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New York Times  Bestselling Author

Story Weekend: A Fork in the Road

I can think of many times during my life where I reached a fork in the road, but some of those forks were more significant than others. What if I hadn’t decided to go to the party where I met my first husband? What if I’d remained a special ed major instead of switching to social work? What if I’d read a magazine in that doctor’s office long ago instead of picking up my pen and pad to start writing a story? That one makes me shudder.  I can imagine my life without my first husband, but without writing? No way!

Tell us about one of the forks in your life that teased you with its choices. What did you do? How did it change you forever?

If  you’re new to Story Weekend, here’s how it works: I pick a theme and you share something from your life that relates to that theme, however you interpret it. Thanks to all of you who’ve been contributing. As always, there are a few “rules”:

▪   The story must be true

▪   Try to keep it under 100 words. Embrace the challenge! That’s about six or seven lines in the comment form. I want others to read your story, and most people tend to skip if it’s too long. I know how tough it is to “write tight” but I hope you’ll accept this as a challenge.

▪   Avoid offensive language.

Have a good weekend, everyone!

17 Comments

  1. Jaime Tanner on April 13, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    How my life changed in just one year
    In March of 2009, my mom got sick with cancer, she only lived 25 days, and then just 10 months after my mom died, my dad died. 2 months later, I left my husband after 12 years of marriage. I moved into a town house and lived alone for the first time ever in my life at the age of 33. One month later, I posted a profile on match.com and next month I celebrate my one year wedding anniversary with my husband. What if I had never posted a profile on match?

    • Diane Chamberlain on April 14, 2012 at 12:57 am

      That’s how I met John, too. A happy ending to your story.

      • Kristie on April 14, 2012 at 3:28 am

        Jamie,
        I am sorry for your loss. It sounds like you have a happy ending! Read my story below!

  2. Wanda on April 13, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    What if I had not switched my major from history and English to sped? What if I had not changed schools twice? What if I had not gone out with the teachers at the school I was student teaching at? I would never have met my husband of 30 years, on Sunday, I would never have moved to Alaska, and I would never have gone on some of the great adventures in life. A decision or fork in the road makes all the difference in our lives.
    My second fork deciding that I needed to go to the emergency room when I experienced chest pain, what if I had not gone, would I be here to celebrate life today? If not for that decision I would never had known I had a heart defect and was in heart failure. I though it was just stress, my father was dying in Kansas, my son was in serious condition in the hospital in WA D.C. and I was in Alaska dealing with a very stressful year of teaching. I required open heart surgery to save my life, and were it not for that decision I could be dead.

    • Diane Chamberlain on April 14, 2012 at 12:55 am

      Wanda, I’m so glad you made the choices you did!

  3. Corey Ann on April 14, 2012 at 12:31 am

    In 2006 I found out my father, whom has raised me alone after my Mother’s passing when I was 13, had terminal cancer. His dying wish was to see the Outer Banks one last time. When my job told me I couldn’t take the time off because they needed me, I quit without a second thought. I am so grateful to this day that I quit because I had no idea I had such a small amount of time with my father left. Instead of the 6 months the doctors aid he would have, he had 6 weeks. Quitting that job was one of the best things I’ve done in my life as it lead me not only to spending quality time with my dying father but also was a way out of the medical profession which I loathed and it ushered me into photography which I love.

    Funny how life works sometimes. 🙂

    • Diane Chamberlain on April 14, 2012 at 12:56 am

      Wow…

  4. Kristie on April 14, 2012 at 3:26 am

    What would my life be like if I didn’t take one more peek at my match.com account before my subscription expired on the fall of 2005? I wouldn’t have met the love of my life! I decided to give the men one more look! I winked at a few and was emailing Jeff within a few days! He didn’t have all my “must haves” but who he was made up for what was missing! We were married 13 months and 10 days after our first date and have a beautiful 4 year old daughter and 1 year old son! To this day we joke that I can’t believe I married a bald guy who is only 5 feet 10 inches! (hair and height were a must!)
    My life is wonderful. Thank goodness for one more look!

  5. Sheree Gillcrist on April 14, 2012 at 8:51 am

    When I was six I met a girl at Sunday School who became my best friend until I was ten when we attended summer camp together where we faked being sick so that the nurse would bring us ice cream in our dorm. We were two halves of a whole, one dark haired , one blonde. Somehow life got in the way, and our paths crossed again 24 years later when she married my BIL and became mom to his two small children. We picked up together like nothing had changed and we once again became confidents to each other. A few years into the marriage she developed Multiple Myleoma and for the next three years I became her care giver lying on her bed with her, kissing her bald head, singing to her, carrying her to the bathroom , learning about the true meaning of love and helping her to grieve for the two babies she carried that went on ahead of her to heaven to make a room for her. The week before she died she somehow managed to get to her computer to write a letter to me to be given after her passing that I keep among my most cherished possessions.It was a letter of love and of longing. Dying is a lesson in the best of times and the worst of times and I have come too beleive that one of my reasons for being on this earth was to help her with her passing. A gift wrapped in the tissue paper of tears and remembrance. What if I had never met her?

  6. Amy F on April 14, 2012 at 10:26 am

    “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference. ” ~Robert Frost

    “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good (wo)men to do nothing”~Edmund Burke

    “Stop picking on Her,” the voice in my head shouted at the Jerk bullying his victim, wishing I were brave enough to speak.

    She got on my nerves too. But, I recognized that autism prevented her from interacting in a different way. Still, I was too afraid to defend Her.

    A few years later, after regretting my cowardly decision, I encountered the Jerk again. I spoke out–knowing I would be his next target.

    And I was.

    And I hated being his target.

    I was glad it was me instead of Her. Yet I still feel guilty I waited so long.

  7. Diane Chamberlain on April 14, 2012 at 10:38 am

    I didn’t expect to be so touched by your responses to this topic. Sitting in Starbucks, teary eyed.

  8. Cindy on April 14, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    Our lives are made up of forks. Sometimes we take the right road and we end up in the wrong place. And then sometimes we take a road we “Know” is the wrong road and it takes us places we only dreamed of. When my husband’s disability settlement came, he made a decision to buy a motorcycle. I fought him on it as it was dangerous. But he wanted it and so if I wanted to see the US as he promised me, I would have to ride on the back. His decision to buy a Yamaha after he was planning to buy a Yamaha led us to meet a group of people who are now dear friends. We have been to places I had only read about in books. I have to mention one more fork…when I decided to be a substitute teacher and found a new career as a HQ Paraprofessional. Working with special needs children. I have received more blessings than I can count working with these Angels.

    • Cindy on April 14, 2012 at 12:50 pm

      I have to correct one of the statements from above. We bought a Yamaha…He had been determined to buy a Kawasaki. When the time came, the person at the dealership recanted the offer. I am thankful that man was less than honest..I have met the most wonderful friends because of it…

  9. Sue P on April 15, 2012 at 1:36 am

    Forks – life seems to be made up of ‘forks’ choices to be made for right or wrong. Reading some of the stories above a lot of choices we make are for love? My story is no different.

    I fell in love with someone who was unreachable to me at the time. I was still married and he didn’t seem interested. So I lived with just being friends, we could tell each other anything. Inevitably We got closer. I was purchasing a house with my first husband and reached my fork! To walk away from the house with my children in tow and back in with my parents or stay and live the lie. I chose to walk. Mine and Stephens friendship was allowed to grow and grow it did. Three years later we married, My three children are now our children. Stephen is still my best friend and my soul mate.

    Love is strong and together we will see the world.
    Can a wrong choice be made if you follow your heart?

    Xx

  10. Margo on April 15, 2012 at 11:25 am

    She debated whether to leave Florence early. Loving the Italian countryside and the art world it was a hard decision to return to the States 6 months early, but her health would not hold up and she decided to come home in December rather than June. Within days she met the man of her dreams and the’ve been together ever since; a chance encounter changed her life forever and she never looked back.

  11. JoAnne McCrone-Ephraim on April 15, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    Merry Christmas! My diagnosis was non-Hodgkin’s so the oncologist scheduled me to begin chemo in Jan of ’98. “If” I was given the RIGHT coctail and responded I MAY have been in remission for 5 years. Instead, I decided to get a second opinion and subsequently had my 1st chemo treatment 4 1/2 years later. Blessedly, I am now in my 10th year of remission!

    By choosing an alternate path I became a survivor; an example of what faith, strong will and a positive attitude can result in for my daughter, when she was diagnosed with cancer. Thankfully, she too chose an alternate path and sought the BEST of the BEST; she has been a survivor for 7 years, without reoccurrence, enjoying motherhood and life to the fullest! I love it when His plan comes together:)

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