I started keeping a journal in 1975 by 1987 the numbers of boxes and the information within became a risk. The weight alone would be a strain if I was going to move. Being in my mom house I knew they were safe, knowing she would never read them, but what if some else did? The thought sent a cold chill through my heart. Within the pages was many very raw feeling, from everything I had gone through so far in my life. Were meant only for me! What if I died or if I had succeeded in my attempts at suicide. What was I thinking? Only of myself, that for sure!
Having gained tools to handle and deal with what was within those pages. Taking one book at a time, saving the good and life changing events, lessons learned and a few things I hadn’t yet made peace with. Over the years I had started removing names allowing the pain to fade, seeing all that I was continuing to hold on to. It wasn’t helpful instead it was holding me back, watching as I let it go falling into the well of forgiveness and feeling my heart beating as if for the first time.
In 1989 I took a hard look at my part in screwing up my life and taking responsibility for the choices I made and how I had allowed others to treat me. Mom helped me see that playing the blame game wasn’t going to get me anywhere. There was never a doubt that she loved me. Mom knew I had been working on condensing my journals for years, and wanted to know what I had learned and what I was planning do with them now? Telling her I’ve made them into more of a way of reflecting on what I’ve learned, forgiving things people did that hurt me and forgiving myself for allowing it to happen! By removing the names and letting the pain go. Understanding it’s about the lessons that living life has taught me, making it what it is today. My written reflections I had no intension of sharing them with anyone but her.
When I was diagnosed with Multiply Sclerosis in 2001 Mom wanted me to write them out into the form their in now. In 2003 writing became harder and too painful to write much at all, I was still working. By the end of 2005 I had to stop working. In 2006 One trip to the emergency room without health insurance, it was time to move into the city, so I could start going to V.A. hospital. Mom was very glad we did, she worried so much about me. The landlords were friends, so it worked out good for everyone. Only 15 minutes from the V.A. very handy indeed.
Was given an old computer by our friends, when mom heard this she asked are you ready to get back to writing again? So I got back to writing. Mom was my editor with her 8th grade education and my spelling it was good enough for the two of us. My losing the ability to drive and Moms health and eye sight declining, no one knew she was recognizing people by the sound of their voices. My brothers and I knew how bad her health problems were. This information she didn’t want shared with anyone, if asked tell them I’m fine and that’s what I did. She asked so little it was her choice if I disagreed to bad it wasn’t my choice to make. We had gotten through almost all of them. Then Mom asked me to write one about her, using her words and way of looking at the world and living her life. It’s on my blog; May 19, 2011 the title is Mother, Grandmother, Auntie and Friend.
She wanted me to make my writing into a book along with The Journey of Finding Myself and Living with Multiple Sclerosis or to get them published. That wasn't why I started writing them in the first place! Well I think posting them here is good enough.
My Written Reflections
By Mary K. Mennenga
The list of titles
1. A Dream
2. My Dearest Love
3. What I’ve Learned So far
4. Without Hope
5. Love Is Not Blind
6. At What Cost
7. When You Truly Love
8. Why Do You…Why don’t you
9. Life As I see It
10. Why Not!
11. To A Dear Friend
13. The Truth About Guilt
14. The Thing About Worry
15. What Do You Really Mean?
16. In The Span Of Life It’s The Middle That Matters
17. This Is For The Few That Feel The Help Given Wasn’t Much Help At All
18. An Ending Maybe Or Not
19. Love As A Word And A Feeling
20. How Things Workout
21. Did You Know
22. The Bond Between Friends
23. It’s Up To You
24. It’s Odd, But Really Not So Much
25. What Is It That Makes Pity So Painful?
26. Making Assumption
27. You Being You Is Amazing
28. A Thunderstorm Brings Peace
29. The Step You’ve Taken Together Today
30. When A Friendship Changes or Ends
31. If You Could See Past Disability
32. Fighting An Unseen Foe
33. Misunderstanding It’s Not A Choice
34. One Cold Wind
35. Common Not All Are Capable
36. June 1980
37. One Man By Unsure
38. Win, Win
39. If I Had The Ability To Read Minds
41. Questions Don’t Mean Answers
44. Abilities, Capabilities and Choices!
45. Love Lost Hate Forever
46. It’s Happening Now
47. To Pitch Or Keep
48. Sharing The Depth Of Love
49. It’s Automatic
51. Questions Of Faith Tested
52. Meaning The Most
53. Why is When…?