Today, the third anniversary since we lost our Mom to breast cancer, we launch Butterfly Daughters, our blog and tribute to her.
Just after Mom died, we had planned to create a memorial booklet that we could share with our family and friends. But, as much as we wanted to do that, Mom's death was just too raw for us then, and remained so for the weeks and months that followed. Three years later, no memorial booklet!
Of late I've felt a little unsettled, not really feeling my place in the world. I know I need a change, but what that change is I have no idea. For someone who is fairly self-assured and organized, this feeling is frustrating as hell. Added to that is a sense of something heavy hanging over me, something that tells me I'm not facing every opportunity that presents itself to me with my usual gusto!
Normally, when I feel a bit lost and unsure of what to do with myself, I like to write about things that amuse me. Typically, these writings live on my laptop and once I'm done with them, they get ignored. Now, I need to clarify that statement. What I write will never win any awards, but when I write it's to please the short attention span I have! I am not known for keeping still. I fidget, I fuss and I get bored very easily. I have the attention span of a gnat, so anything that gives me focus is.. oh look, shiny! (you heard that joke right?). That's what writing does for me.
To appease this something floating over me, I started dabbling with the idea of a blog, mostly to share my experience of breast cancer, the subsequent treatments, my continuously evolving eating choices - I've been a carnivore, pescatarian, vegetarian, and now I am a curious dabbler of veganism! If others could take my experiences and use them to make choices for themselves (or not), then I figured I was doing a good thing. Paying it forward, so to speak.
As the third anniversary of Mom's death loomed over me, I realized I had to get off my butt and just do something about it. No more waiting for the world to meet me and tell me what I should do on a neatly written stone tablet. Mom would be disappointed in me that I wasn't doing something that was so obviously waiting to be done.
About six weeks ago, after tossing and turning all night thinking about the blog, I figured out that I had completely focused this on me and my needs. If Mom was to be the inspiration, then there were at least two other people who might want to to join me. I didn't need to do this alone. And even if no one reads the blog (although I hope they do), I would have an outlet for the frustrated writer in me, we would have a home for Mom's long overdue memorial, and last, but by no means least, I could share something very personal with my two best friends - my sisters, Guida and Sarah.
It was not surprising that my sisters immediately jumped on board with the idea. The concept of using the technology that flummoxed Mom so often to pay tribute to her life is hugely amusing to us. That and the fact that the three of us have some fairly insightful things to share (at least we think we do!) about our Mom, cancer and the relationships that surround it. Survivorship is not something that involves only cancer survivors - it is almost impossible to achieve without our loved ones and friends, our support network - co-survivors - and not forgetting those we have lost.
I have to thank both of them for the many hours and weekends they spent scanning in photographs that Mom and they had stored away in albums and photo wallets to make this possible. That said, they did require substantial fortification of the "vino" kind to get through the unbearably lengthy task.
So, here it is. The product of our labor and love for each other, and a dedication to our Mom. All done while we were 3,000 miles apart! Not only were the days and weeks preparing for the launch of this site fun and challenging, we were reminded of the things that are important in life. And, despite what Sarah calls my OCD for hyperactive, active, active, active control ( ! ), I've had fun doing this with my two favorite people.
The memorial to our mother lives in a private section of the blog to share with our family and friends. But, fear not! While the blog - THINKING - is primarily about survivorship, we also share tidbits of Mom's life, including some funny memories of how she dealt with her own cancer battle. Also, have a look at the LIVING section where we share photos tied to the blog.
So, enjoy reading and exploring with us! And if you are interested in sharing any part of our site, please do take the time to read our republishing policy before you do.