We all have dreams and “someday” goals.
Someday, I will travel to Thailand and swim with elephants.
Someday, I’ll open my own business.
Someday, I’ll go on a road trip across the United States.
Someday, I’ll go to an airport, pick the next departing flight, buy a ticket, and go!
Someday, I’ll write a book.
For Albert Sambourn, “someday” came at 93 years old. He decided to write a book.
“Not many people start writing a book at my age,” Albert said with a smirk. “But mine is an autobiography for my kids and grandkids. In my mind, so long as your words sing in the hearts of those left behind, your soul lives on and on and on.”
Albert (Al) has always been a writer. He wrote while serving our country in WWII, wrote for friends’ eulogies, wrote letters to family—any event that stirred his emotions, he put in writing. He even wrote an autobiography after retiring 20 years ago, but it didn’t turn out the way he imagined—he affectionately calls it “a haphazard.” Then, his wife passed away 2 years ago, just as they were about to celebrate their 69th anniversary.
“I didn’t want to see anyone. I used to get my meals then just come back to my room,” Al said. “But, luckily, I lived across the hall from a couple my wife and I had known for years, and they helped pull me out.”
Al took care of his wife full time for the last 5 years of her life. When she passed away, it was like starting over. His friends and staff at Chelsea Retirement Community encouraged him to take a creative writing class. He did, and he loved it. In April 2015, he decided to start the book he began writing 25 years previously, only this time, he would finish it.
“I was afraid I was going to die before I finished,” Al said. “It’s a culmination of my life’s work.”
At 94-years old, he published Watch Me, Ma!
Published for friends and family, this book is a collection of Al’s life’s work. From the poems he wrote while fighting in the trenches of World War II, to the stories of him and his siblings growing up, and even his experience as a news director covering the grand opening of Michigan’s Mackinac Bridge, this book is chock-full of memories and moments.
“If you have experienced the thrill, fear, and anxiety of having a child, then you might be able to appreciate what I have been going through over the last several months,” wrote Al in a recent creative writing class.
“No, at 94, I’m not having another child, but this event has given me the same anxiety, same fears, and same sleepless nights that I recall when my two children were born. I have just received from the printer a book I really dreamed of producing way back in 1927.”
Someday became today for Al. What is your “someday” goal? How can you start working toward it today?