Monday, August 17, 2009

My Connections #4

This is # 4 in the series

As I mentioned in part 3 of this series on connecting with your family, BLOGGING is my favorite connection. It is not necessarily a panacea, as far as keeping connected with my family because no one else had the time and love for it that I do. In my perfect little world everyone would, but then who would take care of the babies and go to work to support the famiies? But blogging is the best way for me to communicate with them. Let me explain.

Last night and today I have been giving a lot of thought as to why I feel as I do about it. Oddly enough, when I thought about it; as in really thought about it, it lead me to realize it has a lot to do with facing my own mortality.

Even though there have been long periods in my adult life when I didn't journal, I still have several volumes of journals sitting in our book case. I love writing, I always have. Often when I sit down at the computer I have no idea where my thoughts will lead me. I know you are probably thinking...well, no wonder! Ha!

I just know I need to write like some people need to paint or write music or whatever. It is a cathartic experience for me many times and helps me get the million thoughts running through my mind in some kind of a logical order. I am a much happier person when I am writing regularly.

Before my father passed away suddenly at 61, he was beginning to write a journal of some of his life experiences at my request. After he died my mother knew he had started it, but had no idea where the writings were. He had decided to write his little stories out on some old computer printer paper...remember that stuff with the mint green stripes and the holes along the edges?

We turned her house upside down trying to find them. One day months later I found them on a shelf high up in a closet. Nothing else was on the shelf so it was impossible to see it. If I hadn't reached up and touched it ~ I probably never would have found it. I was so overjoyed I wept for quite some time. There were three precious short stories about his life as a young boy growing up in North Dakota. I wept some more because it was so short! That and my memories are the only things I have of my Dad's except for a few personal effects. I don't think it was any coincidence that I started writing like a crazy person on my blog as I was approaching age 61.

Years later I attended a funeral of another man that died in his early 50s and he had left volumes of writings for his children. I remember one of the sons speaking at the funeral and saying his father's writings had been a wonderful legacy and gift to them and he figured he could read something new from his father's heart everyday for years and not be done.

That touched my own heart deeply. I remember thinking how much I would have loved it if my father had done the same. I remember thinking I wanted to do that for our kids...but it was just a fleeting thought that I didn't really act on at the time. I know how quickly people can be forgotten when nothing is left behind. My mother knew nothing of her own mother and consequently neither do any of us except for what I have discovered through doing genealogical research.

The other experience I had was losing my mom in 1991. I know the actual day it happened. 9.19.1991. Weird combination of numbers don't you think? If I had known what would happen the night before, as she and I sat eating dinner together in Redwood City, I wonder how different the experience would have been? It was my last normal conversation with my mom... She had a brain tumor removed the next day. When she woke up, I became her mom. My best female friend was taken from me then, but she lived for another 12 years. I adored her and cared for her and she was a delight but she was not the mom I could go to and just talk about things with anymore. Our roles switched completely. I was there to solve her problems as best I could. To this day I would give anything if she had written some thoughts down on paper. I love looking at her recipes and even looking at her Social Security card with her signature on it. I am not sentimental about everything but, my family...yes. I do cop to it! Revisiting these things brings tears streaming down my face even now.

So when our kids left I had a feeling that I just could not let our life together slip away. That is why I have tried so hard to keep us together. That is why I have tried all the things I mentioned in post # three of this series. And I have loved all of our e-connections and our letters, phone calls, visits etc. I think all things considered we have done pretty well and stayed close so far. But for me I just needed a little bit more and blogging has brought me that. Besides it is free and has no calories and I have made new friendships and deepened older ones and that makes me so happy!

By sharing my thoughts and life with our kids and you on my blog daily, I feel like I am telling them..

I know you are busy, and you have so many important things going on and that is as it should be. Dad and I always want you to look forward to your future not backwards. We just don't want you to forget that we are here for you. You know where to find me and I will be here as long as I live and am capable of blogging. It is my way of keeping the front door open, like my own mom did when I would come home from school and she'd be baking cookies for us. She would welcome us with open arms and just be there to support us and love us. I don't want to bug you, get in your business or make you feel obligated to respond..I just want to be here for you always as your mom.

In the meantime, I am making a book, my blog which is better for me than just texting, or Facebooking or IMing or e-mailing or even calling and having nothing to show for all this love I feel for you ~ when I am done. If you don't have time to read it is OK. I have a feeling you might want to someday. And I know Dad feels the same way. My blog is his too.

So that is why blogging works best for me. And someday sooner than later, hopefully, we will all live closer together. Chances are though I will still be blogging...just not as much because I'll be busier with the kids and grandkids doing other things with my hands. I hope so anyway!

One last post on this series...tomorrow.


Nellie's Cozy place said...

Hi Bonnie,
Thanks for stopping by to say Happy Birthday to Dee. And if you lived closer we would gladly take you up on your offer to be Aunt
Bonnie!! Everyone just left and we
had a very nice evening. Dee loved
her stroganoff and strawberry shortcake and so did everyone else.
And of course, all her goodies.
I am going over tomorrow and we are
gonna put some pa..zazz on those
walls!! Started working on her
contemporary wall hanging today,
but they want be finished tomorrow,
but it will give her something else
to look forward to next week.
She brought her room-mate to dinner as well. She is a cutie and so funny, we just love her.
Thanks for being so faithful to leave comments, I so look forward to hearing from you everyday or so.
You are a very special lady.
Have a great day tomorrow.
Love and Blessings, Nellie

Nellie's Cozy place said...

Hi Again Bonnie,
Just read todays post, it was lovely and transparent. I feel the same way about blogging in so many ways. I have been a writer too since I was a kid. I used to have all sorts of pen pals and had
letters in the mailbox daily. Loved it, loved connecting with people, and now still love connecting with people, but especially my loved ones.
Never really thought of it being like a legacy for them to read down the road. That is a great point I never even thought of, but so love the sound of.
Well, have sweet dreams my friend.,
Love ya, Nellie

Marie said...

Another wonderful post Bonnie. I started blogging as a way of connecting with my children as well. I thought it would be a good place to put down my thoughts and remembrances for them to read. It has turned into so much more than that. I don't think my kids ever really read it, and the AOL journals that I started on way back when shut down anyways, but I still do it on blogger and I still love it. Perhaps one day they will come to appreciate it, but, like you, in the meantime I have made lots of wonderful friends, including YOU!!

Nancy said...

This post really speaks to me. Thanks for articulating some of my own similar thoughts for me! I also have personal experience with what I call the full circle of mothering. I was able to mother my mother in her last days and it truly has been such a gift of healing for me. I have very few things that my mom has written but I treasure them. My dad had even fewer things written down. He was the kind of guy who would write me VERY rarely while I was in college on a napkin from a restaurant in his hardly legible writing. Your posterity is so lucky to have you and your talents in writing. I hope nothing is ever a mystery to them with all the work you are doing!

laura.elizabeth said...

I knew you loved blogging- now I know why. Thanks Mom!