Such a simple question with such a multifaceted answer.
Truth be told, I like to write, always have, I was a History major. But that’s the easy out answer.
The writing began in private after being diagnosed in 2007 to get my thoughts and emotions out; brief tid bits here and there, some of which has already been included in previous postings – but really it was for me; certainly not the ” journal blog” and not for the masses.
I had spent so much time looking for an outlet, book, resource that I fit into and failed. The words I typed became, and have become, my own form of support. There were no successful Google searches for “mom with brain tumor”. Sure I got lots of info, some of which was too awful, and the book store, etc… garnered me with nothing I was looking for. I wanted what I was accustom to do as a mom when you need help; you call or email a friend and find out what they did to resolve, fix, prevent or do whatever when shit happens with the kids. If only it had been that simple. I came to realize that I was not going to find a community of other moms with a husband, two kids, three dogs, a business and a brain tumor to offer any insight as to what to do and where to go, let alone be able to offer any empathy for what had become of our life.
Even the best friend in the world, offering all that they have, just does not know what to say all the time, which really is ok. Sometimes, a simple “that sucks” and a hug have been the perfect response. It did and does get ugly when friends turn out to be incapable of expressing any form of support at all, press upon you unsolicited opinions and entirely lack compassion. I had read about this early on, understood the logic, but it is a “shock and awe” experience. Paul and I learned pretty quickly. In addition to discovering that all of life’s priorities have a new order, friendships are altered and re-organized, we endeavored to “weed through the garden of friendship”. A whole life house cleaning happened and unless you walk in the shoes of someone like me, this is a hard concept to fully understand. My writing became the help I could not find in the early months and now I look at it in a new light. If my words can help someone not feel as lost as I did, then the agony of my profound honesty is worth it.
In August, I viewed this Journal as a means to convey my health status and keep Paul out of the fray from emails and phone calls; never expecting that people would continue to read and that my thoughts, feelings and emotions would touch so many people, many of whom I have never met. Talk about not intending to write to the masses! Then, once home recovering and toddling around the house, I began to write, slowly at first, and then it became cathartic and a huge part of the healing process. So, what started as a immeasurable blow to us as a family, has evolved into something bigger than Paul or I expected. Through discovering what and who are important in our lives, bearing my soul, uncensored with honest expressions in written form to heal myself, I never expected to discover that my words, emotions and story would make an impact on others.
Now for the most simplistic answer as to why I write.
I feel like this is an opportunity to document our life like a photo album. If I don’t write about the experience in the moment, capture the genuine look and feel of what and where this journey of life is taking us, the authenticity will fade as the weeks, months and years pass. These entries will provide my children, too young to understand what it going on now, with a document of our life. I hope, one day, these entries will illustrate for them our journey as a family with strength and dignity. I hope it will exhibit how we navigated my unsolicited and uninvited life adventure, challenging everything that once made up our “normal” life. I hope it will show them that their mother is lucky. That I discovered the gifts that reside inside my soul forcing me to dig real deep, pull myself out of the darkness, fight for my survival and reach for my determined inner strength to move beyond my diagnosis and live a better life. Perspective and a solid sense of humor have proven to be beautiful gifts for the soul and have kept me in check and I hope they will one day see it in my writing.
This journal will represent for them that this journey is simply a chapter in our family book and that better chapters are to come.