I used to keep a handwritten journal. I love going back to my junior high and high school journals and reading about the things that would happen on an ordinary day of my life during those eras.
One of the things in my life that has caused the most grief is the loss of my ability to write with a pen or pencil. This is not something I talk about much, and even some of my closest friends I have made don’t know this about me until they watch me try to sign my name to something.
Recently I was having lunch with a dear friend I met a few years ago, and my friend took notice of me signing the check to pay for our lunch.
My friend couldn’t believe that we have been friends for several years and she never knew about my condition. I went on to explain my ‘condition’ to her.
Wikipedia does a better job explaining it:
Writer’s cramp, also called mogigraphia and scrivener’s palsy, causes a cramp or spasm affecting certain muscles of the hand and/or fingers. Writer’s cramp is a task-specific focal dystonia of the hand. ‘Focal’ refers to the symptoms being limited to one location (the hand in this case), and ‘task-specific’ means that symptoms first occur only when the individual engages in a particular activity. Writer’s cramp first affects an individual by inhibiting their ability to write.
I know. I know. You didn’t think writer’s cramp was a legit thing. Well, it is. And I got it. I wrote about this condition on a more personal level in this blog entry.
Truth is. One of the reason I like reading my old handwritten journals is because I used to find such joy in filling the pages of those journals with prayers and recounting the moments of my life that I wanted to cherish in my own words and handwriting.
Tonight, a few tears clouded my eyes as I was wrapping up things in the kitchen and living room and getting ready to head to bed.
Grief. When you lose something or someone that is dear to you, grief can hit you at the most unexpected moments.
Tonight it hit as I looked at my kid’s valentine boxes.
Silly. I know.
Deep within my soul I longed to grab a note card and write my kids a love letter to stick in their boxes to find. I had the strong desire to pick up a journal and capture in handwriting the beauty that I found in making those valentine boxes together.
I managed to scribble through a couple of notes to the kids.
But, when I choose to hand write something, I must also choose to endure.
Endure watching my left hand try to write out what my mind is racing to tell it to do. (I can’t write anything with my right hand even though I am technically right-handed)
Endure the scolding I give to myself because what was once gorgeous penmanship is now legible scribble at best.
Endure the pain in my hand, arm, and shoulder that always follows when I choose to hand write something.
Instead of picking up a journal, I headed to the computer.
I want to remember days like these.
Days when I pick my son up from school for a doctor’s appointment and we get to have lunch together. Just the two of us. I want to remember how he bowed his head in the restaurant and prayed loudly for all to hear.
I do not want to forget our conversations in the car coming home from the doctor’s office.
Without prompting how he said to me, “Momma, you know how God has a purpose for everything. Maybe God’s purpose for me having to have these tests run is so that you could meet that nurse that you met and invited to come to church with you.”
I guess he overheard a conversation or two to put all of that together.
I sure don’t want to forget what I was reminded of today after this conversation with my son. Little ears are listening and little eyes are watching. Sometimes the greatest lessons we teach (whether good or bad) are unintentional .
And I sure don’t want to forget the evening we spent together as a family making the kid’s Valentine boxes.
Some of the funnest moments in the Buxton household take place when craft supplies are spread all over the place in a huge mess.
One of the kids commented, “Man we sure have a lot of stuff to clean up.”
My natural reaction to messiness is stress. I want to bring order to the chaos as quickly as possible.
Tonight I gave a response that isn’t quite as natural, but is something I am learning to be truth.
“Sweetheart. Someone once told your daddy and me, a huge mess simply means that the kids had a great time. And that makes it all worth it.”
I will never forget learning that lesson. It was before we had kids of our own. The words came from a Senior adult man who was the custodian of the church where Joe was working at the time. As we watched the custodian clean up after a youth event, Joe made the comment, “Those teenagers sure do make a huge mess.”
The custodian said with a smile, “Yes they do, but I love it. The mess just means they had a good time and that makes it all worth it.”
So, tonight as I fight back the temptation to grieve over not being able to hand write in a journal and want to get stressed out over the mess, I will choose to smile and stay calm.
Even though I have to type it out instead of hand write it….
It was a day I want to remember.
Did you notice in the pictures that the Winter Tree is still up? I actually had taking it down on my list of things to do today…but there was a chance of snow tonight and so I decided I should leave it up for good luck.