Anniversary dates are a time of celebrating and reflection. Just over a year ago I began writing a themed blog. I have learned much this past year. My subject matter typically revolves around Nick and the lessons I have learned while caring for him for over 38 years.
I am an ordinary mom living an extraordinary life and these varied and sometimes intense experiences have given me the opportunity for deep reflection. I believe that personal growth can arise from the fires of adversity, like a phoenix.
Each blog post has given me the opportunity of self reflection and observation. For that I am grateful. I began the blog after completing the first draft of what I call “the Nick book,” because I was told that it was important to let book agents and publishers know that others found value in what I had to say. They said that I needed to create a platform, and have followers. It sounded a little scary to me.
However, I felt a deep conviction that the lessons our family continually learns from caring for Nick would be valuable to others. This message was repeated to me many times over that previous year, in a variety of non-connected experiences, so I stepped forward and began, in spite of my fears.
A year ago I was afraid of quite a few things. Here is a sampling of some of my swirling thoughts from back then.
Will anyone want to read what I write? Will it be “too much information,” will I overshare and the message lose its potency? Will I be able to express my thoughts in a way that others can feel a connection with my ideas. Will I run out of ideas? Will I make a difference?
After a year, I can say that although fear sometimes still raises its ugly head, for the most part, this has been an incredible experience. I have met many wonderful people, and made new friends. Some of them I only know through our virtual communication.
Being willing to be vulnerable in my posts, I had the opportunity to share heart felt emotions in conversations with others, some of whom I already knew. We are closer now because our understanding of each other is deeper.
Throughout the year, I courageously reached out to others when they wrote to me, sometimes we spoke on the phone, tearfully supporting each other during some difficult times.
People know Nick much better. His sense of humor, his wisdom, his faith, his teasing and his tenderness. These are gifts that our family has experienced, and now his messages have a broader audience, because I have given him a bigger platform.
Some things have been frustrating. A few months ago, Facebook changed how they show our posts to our friends. Quite a few people asked me if I was still blogging. They missed my posts. I don’t know what happened.
I am still writing posts on my blog and sharing them with Facebook. I haven’t been able to figure out how to make them more visible without giving Facebook ad money. I don’t think I want to do that right now.
I decided that I am doing what I always do. Trusting that the messages will get to those who can use them.
I invite you to sign up for this blog through my website, so that you get each new post into your email inbox and then you won’t be at the whim of Facebook. You just need to put in your email address. I am not sharing your information with anyone. Please let others know that I am continuing to blog. If you missed any of the posts, they are archived on my website, just click on the blog tab and find the links. They are organized by the month they were written.
The picture connected to this blog is Nick wearing the celebration hat at our local favorite restaurant, Ixtapa in Carnation. He loves celebrating. He loves Ixtapa. I don’t know where this journey with Nick will take me, but this past year I have learned that I do know it makes me happy when he is happy.
So I ask you, what do your celebrations look like? Mine involve my family. Tell me about yours!