany, the Light bursts forth to all nations and the prophecy is fulfilled: The Gentiles shall walk in Thy light, and kings in the brightness of Thy rising (Isaiah 60:3). The star of Epiphany, “flashing like a flame,” is still another facet of the light-motif.

We talk about “epiphanies” in our lives all the time. An epiphany (according to The American Heritage Dictionary) is “a comprehension or perception of reality by means of a sudden intuitive realization.”

My grandmother is ninety-five years old. I can guarantee she’s had an epiphany or two over the years. When she was a teenager, she was being courted by a wealthy young man from the neighboring town. His family owned several car dealerships and he would have made her quite a comfortable life.

mary and john weddingThen she met my grandfather.

And she had an epiphany.

It didn’t matter how rich her suitor was or how easy he could have made her life. She had fallen in love with another man. The man she was going to marry and make a life with, raise a family with.

When we have an epiphany, people liken it to a light bulb going off in our heads. They say “we saw the light.” And it really is like that.

Just as my grandfather gave my grandmother an epiphany, he gave me one. The story of his ancestry clicked like a light bulb in my head one day and became the beginnings of the series that landed me my agent.

light bulbPay attention to those family stories, folks. You never know when they might turn on a light in your head.

So, what about you? What epiphanies have you had? What are you working on in 2014? Share your stories with us below.

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2 Responses to Grandma, Light Bulbs, and My Epiphany

  1. The word epiphany has always intrigued me. I like the sound of it, the hard p followed by a soft p. Working on books, I think we have many epiphanies. The characters too experience epiphanies that move the story along. I’ve always got two or three books going in different stages. Usually one in my head, the next in first or second draft and another in the final editing stages. This makes for tons of epiphanies. It’s like snapping ones fingers and saying, “I’ve got it.”
    I like your family stories intertwined with your blogs and your books.

    Like this

    • Staci Troilo says:

      Thanks, Velda. I figure if I write about relationships in my stories, I should write about them in my blogs, too. And I agree with you, as writers, we have many epiphanies. (It is a great word, isn’t it?)

      Like this

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