Pieces of paper change lives every day

I remember:

Pieces of paper that have changed my life: report cards. I remember that I got pretty good grades in school quite consistently until the sixth grade, when I earned a D in algebra. I cried when I saw that, because I had never gotten a D before, maybe not even a C. I ended up having to go to a summer school for math that summer, but it was pretty easy compared to regular school, so thankful for small favors, right?

Books. I was such an avid reader as a kid that there were times when I was reading a different book every day. And my favorite – the one that made me want to start writing – was The Thief of Always by Clive Barker. Every page of that book changed my life.

Bills. I got under water when I was younger. Call it a witches’ brew of irresponsibility, Michigan’s poor economy, an unfaithful live-in girlfriend, and general inexperience with keeping money straight. I learned the hard way how to keep it tight, and eventually I was able to wrangle another piece of paper that chanted my life: a bankruptcy. The kind where your debts are charged off.

A marriage license: my wife and I went to the courthouse in Steele, one of the larger of the small hamlet towns of
rural North Dakota, to get that. Of course, it was a breeze. After the wedding ceremony the pastor signed it, my Dad and my wife’s friend Trish signed it, and it was official – my life was changed. That led to another piece of paper that changed my life: my daughter’s birth certificate. Both the marriage license and the birth certificate are of the utmost importance, because they represent the best part of my life: my family, Clan Ross.

None of these were found on the ground. Nothing discovered like that could ever change my life, not the way I imagine it going. I hate finding fake money that turns out to be a religious tract. That being said, I don’t keep track of every piece of paper in my life, just the most significant ones.

This post was prompted by today’s Daily Post prompt and their Weekly Writing Challenge.

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