Confessions of a Children's Author

Monday, March 06, 2006

The Unthinkable (Sad News)

I've been putting this off for a few weeks now, but I decided it was time to just throw this out there so I could post smaller entries every day rather than have a larger one looming that has been snowballing into a larger thing every day I don't write.

The unthinkable has happened: my mother died last month.

Just seeing those words on the screen almost gives me goosebumps. I've been using the almost quaint phrase "passed away", because it doesn't seem as hard and cold as "died"--but they mean the same thing: my mother isn't here anymore.

I won't go into too many details right now...suffice it to say that my mother was diagnosed with cancer in July but told everyone that her prognosis was good--and she was responding relatively well to chemotherapy and radiation treatments (in that her tumor had shrunken significantly). She seemed on the upswing for my wedding in November, and was doing well enough for Thanksgiving that she kept brushing off my help in the kitchen, even when I admonished her several times to sit down and take it easy, but the Monday after Thanksgiving she resumed radiation treatments, and she went downhill from there. I still cannot believe she isn't here--it was too early, she was too young, and it should have counted for something that she fought so hard to live. But, it was not up to me, or to her, and for that I am dealing with confusion, anger, disappointment and sadness.

I have lost not only my mother, but my best friend, and the first person I would call at the first sign of any crisis. But here I am, facing my biggest crisis, without the person I could always count on to help me through it. I am not one who reaches out to people easily, and especially now, I am afraid that I will scare them off if/when I do reach out. I will scare them off with my unbearable sadness and my overwhelming anger, so I either put up a false front of coping, or I just don't reach out.

My goal here is two-fold: to work out some of my sadness externally instead of keeping it bottled up, and to get back to writing in a way. My mother was my biggest cheerleader where my writing is concerned, and I cannot bear the thought that my mother won't be here to see any success I hope to have in the future with my book(s). I have been paralyzed by the idea of sitting in front of my computer and working on my manuscript, and I know how my mother would have hated the idea of my discontinuing my writing, however temporarily.

So, here's my first attempt at getting back in the saddle... I hope Mom's watching somewhere with an approving grin.


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