Saturday, June 9, 2018

Thanks, Dad

by Jean Kavich Bloom

What encouragement to write do I most remember? I'll tell you, but first, about that name, Kavich.

Kavich was my last name before I married into the Bloom family decades ago. Shortened from a Polish name, it's a challenge for people to know how to pronounce it. Yet the pronunciation is simple, if not phonetically a hoot.

Say it with me: “cave-itch.” 

Despite my maiden name’s challenges, I decided long ago to include it on anything I published. Why? To honor my father and his encouragement.

Way back in my teens, Dad encouraged my writing and to “maybe work in publishing one day.” Not in a pushy way, but enough that it made an impression on me. I wish I had fully embraced that idea when I entered college, although I don't think many programs related to writing or publishing were available then. And I thought all you could do with an English degree was teach. Instead I majored in social work and then established a short career in that field. Guess what I enjoyed most about my work in a crisis intervention position. Writing my reports.

When my husband and I decided it was time for me to go back to employment after I’d been a stay-at-home mom for ten years, I was hired into one of a nearby publishing house's editorial departments. (That was one hundred percent a God thing.) From the start, my dad’s encouragement rang in my ears, giving me courage to take advantage of opportunities there to train and learn editing and all aspects of the publishing world. I worked there for twenty-four years, and after becoming a freelance editor and writer, I was commissioned by that company to write a couple of children’s devotional and activity books.

“How do you want your name to read on the cover?” my editor asked. Without hesitation, I told her, “Jean Kavich Bloom.” 

My father, who passed away a few years ago, wasn't too impressed when I handed him copies of those books. By that time, his frail, ninety-plus-year-old body had begun to take its toll on his spirit. He wanted nothing more than to be with God (and soon after that, he was). Yet his lack of response didn’t dampen my gratitude for his encouragement, way back when I was a teenager and an avid reader, dipping my toe into writing. 

And as I write now, his encouragement still rings.

Thanks, Dad.  

Has a parent or someone else significant in your life encouraged you in your writing? Do you know someone you can encourage?

Jean Kavich Bloom is a freelance editor and writer for Christian publishers and ministries (Bloom in Words Editorial Services), with thirty years of experience in the book publishing world. Her personal blog is Bloom in Words too, where she sometimes posts articles about the writing life. She is also a regular contributor to The Glorious Table, a blog for women of all ages. Her published books are Bible Promises for God's Precious Princess and Bible Promises for God's Treasured Boy. She and her husband, Cal, have three children (plus two who married in) and five grandchildren, with foster grandchildren in their lives on a regular basis.
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  1. What a beautiful tribute, Jean! Let me give tribute to my dad as well.
    As I started a second career in writing, my father was dying of cancer. In spite of his weakened condition, he allowed me to interview him regarding his year in Vietnam and his miraculous survival from a jet crash. The story was published in a Christian anthology and I shared it at his funeral.
    He was always my encourager. Thank you for sharing your story as well.

  2. Jean, your dad encouraged so many people, including me. I didn't realize that he'd cast a vision for you to enter publishing one day, but he obviously knew the Lord's mind on this point. Thanks for sharing the memories!