Where'd You Go, Writer-Friend

Returning after a long time away from the pen

5/6/20243 min read

person in black shirt holding white paper
person in black shirt holding white paper

I was just going to write a post and pretend like I have been here along. I feel like I am shouting into the void anyway, so there is no one there to notice. But, my friend Katie, wrote a post about hiatuses and coming back from a long time away. After thinking for a minute, it makes sense. Even if no one is there to explain this to, I am explaining to myself why I have been gone, and why I should not feel guilty about it. And more importantly, making a promise to myself that I am back.

So, What has happened in the past year. The last post I wrote was in the beginning of July last year. Nearly a year ago. This post was one week after my mother died. I have been on a journey with this. Much more so than I expected to be. My mother died of Alzheimer’s, which is called “the long, slow goodbye.” And this is true. My stepdad and I saw this coming for years. We had a long time to grieve and to say goodbye, but that is not really true, is it.

Because, there are stages to it, and many goodbyes, some fast some slow. And, even though you know it is not your mom in front of you, it is someone who very much resembles her, and as long as she is there, you are not finished saying goodbye. I had a very complicated relationship with my mom. For a very long time. Long before the Alzheimer’s. I have been exploring this in therapy, which I cannot recommend enough. Maybe, one day, I will feel strong enough to write more about it in this space, but I guess for now, that is TBD.

So, back to my hiatus. Grief aside. A month after my mother died. I had a gastric bypass surgery. Something that I had been looking forward to and mentally preparing myself for. But, it went sideways. And I went through a very physically, mentally, and emotionally traumatic experience. And I had a long, slow recovery. One would think that I would have had plenty of time to write while I was essentially bed-bound for months, but that was not the case. Because, writing takes inner reserve, strength, and the ability to sort out your thoughts. And I did not even have the mental energy to read the thoughts and imaginings of others.

So, that brings me to today and the hiatus. While working with Katie yesterday, I made an editorial plan with themes for blog posts and social media posts, but that is not me. That is the me that I am working to mold myself into—a person who plans and has it all together. But inmy heart, I am a mood reader and a mood writer.

My theme for this block of time is the Derby. I am from Louisville, so I have plenty of stories of Derby fun. My dad took me to the parade every year when I was child, but he is gone now. Four years, and I still miss him like it happened yesterday. I took my son to the parade every year. But he is 21 now, and we have not been in a decade. And I grieve that young boy who was fascinated by the pooper scoopers walking behind the horses, even though I am so proud to know the young man he has become. And the derby parties. Years worth. Decades worth. Hosted by my mom before she got sick.

So yes, Derby would have been a great theme. They ran yesterday, after all. I don’t know any of the names or who won. While the winning horse crossed the finish line, I was sitting in a Panera with one of my best friends, putting a slot into my calendar to prompt me to write about the Derby. And maybe I will still, but for now. I am joining her in introspection and writing about my own writing hiatus.