People say, “Well, she had a good, long life,” and they move on. Yet a life, whether short or long, is a complex, tremendously valuable thing. Every life has value and effects the whole of humanity to some degree. Every loss is worth grieving, and as we grieve, we assimilate attributes of the one we miss into who we are.
In research for the book I am writing, I am reading and interviewing people to learn more about family history around the turn of the twentieth century. Each of those people, gone now, are coming to life again in my mind’s eye. I imagine their daily lives. I imagine their interactions, struggles, thoughts and feelings. I am learning a lot, too. I am learning of strengths my family had for generations, and rethinking some of the flaws we’ve had too. I woke up yesterday morning recalling some of the painful incidents from my own past, snippets of things that happened that left me with unanswered questions, and there is no one left to ask about them. After many years (my twenties and most of my thirties) actively recovering from childhood abuses, healing internally in mind and soul, I know how to quickly process my thoughts and feelings, usually without coming undone. The thoughts I awoke with soon merged into wondering just how and when some of the problems in my lineage began. They are not the kind of things most people talk about. I started thinking about other family members who may still be hurting with unidentified wounds, not knowing exactly why they react the way they do. I know I have been given a gift of mental and emotional health where one would expect otherwise. It was a gift that I have worked at honing too, and worked plenty hard! It is a gift I would absolutely LOVE to be able to share, to pass on.
I want to share with you that the book I am writing (see my page, Why Another Blog?) is going to cover some pretty heavy territory. It is a fiction, but draws from many real life experiences and people. In it, you will meet some incredibly strong characters, all flawed, and you will experience resilience, inner healing, regenerative relationships, and growth. Generations will take you on this journey through time. Your comments and feedback as I share with you on this blog will help me as I write, and hopefully help one another too, and by the time it is finished, maybe the word will have spread so far that I can actually get it published. It is going to be a way for me to share a deeply valued and treasured gift with the world in ways I could not do if I were to simply sit down and tell you my story. However, the challenge before me–both the writing and the process of publishing–is daunting! Sometimes I feel like a grain of sand on the beach. . . me so infinitesimally tiny, the ocean unfathomably huge. I feel foolish just entertaining the idea! Oh well, so be it, if I am the fool. At least I will have written what is in my heart and mind to write.
After all, we never how long we have. We don’t know how long we have with our loved ones.