Monday, 24 November 2008
200th Blog Post
I know I can’t believe it either.
Dad thought that I should post where I got my blog name. So in honour of my Dad (may he rest in peace) I am going to give you the low down on where I got the name and what it means to me.
Andrea, a young woman with inflammatory breast cancer who died earlier this year, wrote a blog entitled Punk Rock Mommy. On one of her posts she put a Chinese proverb which went like this:
“You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from circling your head, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair.”
This resonated with me like nothing else did at the time. I could see how the birds, if they even had a chance to nest may never leave.
Colette was the first person to know what I was going to call my blog; as she helped me set it up one cold morning in February.
This having cancer is not an easy thing. As a matter of fact it is one of the worst things. I had just gone through almost two full years of chemotherapy and I needed to figure out what the hell just happened to me. I wanted to try to write to clear my head, to make me happier, to give me something to do. I wanted more than anything for people to know that I was here.
I wanted people to know that once upon a time in a small city in a big country there was a woman who loved her children so much she felt that if they could read her stories when she was gone they would feel that she was with them and they wouldn’t forget her.
When I first started writing this blog the birds were indeed circling. They still circle but their wings are not so loud, they make me less dizzy, they no longer drop little sticks and feathers on to my hair. They try of course, especially when I am tired, and then I remind myself of how much I love my husband and children and how I would be stealing their wife and mother away earlier than necessary just to become a nest for squawking birds.
These birds who try to nest represent more than one thing to me. One bird represents my grief at not being able to retire with my dear husband, not being able to grow old together, and more than anything; not being able to share our grandchildren with each other; talking long into the evening about how happy they made us that day. One bird represents my physical pain and squawks that if I think I have felt pain; well hold on baby because you ain’t seen nothing yet. One bird reminds me of my friends that have left before me and are no longer here, no longer physical, no longer touchable. One bird squawked very loudly for me to look at how beautiful its feathers are and to remind me that I was no longer physically beautiful.
But the King of the Birds of Sorrow is Despair, and him I have to deal with every day. He has the strongest hold on me and is the one that I have the fiercest battles with. And that is because Despair is the bird that wants to nest in my hair and squawk over and over that I will not finish what I set out to do. I will not see all my children married with their children at their knees. That one day I will have to leave them and because of that I will break their hearts.
You see the power of that sneaky fuck. I feel him now along with the rest just at the back corner of my right ear taunting ‘you’re screwed, nobody escapes, it will never be better, yes you are dragging your family down.’
So I go back to my blog and I post and I post and I post. I get feedback from people who I never knew but I know now and I know that they care. I don’t get feedback from others that I know because their feelings have been hurt along the way. Somehow the blog has become about them and not about me; and now I don’t want to hear any longer what they have to say.
But to keep the birds of sorrow at bay I make connections with people. They along with my husband and children remind me that I am not defenseless. By writing I am shooing the birds away. I have reached people who can relate and get it. They know and they can help keep the birds of sorrow out of my hair. These empathetic people have reached through the darkness and they give me messages of hope.
They tell me to take heart. ‘Take heart.’ They remind me of what my dear Jill said when she stated ‘we are still here.’ ‘You are still here.’
So while my blog is a venue to clear the air of the birds of sorrow, it will never take the place of my family who support me each and every day. The people that I love the most in this world telling me ‘take heart; you are still here.’
And so I do. I take heart because I believe that the birds are made of the darkest matter and while they squawk the truth, they only tell half the story.
And so I do. I take heart because I believe that my children are made of the brightest matter and while they whisper words of encouragement and love, they tell the best part of the story.
And so I do. I take heart because I believe that even though my children’s hearts may break, their hearts will also heal, if not for themselves, than at the very least for me and that tells the most hopeful part of the story.
So Dad, now you know. Now you know the story.