Powerful Personal Writing: Is Your Site Pink for October?
This Week’s Prompt: Powerful
Every time a writer sits down in front of a keyboard or picks up a pen or pencil, he or she hopes to craft a written work powerful enough to impact its readers in some way. Ironically, we cannot foresee the many ways in which our writing affects those who connect with our words.
We work so hard to string flowery phrases together, searching the thesaurus and dictionary for unique words and expressions that will demonstrate to our readers just how accomplished we are, how powerful our command of the language.
But despite all our efforts, there are times when the written word is most powerful because of its simply stated, unambiguous truth.
As I considered this week’s prompt, I began reading the various blogs to which I subscribe. And there it was: The most powerful, thought-provoking, and moving post I have read in a long, long time. Not coincidentally, I had just transformed Colloquium in anticipation of Pink for October when I read WhyMommy’s words at Toddler Planet.
On July 30, 2007, I joined Team WhyMommy, publishing, as she requested, her story of being diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer. She has continued blogging about her journey back to health, chronicling her treatment and its impact upon her and her family.
Consider A Day off from Cancer:
Yesterday was my first day solo’ing all day with the kids, without WhyDaddy or WhyGrammy or WhyGranddad or WhyGrandma or WhyPawPaw here for help and support. I’m happy to report that both kids were fed, napped, and played with until we all collapsed from exhaustion. We spent time outside on the swings, and we had a playdate with friends. Widget painted a big piece of cardboard with ALL the colors, and he climbed up on the stool to choose his own snack. Little Bear crawled and walked with the support of my hands. And then? I put Little Bear down to sleep THREE times — morning, afternoon nap, and bedtime — doubling my success rate since July, when my chest/arm pain became so intense that I could no longer hold him long enough to rock him to sleep. Good times.
Today, I’m taking a day off from cancer. I’m just going to pretend it isn’t there. I desperately need a break from tbe research, the options, the future, the past, the pain, and the medication.
Wish me luck.
WhyMommy is a 34-year-old mother of two little boys, born in August 2004 and January 2007. As I read her words, I was transported back to the time when my two boys — and my two nephews — were little guys. In fact, I was also 34 years old when my youngest was born.
How many times over the years did I rock my boys to sleep and put them down for naps or bedtime? I have no idea, but I was always physically capable of picking them up, changing and feeding them, and then placing them in their bassinet, crib and, finally, toddler bed. It was for me, as it is for all parents, my favorite activity, especially when preceded by bath time, stories, and snuggles. In fact, I know that there is a great deal of debate about children sleeping with their parents, but both of my kids slept with me, primarily, because there have always been periods of time, sometimes lengthy, when BigBob has worked nights. So we would say good-bye to Daddy, have a bath and bedtime stories, and frequently fall asleep together. Sometimes I would wake up a couple of hours later and make the conscious decision to just let them remain in my bed because BigBob would not be returning until morning and, when we were home without him, I was more comfortable having the boys close to me lest there be any sort of emergency during the night.
So I was moved by WhyMommy’s joy at being able to rock her little guy, just about nine months old and beginning to walk, three times in one day. Her sense of accomplishment was evident, and made me realize just how lucky I was to be able to take care of my kids when they were little, performing such routine, but precious and memorable, tasks without a second thought.
At that moment, WhyMommy’s struggle to beat inflammatory breast cancer became more real to and resonated with me in a deeply profound way. I developed a new appreciation of just how invidious the disease it, capable of robbing a young mother of the simple pleasure of picking up her baby and rocking him to sleep.
WhyMommy’s words were powerful beyond measure, reaching into my heart and causing me to finish reading her post with tears running down my cheeks. I got out a couple of photo albums and looked at the various photos of me holding one or both of my kids. And when they next came out of their rooms to forage for snacks, confer about the video game they were playing on line or ask me for money to transfer characters, I hugged them. These days, of course, I have to reach up for those hugs because they both tower over me and I am always stunned when I feel whiskers on their cheeks instead of the soft baby skin that I still seem to expect, even though it has been gone for quite a few years.
And I was very glad about my decision to participate in the Pink for October event. Such concerted campaigns are powerful and effective. If just one person reads one post during October that results in an early diagnosis and cure for him/her, it will be worth the efforts of all the bloggers participating.
So . . . is your site pink for October yet?