My last post was an update on why I suddenly stopped writing. Then I stopped writing again. Since May 14, I have not written. Not because of emotional stress, but because I had a summer writing course that involved reading eight novels in eight weeks, posting with classmates each week, and writing. Although I honestly don’t remember what we had to write. A portion of an original novel? An essay? My life seems to be moving along at warp speed so that I simply do not remember the details of any given day. My spring semester ended with my mother’s third cancer diagnosis and one week after my summer semester ended, my three children were down and out with “mild” cases of pneumonia. That would not be the case one week later when my husband was also diagnosed with pneumonia. Six days after that, he would be admitted to the hospital via ER and spend almost three days on oxygen because pneumonia does not care how fit you are – if it can take you down, it will. He returned home to recover and it was late that night, as I finally exhaled the entire previous three weeks, that I wondered if my completely forgotten Fall semester was about to start? Yep, four days after my husband returned home, I started the Fall semester and it has been the most challenging semester yet. Which is no easy feat considering the grey cloud that’s been hanging over me!
For twenty-five years, she mumbles quietly to herself.
Yes, you read that right. Twenty-five years. Has there really been a grey cloud hanging over me this entire time? It certainly feels that way. But in fact, No. It is more about how easily (or not), I have been able to recover from setbacks. One setback in particular, I am guessing. *Jack Canfield writes that E + R = O (Events + Responses = Outcome) [jack]. My husband shared that formula with me last night and I immediately thought back to the moment in time where my path changed. Where my spirit got knocked sideways and where a quarter of a century later, I would still be working to finish an unfinished task. There is a reason I am attending college at the age of forty-five with three cutie-patootie boys to raise and a husband who really loves it when I cook nice, balanced dinners, but who is also so understanding when I chaotically throw hot dogs on the table, exclaim that I have fed the family, and rush back to my desk to continue the grind of completing homework in my forties.
I have always known that I would write this story, but try as I might, the right words have failed to appear on paper. I am not convinced that I have the right words now, but I do feel that now is the time to write; to share whatever it is that clamors to get out. Like most experiences in life, The Cancer Experience is not a single experience, and maybe that has been the problem with the narrative. Do I write my story? That seems incredibly selfish. Do I write her story? How can I do that without my story? Do I write our story? What about Dad’s story?! It occurred to me today that I cannot tell the story without telling everyone’s story, so that is what I will try to do. I will not, however, tell my brother’s story. I haven’t asked for his permission and regardless, I do not feel that his story is mine to tell.
*Canfield has a specific requirement for referencing the article I took his formula from, so here it is:
Jack Canfield, America’s #1 Success Coach, is founder of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul®and a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success. If you’re ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at: www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com