After Page One: Healing
A guest post to encourage, motivate and inspire…
My mother stopped “reading” books sometime in 2013.
“I started this book last year,” she’d say when I asked her what book was at the top of her reading list. “But I can’t seem to finish it.”
The mom I once knew would have never left a book unfinished.
If I ask Mom what she’s reading now, she’s unsure of how to even answer the question. “Here,” Mom says, and brings me to the pile of books on the dining room table. “I’m reading this book.” But at 70 years of age, she can neither focus on the words nor can she finish a single paragraph in the book. Her brain is unable to process the words properly. Last summer, Mom was officially diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
Mom’s diagnosis came on the tail end of a number of medical issues that plagued my parents in the spring of 2015. During that time, my sisters and I dropped everything to care for our parents. I had little time for anything besides cooking, doling out medicine, and taking care of both my parents and my children. Real writing—writing in which I would revise one of my novels or begin a new one—didn’t cross my mind.
“How are the books coming along?” my dad asked me several times during my visit. I looked at him in disbelief. “They’re on hold,” I said. “I’ve been a little busy, I’d say.”
As the summer progressed and my time to write or revise my novels never resurfaced, I took a minor step back and thought about readjusting my goals. Should I put my writing on hold for the entire summer? And if I wasn’t willing to do that, what did I have time to write?
The answers came to be quickly. I craved writing. I’d formulated so many thoughts and words in my head that were simply waiting to come out, so putting the act of writing on hold didn’t seem possible. In fact, my daily life at that point—chock full of sadness and despair sometimes, bordering on lunacy other times—inspired me to keep writing. But revising a novel or starting a new book seemed improbable.
So I held to the singular goal of blogging each day. I put a few words down some days, many words other days, and as I did so, the weight of each day lifted off my shoulders. I shared my thoughts with those people closest to me, and to those I barely knew, and found that not only did writing the posts serve as a catharsis, but they helped me in other ways, too: writing blog posts helped me to mourn what used to be, to prepare for what was to come, and unexpectedly, to heal.
Join our After Page One series. We’re looking for 300 to 500-word guest posts that motivate, inspire, and encourage other mama-writers, and we’d love to feature YOUR thoughts about getting started, getting back to a writing project, integrating writing with motherhood, reading, or having a positive attitude. The list is endless, but here are some questions that might help you get started. We’ll publish a short bio so readers can learn more about you and your projects.