When I first started writing this blog, I was telling a friend about a little frustration I was experiencing with Mr. Bailey. She gasped and smiled, astonished and relieved.
“But I thought it was a ‘Wonderful Life’ for you!”
“Are you kidding me?” I told her, laughing along. Right then, I silently vowed to make sure this blog wasn’t just some cherry-coated version of my messy life.
It’s been really messy lately.
I lost my mom to cancer 12 weeks ago yesterday.
Her death was the culmination of two years of head-spinning living. (She was never dying, until the very end, when she was.) Chemo and vacations, radiation and celebrations, laughing and crying, wig shopping, nail biting, port accessing and tests that went our way and, then, didn’t.
There were highlights – a family trip that wouldn’t have happened otherwise, a closeness with my dad and my siblings, an appreciation for what the day would bring and, ultimately, a good excuse for me to get off the crazy breakneck pace treadmill of modern life and focus on what really mattered.
Maybe by that list you can tell I am an optimist, a half-full kind of girl.
But the truth is, since my mom died, it’s hard to be half-full.
When you walk around missing an essential part of yourself, of your spirit and guide, your own personal unconditional, it’s difficult to feel fully committed to optimism.
“Write,” Mr. Bailey would tell me. “Write,” my best friends would softly suggest. “Write,” my therapist would encourage.
I made all kinds of excuses.
“I can’t get into Modern Mary’s headspace right now,” I would say.
“It’s too fresh,” I would rationalize.
“No one wants to hear about my grief,” I would moan. And some days that really feels achingly true.
Today I realized with all my excuses and all my faux writer’s blocks, I was breaking that vow to be honest with my readers about my messy life.
I think my readers can handle the muddle because life is messy, just like my Mom used to tell me.
Sometimes it’s so messy it can take your breath away and make you doubt what you know to be true.
But the mess is beautiful and difficult, and ultimately what makes us fellow travelers on this journey of life.
And all we can do sometimes is just to share it.