Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: ABSENCE MAKES THE HEART GROW FONDER (02/28/19)
By Laurie Glass
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For years, I wrote and wrote and wrote, until suddenly I couldn’t anymore. Words began to elude me. They weren’t in the back of my mind nor were they on the tip of my tongue. It was like they ceased to exist, leaving nothing but blank spaces behind them. It was unnerving to deal with their absence. At times, I couldn’t form cohesive sentences, so I couldn’t converse. Even reading became a chore. I looked at the words, but they remained on the screen. My mind couldn’t take them in. Processing information required too much mental energy, energy I didn’t have.
I used to wonder what I would do when I retired. I didn’t know, but I thought, I’ll always have my writing. It didn’t occur to me that this skill might someday be stolen from me. I never expected to be stricken with a chronic illness that would make concentrating and word finding so difficult.
I focused on being grateful that I wrote what I did when I was able and accomplished my goals. I found some consolation in knowing that I’d relayed the messages God prompted me to share and that those words were still out there to touch people for years to come. Even so, I longed to be creative again, and I grieved.
I loved and appreciated the capacity to write. But after losing it, I felt so empty. I needed something in my days besides struggling to do only the bare necessities to care for myself. While I accepted many things about this changed life, I still wished to express myself and touch others like I had in the past. Losing that talent seemed like too much.
Then, at a time when my health worsened and I felt hopeless, I needed to find a way to cope. To keep my sanity, I used my sense of humor. I felt I had to laugh to help me endure. My mind began to string some silly words together in a very simple, conversational style. From that, I wrote rant attacks, which were my way of bellyaching yet putting a humorous spin on my complaints. Then I wrote comical words and lyrics to poems and songs. It was all in fun, and yet it was so much more than that. I was doing something creative again. While it wasn’t the same as in the past, I was gradually returning to something I adored, missed, and yearned to do again.
I’ve repeatedly and tearfully thanked God for the ability to write again. I loved writing before, but now I cherish it in a new way. I cling to it, not knowing how long it will last. For now, I’m grateful for every message that occupies my mind, filters through my heart, and finds its way out my fingertips. While it doesn’t come with the same ease, and I still struggle with processing information, concentrating, and word finding, I have enough clear-headed times to write. I’m grateful for the big words, little words, serious words, funny words, rhyming words, and even made-up words. Each one is a gift.
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