Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Finding My Voice Again.

First things first. You might have noticed that our domain name has changed. Unfortunately, our customized URL was stolen and I've been desperately trying to correct the issue. In the meantime, I will utilize the assigned blogspot URL. My apologies.

Now, onto the point of this post.

I've loved writing for as long as I can remember. In many ways, it feels like the truest form of expression—at least for me. Writing is a way of expressing thoughts and feelings that come from the depths of my soul. Things that perhaps I couldn't adequately communicate in any other fashion.

Writing has helped me deal with some of life's hard hitting moments, and helped me delight in the beauty of the good ones. At the age of 18, I lost my grandfather rather suddenly and unexpectedly just after the start of my senior year of high school. Shortly thereafter I started my first "real" journal—one that wasn't covered in the names of boys I was crushing on that particular week. Each page of that little black leather journal holds raw emotion—heartfelt sorrows, blissful memories, unending numbness, and eventually—acceptance. Page after page, I poured out my heart. When I couldn't express my feelings to the world around me, I wrote them down. With each entry I found compelling evidence that I was healing from losing such a wonderful man without much advanced warning. Years later I re-read those initial pages. There was such pain behind the words. Pain so thick you could feel it rising in your throat as you read aloud. During that time I felt lost and was experiencing what felt like sadness beyond measure. How in the world could I ever cope with never hearing my beloved Pap call me his "Sugar Doll" again? How was I ever to cope with knowing my grandfather would never see me graduate high school? Go to college? Get married and have children? Why him? Why now? There were so many things that were left unsaid. So many experiences we would never share. Those were frequent themes when I first started writing that journal. As my handwriting changed from rigid to relaxed, a shift occurred. On those pages and with each word I was healing. Writing helped me grieve the loss of my grandfather in a truly exceptional way. It helped me to feel. It helped me to understand. And it helped me to accept

I have maintained numerous journals since that first, eventually making the shift to the world wide web when blogging became a "thing." I can type a whole lot faster than I can write, so such a transition just seemed to make logical sense. I started numerous blogs that never really had much depth or substance so they were abandoned with the passage of time.   

Then in January 2011, I found out about Lukas' heart defect. And for the first time, words failed me. I've never been a captivating speaker nor will I ever claim to be, but I simply couldn't answer the tough questions that were asked of me. The ability to form an intelligible response was replaced with this awkward, debilitating silence. I didn't quite know what to say or even what I should share. So one night I simply chose to write. Maybe then I could finally answer some of the lingering questions without having to repeat it to every soul I encountered. Everyone could get the same information and access it as many times as they wanted and/or needed it. Writing gave me an outlet and allowed me to express thoughts I couldn't bear to share face–to–face with even my closest family and friends.

Many nights I sat in front of my computer long after the last of my family had fallen asleep and silence fell on our house. For hours I would just sit in the dark at this old, wooden desk that was once nestled in the corner of my brother's room in our childhood home waiting to see what thoughts would spill from my fingertips. With the rhythmic click click clinking of the keys I found peace and tranquility wash over me. I would rub my round, pregnant belly and awaken the little boy within. With each kick and movement he let me know he was right there with me. In those moments the sadness didn't cut quite so deeply. I didn't feel so acutely aware of the unwieldy emotions for moments that lie ahead that so often overwhelmed me during the daylight hours. I felt safe sitting at that old, wooden desk late at night as I heard the tree branches wrestle outside the window. It was in that quiet solitude that I found my voice once again.

There were verbose entries that I never published because they felt too tragic and despondent—even I had a hard time reading them. I never wanted to give the air of melancholy or pretend as though I was the first person on Earth to ever experience such a situation. I was always appreciative and understanding that life sometimes hands us things that feel overwhelming. Row after row of text—even those that went unpublished—I wrote to remember. Just like those handwritten pages of the black leather journal that held my most intimate memories following the loss of my grandfather. I wanted to remember every raw detail because it was a part of my boy's story. I knew one day I would look back on those words with a fond remembrance of that little wrinkle in the fabric of our journey—his journey.

I write often, because of its immense therapeutic value. There is something about recording a moment in history—even little moments that might otherwise be forgotten in the vast expanse of yesterday and tomorrow—that is both compelling and curative. There are many memories I wish I would have put into writing. Now I write everything. There are hundreds of unpublished entires here simply because there have been memories and moments I never want to forget. While I believe a photo speaks a thousand words, sometimes that alone doesn't do the moment justice. Sometimes it's the beautiful prose telling the story that makes you savor every intricacy of what was and what is yet to be.

And so, I hope to write more on this space. I take that back—I hope to publish more on this space because everyday is a defining moment—a delicate piece of the woven tapestry of who we are and who we are meant to be. And every moment deserves a voice. If you've never thought about writing, I can't recommend it enough. You don't have to be a Pulitzer Prize winner or a New York Times bestseller to feel as though your voice matters. Everyone's does. I promise you nothing can compare to re-reading those memories written in your tone of voice and frame of mind at the exact moment they were written. It's beautiful. I can't think of a better word to describe it.
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