When you are sorrowful look again in your heart,
and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

~ Kahlil Gibran, from"The Prophet"

Saturday, March 6, 2010

It's All About ME

Near the end of February, after I published my first couple of blog entries, I received an email from a friend who expressed concern about the lack of inclusion of information about the rest of my family in my entries. (I am only beginning.) There was worry that I had forgotten I have three other children.

This photo was taken on Matt's birthday in January.
It is so painfully difficult to take FAMILY pictures when one member is not there and will never ever be there again. The sunflower, a symbol of hope for those who live with sarcomas, will be in all future photos, representing Erin. We took FAMILY pictures on Christmas day, just two days after we buried Erin. I barely remember those days - we walked in a blur.

I responded to my friend with assurance that Chris, Sarah & Matt, and Dave are not forgotten, neglected or ignored, and after my initial knee-jerk reaction of Who does she think she is?! I began to wonder if others had similar opinions. Usually if there's one, there are more, and I began to reflect on the essence of her question.

It urged me to reread the Erin Update emails I periodically sent over the three-year course of her illness. And while the reason for the writing was always Erin's health situation, I realized that as time went on, the words took a turn in that they not only included the details I wanted to share about the then-prominent medical situation but, especially toward the end, became a vehicle of expression of MY OWN distraught feelings of helplessness and uncertainty, and also were a declaration of my immense pride in Erin for the way she continued to possess the ability to center herself and cope with this larger-than-my-mind-could-comprehend situation.

When a child/family member is diagnosed with cancer, the ENTIRE FAMILY has the disease. It affects each of us in a unique way, and we all cope with it in the manner in which we have the capability. Our lives have all been, and will continue to be, affected in ways exclusive to our own personalities and our relationships with Erin. I only KNOW the perspective of the MOTHER. I am not the father or the sister or the brother. I am the MOTHER, and when I write, the view is from MY perspective about how it feels for ME. To attempt to speak for one of the others would be making unfair assumptions on their behalf. I can assure you, each of us suffers indescribable, very personal, gut-wrenching grief.

And due to the exclusivity, there is no right or wrong way to understand and process the aftermath. Throughout Erin's struggle, each of us brought something incomparable and unmatched to the family plate of endurance. One matter I struggled mightily with was the need for the eventual attainment of a feeling of peace; I needed to have confidence that I was doing everything possible with Erin and for Erin, so that when all was said and done I could rest. I can rest.

My blog entries are not published in any particular order, and one does not necessarily hold more importance than another. I'm inspired to write what I feel at that moment, by a memory or a random thought as I attempt to freeze-frame those wild images flashing constantly. By doing so, my mind is forced to become more organized as I attempt to focus on one subject as I write an entry. For a brief time, my energy goes into that ONE thing, and the rest can fall away.

I mention other people as they fit into the thoughts of the day, the moment. Sometimes the entry is dictated by an event I'd like to share, a birthday, a volleyball tournament...or it is simply the image popping into my head that seems most pronounced. That can be a celebration of joy, of the blessings past and present as a result of Erin's struggle. It may be some quirky subject or random picture. And the entry can just as easily be one of pain as I unexpectedly fall through the trap door of all-consuming heartache.

So, I will continue to write what I want to write.
And this blog is all about ME!


  1. "Self intimacy is a virtue by which I grow in awareness and acceptance of this particular human being I am becoming. It is a strength of mature self-love which is the ground for my love and care for the other."
    -Evelyn Whitehead and James Whitehead

    Rock on, Potts!

  2. It's YOUR blog, and it IS all about you - it's from your perspective. It's that person's right to have an opinion, but you don't have to obey her. In fact, I encourage you to follow your own heart, in this, as in all things.
    Bless you. I'm so glad you liked your award. =)