Saturday, November 13, 2010

Crash and Burn

My novel has officially crashed and burned. But, I get the value of NaNoWriMo. The pressure of daily writing really makes you focus in a way I wouldn't otherwise. I intend to pick it up again (though, was supposed to be doing that today and NOT going to happen, so we'll see). Having not written anything longer than a blog post since high school, it is clear that plot and character development leave me a lot of room to grow. A good thing to learn.

Grief-wise, this has been an unusually quiet month for me. Especially considering the time of year, the anniversary of both Henry's diagnosis and then the next year his relapse. I feel much more settled, much more able to feel happy. My laughter is real again, instead of forced. For a long time I pretended to laugh, more for myself than for others.

I am struggling with my age, more than I ever expected to. I guess many people struggle with aging as 40 starts to breath down their neck; maybe my experience is no different. I think that Henry's death makes me feel that I am leaving for good that part of my life where I was the parent of a young child, and I wasn't ready to give that away. I look at the faces of parents of young children around me, and they all look so much younger than I.

Maybe I would have felt this way if he had never had cancer, but knowing myself, I don't think so. I feel that I am able to embrace the girls growth and development, I don't find myself yearning for when they were younger.

Maybe the lines around my eyes, the sag of my abdomen, the ache in my back would have mocked me anyway, even with three healthy children.

I feel that a door is closing.


Anonymous said...

I am a new reader...

I think it helps that you feel some comfort in writing out your feelings on your blog. I am sure that in many ways it can be quite cathartic.
I am sorry that you lost your son. I have no idea what that is like and can only imagine that you are on a constant roller coaster with your emotions. Some days are good, others it is probably like getting hit in the head with a brick and it takes a lot to just go through the motions.
In the grand scheme of things... you are still young! 40 is breathing down my neck as well. LOL. However, I like the knowledge I have better at this point in my life than my 20's.

Keep up the good blogging. I have enjoyed reading your posts and archives.

A Doc 2 Be said...

I found my 40s, despite the hardship, the best years of my life, and I am only 46.

Turning 40 was a godsend for me - left behind the pain and misery of my 20s and 30s when I was the young mother of a dead child, and the mother of a living one.

Henry's life ... will continue to transition your thoughts. But I do hope that you find 40 as pleasing, if not more so, (since you're not trying to get into med school) as I have.

Continued blessings,

rlbates said...

Dr. Smak, you know I have no children of my own, but I found turning 40 more difficult then 30 or even 50. It is difficult to know exactly why, but there seemed to be the "slap" in the face that I would never do certain things. While I had accomplished much I felt I had somehow fallen short...

Still I reminded myself that my brother (who died of a car crash at 28) had never even gotten to worry about turning 40. The perspective helped me.

I am (mostly) happy with aging. Try to realize I can continue to learn, continue to set goals, continue to achieve.

Glad to hear you are able to truly laugh and enjoy life.

SOCKS said...

Words escape me - as one door closes, another opens?
Sounds trite.
This post is relieving in that time has helped you overcome your extreme grief. But it is also sad - watching and feeling the door close. I continue to feel your longing and watch your acceptance.

You will always handle every situation in your life with grace and beauty and strength. Henry's life and death has enhanced those qualities in you.

All who know you are in awe.

Katerina said...

Dear Dr. Smak, I'm a longtime reader and always impressed at your candor and ability to express your feelings with such clarity and focus. I never knew just how young you were. I am 41 and my husband and I are considering trying for a second child; we have a delightful two-year-old boy. I got pregnant naturally at 39 and had an easy pregnancy, so a second one doesn't seem out of the question.

Yes, I do feel older than many mothers of small children, but I also feel, when we talk, that my age has given me the freedom to throw myself into the experience without regret. I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything, fun, a career, or any sort of excitement. I'm just so happy to be with my boy and do my best to be a good mother.

I'm not at all suggesting that you "should" consider having another child - wouldn't presume to - but want to say that a late motherhood has its own (bitter)sweet rewards and that the door you feel closing is perhaps still half open.

radioactive girl said...

As always, we are in completely different situations but seem to feel the same kind of feelings about them.

All I can say is I understand and am thinking good thoughts for both of us to continue to have the strength to move ahead in a healthy way even when we aren't quite feeling like it. I think you are a pretty amazing person and admire how you are handling this all. I know you feel like you don't have a choice but there is always the choice to check out and not feel the harder things. I really admire that you let yourself feel and then continue on.

...tom... said...

hey there Dr. Smak...

My wife and I were 'older' parents of young children, having the first when mom was 30 and our twins at 33.

We always seemed to be the 'older parents' in a gathering of school-age families. Turning 40 hit us at seven y/o and ten y/o kids; so no time to reflect on that particular 'milestone' I suppose.

It is all good. All the ages are good, ours and the kids. You will also see the changes and different relationships you have with them as they (and you) age. I think you will find them 'all good' as well.

I will not deny that you may long have the nagging feeling that something/someone is 'missing'. You would be less than the mother/parent I think you are if you did not.

But that small 'nagging' will be just another part of who you are in all the facets of your life. That cannot be a bad thing. That can only enrich (rather than burden) you going forward.

Anyway . . .good to catch up. I hope you have much to feel, and be, thankful for over the coming week and weeks. ...:minism:...