It seems that all my bridges have been burned
But, you say that’s exactly how this grace thing works
It’s not the long walk home
that will change this heart
But the welcome I receive with the restart
~ Roll Away Your Stone, Mumford & Sons
For every day you stay away from writing, the harder it is to get back into it. I’ve not been here. Not on my blog. I’ve been elsewhere.
Sickness took my body into a murky world of fevers and rigors. Followed by a chest infection. Followed by a pain in my side that remains a mystery despite comprehensive tests in hospital.
Sickness took my mind away too. I know when I’m really sick because words and stories stop spinning in my head like they usually do. Bright merry lights in my brain that they are. My constant companions.
The day I was in hospital I lay there in a standard issue robe with a canula in my arm and I looked over at my husband. It was surreal. Eight years on, and here we were back in a hospital. Me, the patient. He, the carer. Haunting ground. Haunting feelings. And all the while praying that nothing serious was happening again.
But this time it was different. This time I was a mother. Two children. How miraculous are they? They make me feel normal and healthy any time I wonder about the lasting effects of cancer. This time I reminded myself that my children are my hope. Tangible evidence of goodness in this world.
Somewhere in the foggy weeks I could feel my writing slipping away. Even before the sickness, I was battling demons. They overlapped each other in a twisted plague that left me physically and emotionally dry. Writing keeps me honest. If I dare go back, I’m afraid of what I’ll find.
This morning I sat at my desk and for the first time in over a month I was alone and I felt well. I looked out at the late winter sun striking down on the tree outside. Urging spring to come. So I went out and sat by the tree and I asked the sun to strike me too.
My husband just wrote me an email from work, asking if we needed anything from the shops. It’s something he does every day because he holds this family together. I wrote back: Love. Strength. Compassion. Grace. Nothing else is urgent.
The dear man wrote back and said he could give me all those things. And only then I realised they have been here all along. He’s been offering them to me every day. I’ve just been too weak to see.
Today I restart. Wiping all the darkness and pain that has gone before. Offering myself love, strength, compassion and grace. Anything could happen. But I am welcome. I am new. Nothing else is urgent.