Mom would have been proud.

Mom and me in better days.

Since my mom died a few weeks ago, I’ve felt compelled to write and post here more than usual. Up until now, I’ve honored my pledge to “under-whelm” your inbox by posting a blogonly once a month. That goal was also self-serving in that I didn’t “have to” post here more often. (To clarify, I do write often, just not blogs for my website.)

Mom was one of the biggest supporters of my writing journey.

But here I am, my third post in less than a month. I hope you understand.

Mom was one of the biggest supporters of my writing journey and my goal of publishing my memoir. Before she died, I had told her about a big “first” for me: being interviewed about my memoir on the Midlife A-Go-Go podcast. Mom was excited, but she never got to listen.

I wish I could hear her voice.

When the interview first aired last week, I believe Mom heard it. I believe she knows all that goes on in my life, more so than she did while she was earthbound. But still, I find myself waiting for her call to tell me how proud she is. I wish I could hear her voice. I imagine it, I hear it in my head, but I ache for the real thing.

Since I won’t hear from Mom, maybe you can listen for a few minutes and tell me your thoughts. It would give me a smile. Mom, too.

Please ignore the “You can also listen….” I can’t edit or delete it, but it won’t affect your listening pleasure!

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Brain Tumor Awareness Month, Day 19

Since I failed (reconsidered) and revised my goal to post daily this month, I was challenged to figure out how to name this post. It didn’t seem right to call it “Day 12” or “Day 13” in sequence after “Day 11,” which posted May 12 (because I missed May 1). And it was too odd to call it “Day Y,” following “Day X,” which posted on May 14, plus that would only leave me with one more post for the month, which would have to be “Day Z.”

I hope you’re laughing. I am. But why do I always make things so complicated?

My husband would say I overthink things, but I know I just think and feel deeply. So much so, it’s hard to figure myself out. It makes writing a memoir especially hard. Not only am I trying to tell my story–of my rumble with my son’s childhood brain tumor–but I’m trying to figure out who I was 20 years ago, and how I became that person. Then I have to figure out who I am today, and how I’m different.

The writing process has been hard, but so much of it is finally starting to come together. I’m refreshed from my short break from daily posts, and I’ve been devoting my writing energy to my manuscript.

I wrote the excerpt below to explain, in part, why Matthew went undiagnosed for so long. If you’ve had a child who faced unusual challenges, or if you’ve dealt with a medical mystery, you may relate.

Matthew’s behavior was like a new freckle on the back of your leg. “It’s probably nothing,” you tell yourself. And you watch it. It gets a little bigger, so you look up skin cancer just to be sure, relieved to see it doesn’t meet those criteria. But you watch. Then it gets a little darker, so you twist your leg around, and ask a loved one to take a peek.“It looks normal to me,” they say, but you read up on melanoma to be sure. And you watch. Then it gets bumpy, so you finally call the dermatologist, who says, “Don’t worry.” And you try not to worry. But you watch.

We all have to find balance in this life–the pull toward panic, jumping to conclusions, and thinking the worst, against the pull toward calm and reason and wait-and-watch.

Both approaches are valid in different circumstances.

I’ve learned this the hard way.

I don’t know that there’s a formula for predicting which side should win when in our tug of war between panic and reason. I doubt there’s a checklist or logarithm or how-to listicle to guide us. If you have a theory, though, I’d love to hear it.

I do believe, to keep ourselves strong and sane, both teams need to be available to us. If they’re both pulling their weight, we can make our best decision.

That opens us to the gift of letting go, knowing that we used all of our resources, and have done the best we could.

I’ve learned this the hard way, too.

My goal for Brain Tumor Awareness Month.

I don’t set writing goals like other writers, some of whom shoot for daily or monthly word counts, or to finish a chapter, or to post on their website or social media daily. 

I don’t set those goals because I never know how many hours in a day, if any, I’ll be able to write. My health challenges determine the course of my day.

But today, I changed my mind. I’m setting a goal in recognition of May as Brain Tumor Awareness Month. 

My goal this month is to post on my website daily, and then share it to my social media accounts. I started one day late, so that will be 30 consecutive posts. Yikes! Writers and bloggers do this all the time, but for me it’s a hurdle.

I do this in honor of Matt, my son who lives every day with a brain tumor, diagnosed when he was 11. Now, at 31, he’s doing great, but he’s faced more pain and discomfort, emotional and physical, than I face now, so I can certainly manage a daily post.

Life is full of hurdles to overcome. Mine pales in comparison to so many others’. 

If you face a hurdle, especially an extended one, my wish for you:

One step forward today,

One more pain free minute or hour today than you had yesterday,

One more moment of peace than usual.

One inch higher to clearing that hurdle, feeling it beneath and behind you.

Here’s to you, Matt, with endless love and admiration.