Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Family History Writing Challenge-Day 13-Pushing Through Emotional Writing Blocks

Over the past few days, I felt an unsettled sort of disorientation. It has happened every year about this time for the past twenty-three years. At first thought I was tempted to write "twenty-two years"...the number of years since our youngest daughter's death. But that would not be entirely correct, for her conception and birth played an equally unsettling time for me as well as the years following her death. And for that very fact,  great inner turmoil clouded my mind in the days preceding the anniversaries: first of her birth, and then of her death, only eight and a half months later.

Beginning about a month before the anniversary, the event is clear in my thoughts. Awareness. Clarity. No great emotion. Then, as the day creeps its way into the present, a gradual unawareness overcomes me. Perhaps it's not so much unawareness as an unconscious, instinctual survival tactic to enable me to function in the here and now. Suddenly, days of the week become confused, jumbled up as a calendar with its numbers scattered randomly across the month. I find myself asking, What day is it? with greater frequency, until suddenly the day arrives...seeming like it's still at least twenty-four hours away...until the realization becomes heavily apparent: It's today...not tomorrow!

With this year's birthday anniversary behind me, I am now freer to approach whatever task lies ahead. As clouds dissipated by the rushing of a strong wind, as quickly as it came, it leaves me, and skies are blue and filled with brilliant sunlight once again.


Of all the activities a family reunion offers, perhaps the Meet & Greet is the most intimate. For a family historian, it is the time to finally put faces to the records we have so diligently assembled for the family history journal, and a time to get reacquainted with those special family members...those revered elders...the keepers of treasured stories, myths and legends. 

And so when we entered the conference room at the Hampton Inn-Havelock, I searched for those familiar faces. 

Word Count: 338

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