The first stirrings to write came many moons ago. They became stronger late in 2012 when I started reading Lisa-Jo Baker’s blog Surprised by Motherhood. On 30 September of that year she announced her blog series “31 days to write your story” which challenged me to actually start writing.
I was head over heels in love with our first granddaughter Emma – the apple of my eye (almost 21 months then). I wanted to share the pure joy of having a grandchild.
I wanted to write down our experiences so that at a later time we could look back and be reminded of the love, the laughter, the life…
I wanted to write about my needlework journey… I wanted to write…
But in spite of Lisa-Jo’s reassurances that I am a writer and that my story matters I was too scared and intimidated to actually take action.
On 13 December 2013 Emma was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia with the added complication of the Philadelphia positive translocation. (See Musings of an Onco Mom for our family’s journey with cancer.)
Writing fell right off my “To Do” list.
On 13 January 2014 I read Dalene Reyburn’s blog Be There in which she asked: “What does being there look like for you this year?”
I commented: “For me, being there will mean: Being there while my granddaughter fights for her life against Philadelphia Positive Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia; Being there while her parents have to be strong while their precious child is being pumped full of chemo and other horrific drugs to destroy the cancer; Being there for my husband who is my rock – to appreciate him; Being there when there is absolute chaos is my (usually) ordered life; Being there in this altered reality where very little makes sense; Being there when “brave” and “courageous” are meaningless words and my heart is shattered; Being there because God whispers: It is ok. Because I AM here!”
I wept while I wrote and felt very vulnerable flinging those words into the web where potentially anybody could read them. But writing them was cathartic.
Flowing from Emma’s diagnosis, I created a WhatsApp group to distribute information on Emma and to send out prayer requests. Through posting on the group I learned that writing provides an outlet for my feelings, that it calms my emotions, that it clarifies my thoughts. Writing made me feel better. But it was still within a relatively “safe” group of people. After Emma died on 13 September 2014, I still poured out my feelings on the WhatsApp groups. I even changed the name and the purpose. Somehow lately it seemed to be not enough, not the right thing.
Yet, I still wanted to write – I vacillated – do I start writing a blog or don’t I? I bounced the thought off my hubby. He was encouraging, especially since I could then learn all the jargon and save him some time and energy when he starts blogging!
The die was cast – I became a blogger!
I considered some names and chose Potpourri.
Potpourri means a mixture of dried flower petals, leaves, and spices that is used to make a room smell pleasant. I love and grow roses, especially sweet smelling ones. Emma loved smelling roses and her favourite colour was pink.
It would be awesome if my writing could be like “stopping to smell a rose” – for myself and others! (But don’t ask me for a potpourri recipe – that you’ll have to google!)
Potpourri also means a collection of different things / a mixture of things that are not usually put together. Apart from roses, I’m interested in many other things like music, singing, reading, needlework, dancing, dogs, life, honesty, integrity…
My blog will thus be a mixture of things that are not usually put together. I want to write about what I feel, my experiences, what I do, what I’ve learnt. Maybe even share a bit of wisdom along the way.
I want to tell the stories and songs from my life – ramblings from my rose garden!
Lisa-Jo Baker once said: “our best writing is almost always for ourselves”.
Join me as I put her words to the test!