For the last two years I have been working on a book, a memoir about dealing with my mom’s illness and death. I am so close to finishing that I can taste it, but somehow I still can’t believe I’ve put so much energy and effort into something. I have almost given up on it, but I keep going back, chipping away at the story that is aching to get out of my head and onto paper. It has been one hell of a ride, let me tell you. I’ve learned so much about myself in this process – the good, the bad and the ugly. I’ve learned to show more appreciation for the people around me whom I love and I’ve learned to love and accept myself, something that I was never very good at before. It’s hard for me to believe that in the beginning I wasn’t even certain that I would make it this far with my writing.
Let me digress…
After my mom passed away from cancer complications I was in a very dark place. I called it my funk, because that’s really what it felt like. I didn’t want to go anywhere, do anything. I hated when I laughed, or even smiled, because that meant maybe I was having a good time and I didn’t WANT to have a good time. I wanted to be miserable and alone. Maybe it was depression, who knows, but one day, several months after my mom had passed, I woke up and told myself to write about it. I knew if I was able to get the feelings out of my head that I could begin to make sense of it all, so I wrote the first chapter. I wrote it in an hour because it was literally bursting from my heart. My fingers couldn’t type fast enough.
Then I reread the chapter so many times. I read it and read it and read it, crying harder each time. It felt oddly amazing to see my story in front of me in black and white. It made me feel mildly better, so that’s when I decided “what the heck – I’ll write a book!” I thought I would just keep writing until I felt better, but that’s the thing about life – pain comes and goes. So I kept writing, for two years. I wrote through the pain and about the pain. Some days I can’t write one word, but I keep trying because the more I write, the more I WANT to write and the more I write, the better I feel. To this day there are so many stories in my head screaming to get out.
In June it will be two years since I started this painstaking, yet therapeutic, process and I still will not be finished. I have 8 chapters to go, some of them will be the most difficult. Once the book is finished will come the real fun – getting published. I am already doing some legwork there, but I’m expecting it to be a challenge. There is no lesson without a challenge.
Hopefully everyone here, my friends, my family and my supporters will be there cheering me on at the finish line – the Lord knows I may need it!