Born @ 27 weeks
2lbs 7oz

Monday, April 10, 2017

Confession: I've Been Private On Purpose and This Is Why

It’s been over a year. 
A   Y E A R.

It was another year before that since I've even visited this site, much less written on it.  
The truth is, I let it go. 
I distanced myself.
And I’ve been okay with that.

Someone recently asked me why I've stopped writing.
I flushed with embarrassment and a little shame. I'm not a quitter.
Simultaneously, the longing returned. I stifled it quickly because I wasn't sure which emotion would sustain - the embarrassment for quitting or the ache to continue. 
I know the answer to why, but it is hard to articulate.

Here goes:  

The six years following Shaw's birth have been blessed beyond measure. While he continues to surpass milestones (albeit, on his own time): reading in Kindergarten, following his recent passion to act (you heard me), skiing, soccer, playing the guitar... Writing about Shaw and our family feels... taboo and honestly, ridiculously trivial.

I know that writing about our family is not going to invite that dark and desolate part of our past lives to return. Writing then was cathartic and healing, a means for survival. My lofty entries were whispered prayers or sometimes very dramatic pleas for justice and miracles, coupled with cries of grief and despair. I was empty and  desperate to control SOMETHING. Writing (and Nash) were the only things that seemed to fill me up, while our other son was deciding whether to join our world or leave it.

So, I know writing and my son's health have little correlation moving forward, but I can't deny that my palms sweat when I log into this site. And the yearning to communicate (through writing, which is sometimes the only way I know how) continues to fester below the surface, while most of the wicked days are behind us.

Some well-versed, long-term NICU Mommas call these ticks, PTSD. Old habits remind us of beastly places we have traveled and under zero circumstances do any of us plan to return.

In truth, I write all the time, only I find I am not as vulnerable as I once was. (PS - I wonder if that is really true.)

I scribble down thoughts over my grocery list, church bulletins, sticky notes and recycled envelopes. I have countless entries on my phone that I don’t even know how to find. There are Word documents never seen, personally forgotten. I don’t even consolidate these random accounts into a folder. They are not organized or labeled. They fall deeper into my mac or often in a drawer and later, when clutter becomes overwhelming, discarded to the trash.

While I know my voodoo perception of writing again is ridiculous, let's also be honest for a second. Isn’t blogging over done? (YAWN.) Seriously. Who has the time to read blogs? No offense (and notably pot/kettle) but in this recent overly-narcissistic world, haven’t we had enough of people talking and thinking so much about themselves? Blogging these days seems trite and fatigued.

Consequently, I keep typing.

Today, perhaps because of the world we live in, I am motivated to actually seek out this site and may actually hit post.
Here is the difference:
Six years ago, I hunted peace through despair and found resilience.
Now (gratefully!) that I'm not in the mode of survival, my core still aches every day for the exact same thing it did years ago ... hope.

Hope for politics.
Hope for Syria.
Hope for my children.
Hope for patience (and to stop yelling at my children)!
Hope for Bee Mighty, my family, my grandmother, the future of my nephew...

The list is long.
But it is so simple.
Hope is what motivates us to put one foot in front of the other every day. That hasn't changed.

We hope that our children are kind.
We hope they make good choices.
We hope WE are making good choices.

Hell, I feel like I'm screwing up every single day.

In the wake of this especially crazy world, I’m reminded of the light our son brought of hope and fight and resilience.

So, I'm back on this site, writing (and it feels good).
I don't want to feel embarrassed or ashamed for giving up because the same is still true, I'm seeking hope all the time.

Yesterday, I found it here.
I received the following email from someone I admire more than she knows:

Hi Candace - Hope you are doing well.  

I wanted to share a picture of some t-shirts I'm having printed. We will be wearing them this year at our bake sale. This is our 5th Annual Bake Sale for Bee Mighty!  

We go where God leads us and serve in such a way that brings HIM glory. Also, we kind of fell in love with Shaw so y’all are stuck with us. :)  

Our bake sale is on Saturday, May 6, 2017  11am to 4pm 5424 Rocha Court Charlotte, NC  

We may be a small ministry but we try to go BIG! 

Y’all, make no mistake, this is the work of Adrian Harper. This insanely, wonderful woman contacted me five years ago and said, “We are a small ministry. We found out about Bee Mighty and Shaw and we want to hold a bake sale for your babies!”

Adrian invited my family to attend their church, speak to the Bee Mighty mission and join them for their Bake Sale.

It was tiny.
But my God, was it FULL - and when I say, “FULL” I mean these people were bursting with pride, loyalty, charisma, kindness and EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM held open their hearts and hands to greet us. Would you believe each member of the congregation was wearing a Bee Mighty t-shirt - young or old - everyone.

That day wasn't about our differences or what brought us together. We walked through a sea of hugs and warmth and found ourselves ambushed with HOPE.

This sweet Bake Sale has grown in size and sentiment (5 years running) in so many ways... we are incredibly grateful and humbled by the delicious goods baked with love and peace.

Receiving this email is when I knew I had to actually climb out of my hiding and make writing official… regardless of who reads it.

I write for me, but I always write for hope. I have since the beginning.

Thank you, Adrian.

Shaw (6) Nash (7) Meatball (3-7?)
Spring Break 2017 - how far we have come...

1 comment:

Mandy said...

LOVE. You bring so much joy, understanding, care, beauty, support, and so much more to this world, Candace. Love you.