Saturday, 20 August 2011
One year ago, I decided to start this blog. It's been quite a year. Of course, I can't name any of the people I know personally who couldn't make the same exact statement about their lives.
I didn't know if anyone would read it once and if they did, if they'd return or even become regular readers. It wasn't about that. I needed a place to write things out. I wanted a way to preserve my memories for my children. There is knowledge about neighbors, family members, and events that is forever lost to me since Mama's death. I learned from my beautiful friend, Elizabeth, that I could print a blog in book form and I decided I should go ahead and start writing again. Before Mama died, writing was such a part of my life.
I didn't know it would turn out to be so centered around Mama and memories of her. I don't know why I didn't think that, since my life has always been so wrapped up in hers. At one point, I thought maybe I should try to write less about her. A foundational rule of writing, though, is to write about what you know. Maybe I should switch to "my mother" or "my mom." She was never mother or mom to me, though.
I can't write about everything in my blog. I'm not going to gripe or complain about trials in my life or the people in it. Mama gave me many gifts, but her lack of self-pity and that example was one of the greatest. It isn't a theory or an abstract moral goal. It was embodied in the physical person of the woman who raised me. Also, from what relatively little trials I've had in my life, I've still learned that when your life has been touched by tragedy or trial, you crave normalcy and the ordinary, which now appears quite miraculous, after being left unattended and ignored when times are good.
Her life was touched by so much sadness and tragedy, but you will not find anyone who knew her that would describe her as a sad person. Many of the sad episodes I did not fully understand until after her death. I saw her cry each year on the anniversary of my brother, Greg's death and on his birthday. I saw her throw herself over his grave, sobs shaking her whole body, on the day of Grandad's burial. I saw her tired, angry, and hurt. It wasn't that she was without sadness or emotion; it's that it did not consume her, and most importantly, it was just a part of her. It was not her. It was not what she gave to those around her. For her, it never was about her. As the natural progression of this blog has shown, though, for me, it will always be a little about her.
So, on to another year of preserving memories, recording new ones, and finding out a little more about myself each day. God bless all of you who choose to pause here!