Wednesday, September 5, 2007


One summer. Two scares with my health.

I tried to figure out what in my life to throw overboard as I battened the hatches for an anticipated storm. Long abandoned were several time-consuming habits and hobbies, like watching daytime television or nighttime dramas. The cable had been disconnected for years. Gone, too, were hours spent shopping with friends. Those had been replaced with mom-and-daughter bonding time that occasionally took us to the mall. I did, however, continue to spend too much time at local garden centers admiring yard d├ęcor and perennials. If indeed I were gravely ill those excursions would need to cease, as would time spent fussing with my yard. I wanted to spend every minute possible with my family.
In order to make the most of the precious time I had left, there would be no more long phone conversations with friends pursuing idle chitchat. Lunches and movies with friends would have to be cut. My frequent, obsessive visits to the library would need to stop. Except for projects I’d committed to finish for the magazines and publishers I worked with, time spent on art and illustration would come to a halt. And, writing…what would I do about writing? It consumed so much of my time, so much of me. Could I really bind up my laptop, my journals, my pens and pencils, and my writing tablets and toss them out of my life?

One more afternoon. One more test. I waited to see a lab technician with cold hands and an austere demeanor. As I sat, I took in the faces and emotions around me. All of us suspended in the act of waiting for the unknown seemed engulfed in our own trials yet we managed, from time to time, to exchange brief smiles of compassion and understanding. I mentally jotted down the experience and the feelings that coursed through me. I had neglected to bring a notebook. How I missed it!

Something in my stomach caught as I realized writing was the backbone of my existence. A good fifty percent of what I wrote I’d never share or attempt to publish but it truly kept me sane and focused.

From a strong warning from an invisible messenger I ignored that instructed me not to weed with my bare hands -- right before I got stung by a hornet -- to unseen help in locating my grandmother’s lost necklace, my M.O.M., Mindful of Me Journal, was a place to record all life’s moments when I knew Heavenly Father was watching over me. My gratitude journal held accounts of sweet moments spent with my family and descriptions of things sacred and dear. My daily journal tracked events that were both funny and heart wrenching. I drew in a deep breath. I knew had to continue to write in my journals.

I had to.

My short stories were my way of reaching out. My way of sharing what I viewed as good, valuable, and wonderful in the world, an attempt to help others travel the rocky paths I had already crossed. I couldn’t give those up either.

Another day, another test result. Everything was fine. I was okay. I’d envisioned spending my last few moments, pencil in hand, scrawling out my innermost feelings, as well as what I wanted to impart to future generations and a last few stories I’d forgotten to tell. Thankfully, I didn’t have to face that yet.

I looked into the faces of my family. I had time -- more time to spend with those I loved. And, a trickle of guilt seeped in, time to write.
Now, it was back to the balancing act which ruled my life. My family came first. No question. I balanced time with them with moments stolen in the tender light of early dawn or the darkness of late evening. Moments found in the cracks and crevices of my life that allowed me to write. It was a process that was often exhausting, sometimes frustrating, but always an adventure.

Always a blessing.


C.S. Bezas said...

You are a blessing to us, Lori. We love you.

Lori Nawyn said...

Thank you, Cindy. I am so grateful for you and for your friendship.

Josi said...

I'm glad you're doing okay--seeing as how peaches are on :-)

Beautiful post, it's amazing how quickly we can rearrange our lives if we have to, and yet there are some things we just can't let go of.