It's a question that I was asked recently. To be honest it's a question that I get asked a lot. But, this time the question was coming from a lady in the writer's group that I belong to and it was in regards to writing a blog. She was curious (or maybe dumbfounded) as to why anyone would want to put their whole lives out there on the Internet for anyone to read and comment on. I get it, even though I didn't have a good explanation for her. The reason the blog began is no longer the only reason it continues.
Exactly one year and three weeks ago during an appointment with an orthopedic doctor for my bum knee the doc began quizzing me about headaches. Do I get them a lot, what they felt like, etc. I'm not sure what I was doing to prompt this line of questioning, but I answered his questions even though I didn't know what it had to do with arthritis in the knees. It didn't. He told me that I should leave his office and immediately contact my physician to get checked out for an aneurysm. Very calmly, I said I would. Then sat in my car and had a major freak out.
Long story short, I ended up in the hospital with a suspected stroke. There was no aneurysm and as it turns out it wasn't a stroke either. The neurologist diagnosed inflammation of the brain. Which is not any fun. Aside from the bedside visit from my long dead grandparents. Which may or may not have been a hallucination. All I know is that I couldn't answer the hospital staff's questions of what my address was and what year we're in. And I began to cry. And I became very frightened. One thought that kept circulating through all of this was of my son. I couldn't have anything go wrong with me. I had a little boy to raise. So I prayed. I prayed very hard. And at one point I swear I felt a hand holding mine and when I looked my grandma and grandpa were right there. And letting me know everything would be just fine. In the end it was, of course. But, not without some scary moments.
It's very hard to explain the confusion that went along with this. I began heavy doses of antibiotics for seventeen days. During that time it often seemed like I was in another world. Once I called Domino's to order a pizza and unknowingly gave them my maiden name, although it hasn't been my last name for thirteen years. Another time I forgot my name all together. I thought I was lost in my sister's neighborhood when I wasn't. The very worst thing though was when a technician making conversation asked about my son.
"How old is your little boy?", she asked.
I had no idea. It was like my brain was a chalkboard. A blank chalkboard. Sometimes, if asked something like my zip code, I would see a jumble of numbers on the chalkboard and have no idea how the numbers went together. But, that day when she asked about my boy all I could picture in my head was his face and no data to go along with it. During my clearer moments I worried about if it never went away. If I would always blank out on questions. What would my son think as he grew up? How would he know what he means to me? That what he is to me is everything?
So the fog lifted, or as much as it ever was going to anyway (I've always been a little flaky) and it became time to set things right with all the new insights about life that was obtained through all this.
Step One: Figuring out what's really important. Duh, that was easy. My son. My husband. My family. But, also my writing. Most specifically my dream of being a writer. I decided to go for it. A book about selling your work recommended writing something everyday and suggested a blog as a way to hone the craft of creative writing. So I researched blogs and decided two things. One, it would be a great way to improve my writing. And two, it would be a great love letter to give to my son. One day he will be without me. I'm not going to live forever, but through the writing I do on my blog it's almost like I can. He will always have a part of me to pull out and read and hear my words of love and devotion. That's my hope anyway.
Step Two: Learn and grow, learn and grow. I'll never be done doing this. One thing I've learned is that the reasons I started this blog are not the reasons it has evolved this past year into what it is. My readers have changed it, changed me. My family were the first people to read it. I have learned how much I love them over this past year as I write about them in the posts Life Cycle Of A Mom, All The Things I Never Knew and Sibling Revelry. The past year I have grown in my confidence and that has a large part to do with the community of bloggers that are out there in the world, reading my blog and leaving me kind comments. Those comments have changed me and my blog. For the better I hope.
So, one day after I got to spend a great day just being alive and hanging out with (almost all) the people in the world that I love most, doing one of the things I love so much (we were snow tubing down those slopes):
when the lady from the writer's group asked me, "Why?" all I could do is stutter and shrug. Why ask why? I'm a "why not?" kind of girl myself.