Before I crawl out of the warm blankets and put my big toe on the cold hard wood floor every morning, I let the silence of the morning wash over me. I let my brain wake up slowly with the rest of me and enjoy the sheer luxury of a soft bed, soft fleece blankets and my little pug snoring softly by my side. I use this time to plan my day. Lately, it doesn’t take much to do that, now that I’m staying home most everyday, but I also use this time to ponder what I will write about.
Lately, I’m afraid I may have discouraged some of my “following” because I’ve talked a lot about the personal struggles Ken and I have encountered. Believe me, before writing any of those posts, I gave it great thought whether I should broach the subject at all. After all, talking about money problems, a car repossession, food stamps, energy assistance, etc. — is terribly embarrassing.
But, let’s face it, we all have periods when poop rains down on us, and we have to make a choice. Do we lie down and quit? Or, do we get up and find a creative way to crawl out of the pit?
This is the story of a couple who loves each other enough to face “for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health until death”. They have encountered a mean, progressive disease and long-term unemployment, which has resulted in a downward spiral. If we like a good story, we all want to know how the story will end, right?
It’s like a good novel. It’s a theme we all love. We all like to see a hero fall from grace and then rise again, right? We like to ride along with the character – will he give up or will he rise from the ashes? Heck, Harry Potter did it literally! He faced his fear and enemy, died, and rose again. And we loved it!
The other reason for baring my soul of these frustrations and failures is to let others in this situation know they are not alone. When illness strikes, people get stupid. They don’t know what to say, so they stay away. We’re lucky. We are blessed with a stable of steady, good friends who are strong enough to walk this journey with us. We also have a family who knows how to love unconditionally. Without them, our situation would be so much more difficult.
So, for all of you who are lucky enough to be healthy, wealthy and wise, when sickness strikes one of your friends or family, don’t run. As hard as it is, stand beside them and let them know they are not alone. Being isolated is the worst thing a person experiences in life. Offer to help and keep your promises. They probably have as much trouble asking for help as I do–it’s humiliating to face you can’t do any more than what you’re doing and you’ve fell short.
So, my dear readers. I think I’ve found a focus for this blog after all. I’ve posted almost 200 posts about writing and teaching. I’m good at both, but hardly a master. I’ve gotten up on my soap box and screamed my opinions — and if you like that, have no fear that won’t go away. I’ve also talked about my stories and novels — and that piece won’t go away either because it is my life’s blood. But I think my higher calling is to write something that might touch another’s heart. To give someone else the courage to look medical threats in the eye and dare to come out swinging. If I can do that, my writing life is a success. And along with my novels of heroes who rise from the ashes, I’ll have enough material to keep me at the keyboard for a lifetime.