Mining the past for understanding…

I have been thinking a lot about my mom recently, and about my time in the ICU nine years ago, when I came so close to dying myself.  That and so many other thoughts about my past have been rattling around in my mind as I try to sort out what all of these memories mean to me.  I feel like I am grappling with memories and emotions, trying to examine my past for clues as to who I am and who I want to be going forward.  I wryly think that I am not too young for a midlife crisis.  My mom died at fifty–so I’m overdue for one!

I feel compelled to write about my life, my mom and our relationship, to dig deep to try to understand myself and to try to craft a cohesive picture of myself for my family when I am gone.  I have always felt a deep need to leave a record of myself and my life, and that need has grown so pressing lately.  I don’t think that it’s any morbid thought or feeling driving this need, but the need is there just the same.  I think part of wanting to understand myself is so that I can show the world who I am; I want to represent myself accurately as I go about my daily life.  Not understanding myself feels deeply lonely, and I want to break down those walls of isolation and tell my story, even if no one else reads it.  I will see more clearly how to live as myself, and that will be enough.

I think I’m going to do a revised version of National Novel Writing Month this year.  I’ll call it National Memoir Writing Month :_).  I don’t know how many words or pages I’ll write.  Maybe I’ll set aside a  time to write every day.  I don’t know where I’ll find the time between home schooling and making Christmas gifts, but I think I’ll find a way.

I just finished reading Stephanie Nielson‘s deeply moving memoir, “Heaven is Here,” which coincided perfectly with my current state of reflection.  One of Stephanie’s many gifts to me was that she inspired me to tell my story, even if I only write it for myself.


What are you thinking, Mom?!?

Today I was working on my NaNoWriMo novel during Little Sister’s nap.  When I started, Big sister was happily playing in her room.  When she found me at the computer, she begged me to let her play PBS kids games.  When I told her it was my turn on the computer, she was not pleased.  I told her that I got one half-hour and then it would be her turn again.  I even set the timer.  However, she continued to linger behind me making loud noises and generally making clear to me that the arrangement was not to her liking.  I asked her several times to stop.  One of these times, I was a bit distracted.  In a firm voice, I told her, “If you don’t stop, you are going to have to go out to the car.”  When I realized what I had said, I turned to Big Sis and grinned.  We made eye contact and both burst into uproarious laughter.  Between belly laughs she said,

“You said I would have to go to the car, but you meant my room!”

After that moment of pleasant connection, she settled down and I was able to finish my chapter.  I love laughing with my girls!