I talked to a bestselling author a few weeks ago about the potential of writing a companion piece for mothers who have children with cancer. One of her top pieces of advice was to join a writers’ group. Selfishly, I didn’t feel I had the time nor the energy to devote to writers whose work I do not know, so I decided to form my own very intimate triad, with just two other mothers whose writing I have long admired. Our first meeting was scheduled for this morning.
One of the mothers had to cancel for medical reasons, but I still capitalized on the time I had set aside. I wrote an introduction. That’s all. I recalled the first time I breathed fresh air after Benjamin’s diagnosis; it was on January 6th, a week after we’d first arrived at All Children’s. Michael and I walked to a nearby bookstore. I was ravenous for information to help me support him. Nutrition, detoxification, immune support. There was precious little to be found. Since then, the idea to compile the research I’ve gathered has started to take shape. The words started to spill out of me. Interestingly, I found myself in three situations today in which this kind of compilation would have been helpful. I find myself writing lengthy emails to newly diagnosed families with increasing frequency. Compiling this information and making it available makes sense; I want to create what I was looking for when Benjamin was diagnosed.
After my hour of writing was over, I devoted the rest of the school day to work. I completed an entire section of the new website for Michael A. Gilkey, Inc. In addition to facilitating a complete redesign, I am rewriting all of the copy I wrote when our last website was launched. Back then, I thought I was a decent writer. Reading the words now makes me cringe. This daily writing practice has definitely served me well.
Benjamin was so tired when I picked him up from school today. He got dressed for baseball, then napped on the way to pick Banyan up from middle school. This is rare. I was concerned. It seems the rest is all he needed. Even though he was tagged out at first, Benjamin made good contact with the ball today, and did not back away from the plate. He overcame his fear and I know he will be hitting harder and harder from here on out.
While I was in the stands watching, I got an email from the camp Banyan attends each summer. They are putting together an audio gift for their senior counselor who has been diagnosed with stomach cancer. Banyan and I are recording our contributions tonight. I am grateful for the opportunity to let this man hear how he has positively impacted our lives. Such an opportunity is available for all of us, cancer or no cancer. If someone has made your world brighter, tell them. There is no time–and no gift–like the present.