Granny was a story teller. Her stories mesmerized me. A few years ago, Dad gave me one of her notebooks, where she wrote about her adventures. Were her genes responsible for the writer in me?
And now you’ll need those wobbly super powers
Of stubborn guts and mental inner strength
To see you through the long, slow learning process.
Discovering what lost ground can be regained,
Using those special powers to weave the cloth anew.
I am so proud of you, my much-loved daughter.
“Life’s funny”. “Compared to what?”
The problem is we just don’t know.
What ‘selfish gene’ caused your angiomas
(Or mine, for that matter)?
Can medical miracles protect the kids?
We relied too much on ‘big brother’ to take charge, forgetting how small he was.
But he really didn’t seem to mind: “cummon Deb”, he said,
And off the two of you went, up the ladder of life.
I wanted to address the topic of coming to terms with my parents’ descent into old age, their ailing bodies and minds. I needed to explore my mourning over losing the parents I knew and loved. But my emotions were too raw.
Poems help say the unsayable and writing prompts help trigger a foray into the danger zone. A different point of view, clustering, or bouncing ideas off another writer can also help. So far, eventually I do end pushing my way into the story. I’m stubborn that way.
Writers also rose to the challenge. Online writers’ groups emerged, helping create structure and accountability. Freelance writers, in an attempt to boost paying online gigs offered introductory or beginner workshops and webinars at reduced prices. Some were actually free. The world opened up to me and with it my life as a writer.
The house was quiet—no footsteps, no clacking of dishes, no water running, nothing. Perhaps it was just a lull in the usual household noise. I waited a couple of seconds, a couple more, but no, nothing. The silence muffled everything, inside and out.
When it came to living with new restrictions, having a brain injury was an advantage—I have had to adjust and readjust on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis. Because of severe neuro-fatigue, I’ve had to slow my pace down–I’ve had to cut work sessions short, cancel plans at the last minute, restrict myself to one errand a day. Adapting to new situations was not much of an issue for me.