Thursday, November 15, 2007

Me? A writer?

After divulging yesterday, on a blog for the whole world to read, that I aspire to be a writer I have had serious PPR’s (post party regrets). How presumptuous! What arrogance! What gives me the idea that anyONE wants to read anyTHING I have to say on any TOPIC? Yet, I remain firm in my commitment to this endeavor.
Actually, I am already a writer and have been for a very long time. The difference in the last few years is that I have come out of the closet. When Jim was stricken with cancer, I started my e-mailing from Houston to keep a few friends and family members apprised of his condition. Those letters were really outpourings of my innermost feelings as I searched for strength and direction from God. When I talked with the recipients of these e-mails I was astounded by their responses. I realized that God was using my talents to speak to others. Opening up, making myself vulnerable to the judgment of others was difficult for me but I received so much affirmation from the writing that I believed that God wanted me to do this. The writing was cathartic for me and it seemed to be a blessing for some who read it. The list grew and I continued to write about the many aspects of the cancer journey.

Now I feel that God wants me to do something more with this. I am still reticent about sharing my thoughts with others but I believe that God expects us to make judicious use of our gifts. How can we do that if we hide them under a bushel? A writer needs an audience as does a singer or a pianist. I have not been a very good steward of the gifts God has given me. I hope that I can set that aright in the time I have left.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

book ideas

Some of you don’t know that I am planning to write a book. I have been writing all sorts of things for the past year. Now the question becomes, “How do I bring it all together?” I have the letters that I have written from Houston dealing with the cancer experience from the caregiver’s side. That topic, however, seems so overdone. I can’t imagine that I have anything new to add.
I also thought about writing a sort of memoir about the “sandwich generation” which would include experiences in caring for aging parents, children and spouses. The problem with any sort of memoir is that it smacks of preoccupation with self. The market is flooded with them. Personally I like to read them but then I like to read most things that are well written. I even had a title picked out “Growing Up Boomer”, since I was born in the first year of the post war boom. I was deflated when I read that Cristopher Buckley came out with “Boomsday” and Tom Brokaw with “Boom”. Glad to know I had a timely idea, sorry Tom beat me to the punch. What bad luck!
Whatever I plan to write I’d better get with it or I’ll be dead before I can finish!

the unexpected

Mom has been home for two weeks now and it has been a time of ups and downs. Just about the time I begin to relax, she has another setback. A week ago she fell in the morning before Diane got there at 8:30. Thank God, she wasn’t hurt but the fall really shook her self confidence. She was terribly discouraged and said that day was the very worst day she has had since this all started. We went back to staying with her round the clock for 3 days. A week later she called in the middle of the night because she was sick. I was afraid she would have to go back to the hospital but she was fine the next day.

This echoes the cancer experience in that I have to learn to expect the unexpected. I don’t know of anyone whose cancer recovery or treatment has progressed smoothly without setbacks. This is the same. My mother is almost 90 years old. She is going to die—probably not from this broken hip but from something in the next few years. Even if she lives another 10 years her health is not going to get better. The longer she lives the more likely physical and mental decline become. I must accept this, and like her, adjust to living with the new normal.