The last time I posted here it was as an announcement for a book I wrote called Finding Nine. At the time I told myself and others the book was not about the son I lost. And in fact it was inspired during a road trip with his daughter long before he was even ill. My loyal readers though seemed to know the truth while I continued to find pleasure as I continued to write surrounded by my own denial. The kind of denial that stays with a mother long after her child has died.
This month I’m once again writing in the NaNoWriMo 50,000 word count rough draft challenge. As I write it comes to me there is no way for me as a newbie writer to write anything that I do not know. So in goes an overheard conversation, a detail taken out of my own life, a stolen vignette from someone else’s, a piece or many pieces of my son’s story. His life, who he was, who I wanted him to be, the man he became. Little bits and pieces here and there making up for his absence in my real life. In fiction he is always by my side. I write in a character by his name during the rough draft, changed later on. But while I write it is him who comes to life on the page, or parts of him mixed in with someone of my imaginings.
He is beside me. This is what I forgot recently while I sat ensconced in the weight of misery. Putting off writing until I felt lighter and less alone. But he is here, right here with his voice whispering details in my ear. Thank you Jason, Write on!
Well it looks like I fell off the 100 days of Happiness commitment wagon. In fact I have not written about happiness since June 25 or day 25 of my 100 days. How about this, I will pick up where I left off? I’ll start day 26 right here right now. Someone once asked me, “do you want to be a quitter or a failure”. This question was in relation to my desire to pack the BC real estate course in. I’d come to the stage in the course where I had to learn to use a business calculator. Math not ever having been my forte I froze every time I tried to do an assignment. The course was taken via distance and so I’d snail mail my assignments in once a week. And most times I’d get every thing almost right. It was so long ago I can’t recall how many wrong answers you were allowed before they’d make you redo that weeks assignment. During the math section my work was sent back every week. So, as I was saying some smart person posed that question to me. Today I am asking myself that question. Is it important to follow through with a promise immediately or in this case within 100 days. Or is it enough to check in from time to time to say “yup, I had some happy days”. And I did. I did. Today though I feel really happy and that is why I’m writing in my blog. Just to reach out and say it’s ok to find joy in the mundane. I found my happiness today and the last few days, cleaning out my closets, sorting through junk and tossing what I don’t need. Soon all will be in order and I’ll feel even better than I do this day. This day, I feel grateful to recognize joy when I feel it. And I feel go to remember how good it feels to just start again as if there were never a break and also to remember what I said that day so long ago, “I’d rather be a failure than a quitter any day”.
I wish I had a picture to show you what made me happy or why I’d be happier today than another day. I had a surprise, it was a feeling deep inside my chest bursting with warmth. It felt like love but it was a bit different and much more complicated in a way I won’t explain. Today I purchased a Father’s Day gift for my husband; Jason is gone but he is still a dad right? Jason would want his dad lavished with love, kindness and gifts.
So today I got him a hand made gift from a local artisan. As it happens it is someone our Jason knew long ago. While we chatted we discovered we have some unusual and very specific things in common and I had a hard time dragging myself away. Letting them get back to the business at hand I finally made my way home. And as I drove, the surprise feeling began to grow in my chest. A warm pressure was building until finally it burst inside me and I wept. Because without trying at all, without keeping my focus on the moment or attempting to find happiness, and quite by accident, I found joy. The joy of meeting a like minded person who knew my son. The joy of hearing someone say Jason’s name and remember him and talk casually about him with regard. To talk to me about my loss of him and all that he was to me, to my husband to the rest of my family. I felt joyful, I feel joyful, my tears are joyful. This happens to me at unexpected times when an event takes place that is so full of goodness I am filled with hope! What a kindness Jason sent me today…..Everything happens for a reason. And today I am happy! 98 days to go!
It’s been a while since I’ve blogged. My son Jason, age 41, died on August 30 2011. On February 2, 2011 he called to say he had been admitted to hospital the night before and now he was 30 minutes away from a routine surgery. At the time we lived 5 hours away by car and it was 3:15 in the afternoon on a icy winter day. Knowing no surgery is routine I was packed, in my car and on the road by 3:30. Braving it through the mountains I drove in the dark struggling with poor visibility and falling snow …. When I arrived at the hospital Jason was still in surgery which was surprising. His wife was nowhere to be seen and I could not reach her on the phone so I just waited around feeling happy and excited that I’d see my “adult” child for an unexpected visit. My elation was short lived however. Jason was wheeled out of recovery and he was upgraded to a private room. He was quite groggy and wondered where his wife was so we called her cell from his cell phone and she asked me to meet her in the waiting room, which I did. The first thing she did was throw her arms around me and say, she loved me which should have alerted me to bad news because she had never said she loved me and had never been an affectionate person toward me. Then she told me Jason was full of cancer. I actually thought she was lying to me. I was in shock and couldn’t grasp what she was saying and why she was even saying it. My own life, as I knew it was over and the months to come will always be remembered as some of the best Jason and I have shared.