One of the facts of life about being a writer (it feels very presumptuous to call myself that, but there it is, in black & white) is the amount of time that I spend alone, in my own head. I love to spend time this way, but it has a few drawbacks:
1. I think...a lot.
2. I become a bit self-absorbed.
3. I think I am right, perhaps more right than I actually am, because I'm spending so much time in a world populated by people who think as I do (me, myself & I).
4. I think my ideas have more importance than they really do.
5. Writing a blog and receiving kind comments can certainly swell a person's head.
These have the potential to damage perspective, and possibly even relationships, wouldn't you agree? (See, there I go, thinking I'm right.)
When you dear readers write nice things here, it makes my day sweeter. But I also take those kind words with a grain of salt, because you dear people do not have to LIVE with me. My husband and son, my parents and closest friends, those are the people who know all of the darkness and neuroses that lurk deep within this loving heart of mine, right alongside my good qualities. I know we all have dark places within us, but still...
I am not very wise.
I have some crazy ideas, many faults and plenty of obsessive thoughts.
I should not write a parenting book, but you are kind to suggest it.
I thought for years that I was a sub-standard parent, because I did not enjoy breastfeeding, diaper changing, children's games and picking up after little people. I did not join a mom's group; in fact, that was the sort of group that I wanted most to avoid when my kids were little, because I wanted some other kinds of input at that time. I wanted to stretch & use my mind, which was the main thing for which I have received praise during my life. I didn't want to talk about binkies and blankies, and who was teething, etc. I wanted to talk about legal issues, business issues, art, travel, and anything else but babies.
Nowadays, I love babies, and could sit quietly for a long while, just holding and rocking a baby or listening to other moms talk about their kids. Now I know how creative homemaking can be. But back then, I didn't know, and it was difficult. I was restless, and wasn't feeling complete within myself, so I thought that meant that I was lacking in maternal instinct. Now, I know this is not true. I learned from being with Katie and my family through her cancer journey that I am, in fact, a good mother...a much better mother (and woman) than I ever thought I was.
It was the adversity, the suffering, the strain, the pain and heartaches that taught me who I am. It wasn't through pleasure and getting my way; it was through endurance, and even that was not through my own goodness; it was God's loving grace in giving me strength for the moment, each moment. He formed me as the demands grew; he stregthened me, mothered me, walked beside me, gave me who and what I needed to do the job at hand.
Lately, I've been nostalgic for our days in the hospital and Ronald McDonald House. I miss those days only because I miss Katie so much, and that time looks rosy compared to these days without her. Living without Katie hurts. But I realized, this weekend, that I am looking at this with hindsight. During the hospital stays and the weeks in between, we were all suffering greatly, and no one was suffering more than Katie. We were putting her through hell to try to save her life, with the only tools at our disposal. But it was HELL, and I would NEVER wish for her to be back in that bed, with IVs running into her arm, delivering poison into her system. I would never want her to be living again with the anticipation of her own death, watching her body disintegrate from the inside out. NEVER.
Perhaps I should write a book about grief, or cancer, or living with a child who has a terminal illness, or life after your beloved child dies. Those are possibilities, and I would love to do something like that. But I am not any wiser than you are. I have simply lived some experiences that perhaps you haven't...but you have lived some experiences that I haven't, and you undoubtedly have some unique wisdom of your own, that I don't have.
On Saturday, I accidentally drank some tea with caffeine after dinner, and I lay awake after Gregg went to sleep, worrying. I was thinking, I can't believe I'm sending "my baby" to work at a job tomorrow! What was I thinking? He's only 16; he only has one childhood! Why did I feel so strongly about him needing this now? Then I went on to other worries, but each time I did, I tried to give the worry to God. I said to God, "Please help me; I'm yours. I can't do this on my own. Help me to listen. Help me to do what You want me to do. Show me, clearly. Please help me." I kept letting go, and I kept worrying, letting go & worrying. Eventually, I got some sleep.
David went off to learn his new job on the 7:05 a.m. ferry. He arrived in Seattle, walked to the Argosy pier, boarded the Argosy boat and rode over to his job at Blake Island. He worked harder than he has ever worked in his life, raking, sweeping, mopping, washing dishes (by hand and using a commercial dishwasher), helping to refill the dinner buffet, hauling firewood, greeting guests and serving fresh steamed clams to them. He met new people; he loved it! He is proud of himself, and we are proud of him. It's going to be fine.
No, I'm not very wise, but you are kind to say so. Thank you so much for reading and commenting kindly here.