Diagnose and Adios. It’s a phrase often associated with neurodegenerative disorders and children with special needs. I first heard it a year or so ago from a neurologist, a friend, who had just diagnosed one of my older family members with Alzheimer’s disease.
She was saying it in a sympathetic vain, lamenting the sad reality that (in some cases) there’s not much doctors can do to help their patients beyond identifying the problem and perhaps slowing the rate of disease. And that’s only if the patient is willing to receive treatment, which many are not. Families come to the doctor’s office to see what they can do to help their loved ones, only to be sent away with a weighty diagnosis and best wishes.
In some cases, the doctor is the problem, true. But in many cases, the doctor’s hands are tied. In any case, it’s an unfortunate turn of phrase. And in this case (or this post), there’s an added twist.
Diagnose and Adios
I often think in titles. That’s a writer for you. This title came to me soon after I finally sat down and started writing about what’s been heavy on my mind for the past few weeks.
Since I started working on my blog in earnest, around August of last year, we have received two novel diagnoses for Isaac. One in September that was hard to swallow, and another in late February, an odd balance between kick-in-the-gut and welcome revelation. There was no way for us to know, when I “went live” with Gray Colored Glasses, that in just a few short months we would be in the place we are now.
And I’ve been sitting with the reality for the last two weeks, maybe longer, that there is no way for me to do what I set out to do with my blog, at least not in this season of life. Diagnose (my precious son), and Adios (to my blog).
Yes, friends, this is a “signing off for now” post. Whatever my dreams of being a successful writer-blogger, a real contributor in the realm of thoughtful parenting and adult life, even–dare I say it–a social media influencer, advocating deeper understanding, awareness, and compassion…my family’s needs supersede them all. And that’s coming from a good feminist, too.
I love my family with all I’ve got, and I just happen to have a child who needs me more than most children need their mamas. Anyone who has such a child knows that it affects every aspect of your life: work, home, health, social patterns, family relationships. Some of these things, I cannot let slide. The blog, I can. Diagnose and Adios.
Who knows, I may still post from time to time. But I can’t commit to it the way I’d intended. I expected to be posting at least twice a week, which dwindled over time to once a week, then once every two weeks. Then it became something I just couldn’t keep up with at all. I’m sad, because I really wanted this to happen and I have thoroughly enjoyed building this community. But I have to let myself off the hook, even if it’s an imaginary hook of my own creation.
A word on Isaac
I’m not ready to share the diagnoses by name, as I’m sure you will understand. Maybe I will eventually. Maybe not. I’m the Mom, writing my story, and there are aspects of that story that belong to Isaac more than to me. I have always tried to walk that fine line.
Isaac is and will be okay. He has parents who love him and will be with him every step of the way. If you know Isaac, as many of you do, you know he is a remarkable child, who overcomes more every day than most kids do in a year. He is strong and resilient and unphased by this new phase. He is and will be okay.
Receiving a diagnosis is not always bad. Both of the diagnoses are treatable and offer a new angle on improving Isaac’s health (and as a result, our entire family’s quality of life). So while the past six months or so have been deeply challenging, we also feel a new sense of hope and possibility. Like we have a rare opportunity to put back together some pieces of our life that have felt out of control for way too long. In many ways, we are rebuilding.
Thank you for your support
If you’re reading this, you are probably one of my best supporters. I thank you, all of you, who have read, shared, and commented on my posts. If you’re following Gray Colored Glasses, you will still receive an email if and when I post to the blog. I may also keep circulating some of my writing via Facebook and/or Pinterest, my go-to social media outlet. In fact, one of my favorite pet projects over the past few months has been setting up my business page on Pinterest, which I’d love for you to follow.
And I am still committed to finishing Everyday Miracles: A Storybook Series Based on the Nurtured Heart Approach®, with two more books coming down the pike. If you haven’t already, you can check out my first two books, Saturday Surprise and Playtime Pickle, on Amazon. Whatever time I might have devoted to the blog, I will likely be putting into book three, which is currently in rough draft format, and later, book four.
Since you’re my “inner circle,” you’ll be the first to learn the title for book three. Wait for it…King of Swing, which I hope to publish by the end of 2020.
Lessons learned, and still learning
I am still glad I took this leap. I have learned far more from this process than I even imagined, from building my own site to the evolving rules of SEO, to the algorithms of Facebook and Pinterest, when to post for highest views, how to create original pins, and more. For me, one of the most important takeaways is just knowing what it takes to host a blog. I could have guessed what it would be like, but I really didn’t know until I tried.
I went back and forth for a long time, several years actually, over whether my idea, Gray Colored Glasses, should be a blog or a book. When I started the blog, I still wasn’t sure. I’m not sure now, either. But if and when the time comes that I can devote more attention to my writing (and it feels good to do it), I’ll have a far more informed sense of blogging as a medium. I have tasted it, and I liked it.
For now, though, it’s adios. I keep thinking of a quote I saw on Pinterest several years ago that has stayed with me. Theologically, I might take issue with it. But in my particular experience as a mom, I choose to embrace it. Maybe you’ve seen it, too. “Your greatest contribution to the kingdom of God may not be something you do but someone you raise.”
I have said for years that if I had a job I would have lost it, many times over, for all of the obstacles and interruptions we’ve endured. It is clear to me what my work is right now. And there’s something very peaceful about clarity. I am ready to let go, to exhale. And the more I can let go of, the better position I’ll be in to hold my family together through this rebuilding season of life. Diagnose and Adios.
It’s tempting to be resentful, but I will be grateful instead, for fewer obligations, and more time and energy to focus on what is right before me. That is a luxury not everyone has, and I don’t take it for granted.
Adios is not forever. But it is for now. Sincere thanks, friends.