Pearls and Dreams
A few years ago ... I picked up pen and paper and started to write again ... at the encouragement of some friends ...mostly, internet friends. I'd forgotten what it felt like to let the pen flow on the paper and let my feelings ..emotions and ... even let my intelligence show onto paper.
I'd always wanted to write. I wrote my very first poem the summer before 2nd grade ... and it was published in the Mariposa Gazette ... "The Fair is fun, the little kids run, having hot dogs in the sun ..." I wish I could remember the rest of it. That was the first stanza ...
I never forgot the feeling of seeing my name in print for the whole town to see.
I would write in class when I was supposed to be doing math ... that was OK because ... I'd just write more stories.
The only thing that I never learned ... was to not use the three dots ... ... ... I imagine english teacher's find them very annoying. Sorry. I know better, just imagine me holding my breath when you see one. (Seriously, ask Wanda about talking to me on the phone ... Peggi? You there?)
I wrote and I wrote and I wrote as much as I could. In 7th grade, I was assigned a short story. It was 37 pages long. I got a D. Mrs. Warkentine said 37 pages was not short. She did let me re write it for a real grade though, and said the 37 page story was A work, I just hadn't followed directions on the SHORT part and she wanted to make a point. It did, sort of.
I still remember the 37 page story. I wish I'd saved it. It was a science fiction story about a car in the future called a "Bubblewhack Coupe"
Oddly enough ... I'm starting to see similar cars on the market.
I wrote all through junior high, high school and into early adulthood.
Then something happened ..and I put my pen down. A series of things actually.
August 18,1988 I was almost 20 weeks pregnant with a little girl. August 19, 1988, I was not.
My heart shattered and my writing became stilted and only was used for college assignments.
October 13, 1989 I went into the hospital to have Samuel ... Two weeks overdue, perfectly healthy: working 40 hours a week as a waitress; walking 5 miles a day and going to school full time as a deaf education major.
October 14, 1989, Samuel was born. And well ... life turned on a dime. My eyes felt 'weird'. Later that night my mom went to take our first family picture. My smile 'wouldn't work'
By Thanksgiving ... I could not brush my hair without propping my arms on the wall and could not walk up and down stairs without assistance. "Exhaution"
October 30,1989, 17 years ago today, I called the doctor. My precious little boy was running a fever. I didn't know that newborns weren't supposed to run fevers. They told me to get him to the hospital.
He had pneumonia and strep throat. It was the first of 5 hospitalizations with pneumonia in his first year of life.
At 11 months old, they would tell me, that he, like a cousin of mine, was immune deficient.
Asthma, repeated illnesses, hospitalizations and my own health ... it was craziness.
My pen and paper went into a cabinet. The pen rested ..the words too painful to put to paper. A crying baby in my arms, unable to tell me what hurts and my arms too weak to hold him another minute and no one able to tell me why.
I never wanted to write again.
It got worse before it got better. I became sicker than I could have imagined. Unable to feed or bathe myself ... Benjamin far sicker than his brother even dreamed of being ... I wasn't diagnosed till Benjamin was 2 months old and Samuel was 2 and a half years old.
Benjamin's first year of life was 7 hospitalizations ... MRI's because of craniosynostosis, learning of brain malformations and seizures and other things that caused him to stop breathing. Being made to learn infant CPR before he was discharged from the hospital when he was 3 months old ... something I still have nightmares about, but don't talk about. (just 3 weeks after I'd been diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis)
Years went by ...and more diagnosis' came ... and we got the internet ... I sought out internet support ... and while it wasn't pen on paper ...
I started to use words again .. in written form ...
and realized ... I had things to say.
I wanted to write.
The words wouldn't stay quiet ...and the pen demanded to be picked up again.
I was afraid, but, I had encouragment.
I sat down with the goal of writing a book and I completed that goal.
Tomorrow ... I send in the proof corrections for that book. A childhood dream ... a pen on paper ... moving across the page.
It's been 17 years today since I set down my pen.
I didn't think I could ever pick it back up again because the pain was too great ... I think, to put it back down again, would be the greater pain.