Osborne – A Promise Kept

Dear Readers,

As a life-long reader and lover of books, it feels amazing to have one of my stories in print for others to read. You may wonder why I chose to have Deborah Osborne Wyatt as my author name. The obvious answer is because my maiden name is Osborne and also because I am very proud to be the daughter of the wonderful and precious Rev. Robert J. Osborne. However, the real reason is because of a promise I made nearly 42 years ago. My paternal grandfather, Horace Greeley Osborne was a prince of a man. He was kind, gentle and loving. He was also smart, funny and creative. I was very attached to both him and my paternal grandmother. I was incredibly fortunate in that my paternal and maternal grandparents lived next door to one another and behind my school. This meant that I got to see my grandparents nearly everyday. One of my favorite things to do was to go on walks with my Pawpaw Osborne as he checked out the grounds of the church and school for whom he served as a janitor. As we walked, he would hold my small hand in his big, warm, soft yet work worn hand. Pawpaw Osborne was a quiet man but when we were alone, he would talk to me and tell me stories. I loved his stories especially the ones about his childhood. His stories were marvelous! Pawpaw Osborne had the unique talent of being able to take a memory and tell it to you in such a way that you felt you were experiencing the events. With Pawpaw Osborne, memories were beautiful, magical stories that captured my imagination and consequently were indelibly imprinted into my heart and mind, He told me about the talking Raven who was a pet to one of his childhood friends. He told me stories about Uncle Andy; those were always hilarious! However, my favorite story he told me was the love story of a young man named Horace and a beautiful girl named Rhoda. His eyes would glow when he told me that story, at the end of his tale, he would reach into his back pocket, pull out his wallet and extract an old, worn photograph. He would show the faded photo to me and smile as he would ask, “Isn’t she purdy? This was how she looked when I first laid eyes on her.” He remained in love with her and she with him all the days of their lives. When I was five, I learned to read and believe it or not the first book I read was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the second book I read was Zachary Taylor: Young, Rough and Ready. I fell in love with reading and with all aspects of storytelling including the creation of my own stories. At night, I would lie on my bed and think up a story to put myself to sleep. The next day, I would tell my story to Pawpaw Osborne. He would chuckle and tell me the same thing my Daddy told me: “Deborah Ruth, you have a vain imagination!” Years passed and one day as I told a story to Pawpaw Osborne, he walked slower and slower. When we reached his house, instead of going inside, he sat down on the front steps and had me sit down next to him. After I finished my story, Pawpaw looked at me thoughtfully and told me that I had a gift for storytelling and he wouldn’t be one bit surprised if I became a published author one day. That’s when he asked me to promise him something: “Tweety, promise me that when you do publish a book that you will put the name Osborne on the book! Even if you are married by then, put Osborne in the middle of your name. Wouldn’t it me grand to see the author name of Osborne on the cover of a book?” I promised him I would. Pawpaw died in 1989 shortly before my Mother. I wish he could be here with me but since he can’t, I hope God lets him look down from Heaven to see the author name of Osborne on the cover of a book.

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