Writing and Thinking
I wrote this post in my head two nights ago when I couldn’t sleep. I have a ton of empathy for sufferers of insomnia. That feeling of laying in bed, trying to doze off, and there’s just no sleep coming … it is bearable for one night but as a chronic thing I’m not sure I wouldn’t slowly go crazy.
So, I’ve always thought of myself as an amateur writer. I was a faithful journal writer all through high school and college – I say journal writer, but I wrote essays and more essays and letters and more letters and even poetry. The written word is comfortable to me – it’s where I work out what I’m thinking and how I’m feeling and what I believe and why. It’s how I communicate with others and with myself when I want to be precise and thoughtful. So the last few months have left me feeling bewildered. Suddenly there are no words … everything I think seems either too big to put in words, or too repetitive. I have a book that I use to write to Tom and I feel like it is filled with the words “I miss you” a hundred million times – and nothing else. That is an exaggeration, sort of, but if you take away all the fancy sentences and words, basically that is what I’m saying. I’m sure if he is reading it he is bored, bored, bored!! He’s probably thinking, “come on – can’t you think of anything else to share with me besides that? How about BYU football or politics, for heavens’ sake??” Anyway, when it comes to blogging, I have felt like there just wasn’t anything I wanted to write. How not like me!
The truth is, I really don’t know how I’m feeling or what I’m thinking these days. This book I’m reading, 52 Small changes for the Mind, suggests that I should be a goal setter. A lesson we had in church a few weeks included a few questions like, “where do I want to be in 1 year, in 5 years? what do I want to learn that will help me to serve others better?” I’m struggling with these things. I don’t know where I want to be in the future. I’ve made it a habit to avoid thinking about the future, which is a great coping skill when the future is full of the pain of not sharing it with Tom. But really, can a person live the rest of their life without dreams or aspirations or goals (which all necessitate looking to the future)? Obviously the answer is no. The problem is that thinking about the future is a little like being asked to plunge my burned hands into really hot water. The burns might be healing, but the fear of the pain that might still be there has me reluctant to try. It’s much safer just sitting here in the present pretending that the future isn’t really there.
And yet the future just keeps jumping out and grabbing me. I have a married child. I am a mother-in-law. That’s the future if ever there was a future. This was the future that Tom and I looked forward to. But we never imagined we’d be experiencing it separately. However much I’d like to believe that my life is not changed, that Tom’s absence is a temporary thing, the truth is that it’s a whole new life I’m living whether I like it or not, whether I’m planning for it or not.
Speaking of being married – my oldest son is married! It is crazy to think about. How did that cute little toddler turn into a man with a wife?? I’m sure I don’t know. Here’s some pictures of the lovely couple …
We celebrated the happy occasion at THREE different venues (this is what happens when your families are spread out across the country!) in Utah, Colorado, and Indiana. I hope Kayla’s family felt welcome among all Spencer’s family in Utah – we certainly felt welcomed in Indiana. Hopefully we can find ways to get together again and have the chance to get to know each other better. There were lots of friends and family who helped make the parties as successful as they were – Thanks So Much to all of you!!
Just when I thought we could settle back into everyday life, I got the news that Tom’s mom had passed away. She was 92 years old and had been bedridden since Tom passed away. Although she was ready to go, it was still hard. We will miss her cheerful smile and loving care for us all. The funeral was really wonderful – I was overcome seeing all her grandchildren – most adults now – stand to sing. The group was huge and it really brought home the legacy she has left behind.
I guess this is the way of the world – we need a baby birth now to round out the “circle of life”! Anyway, that’s what’s been going on in the Wood Family. I’ll try not to let writer’s block get the better of me in the weeks and months to come…