100k Beautiful Followers!
Last night, my family gathered around the computer and we watched - 99,990 amazing people following my writing. Each time we hit the refresh button, it would raise just a little higher: 99,999. I couldn’t believe that we had come this far! When the screen read 100,000, cheers were loud and high fives were exchanged between Rob, Lex, Kate and myself. It was a glorious moment! Shortly after, my other two sons called to congratulate me on this personal accomplishment. Satchel, my youngest, called it “a blessing”, causing tears to quietly roll from my cheek on to the carpet beneath me.
Later that night, Kate asked if it made me sad that my mom wasn’t here to see this. I gave this great thought. In all honesty, I don’t know that I would have been able to launch such an honest display of my struggles and hurt if I knew my mother could read it. I am not sure what my writing would have been like if my mother was still alive, but I know it would have been a lot different than what it has become.
She knew I was attending the UCLA Extension: Writer’s Program and that I wrote short stories, but I never showed her my work and she never asked to see it. I would guess it was because I couldn’t handle seeing the disappointment in her eyes if she didn’t like my words. She did, after all, come from a generation where writing wasn’t exactly the most admired profession. It takes a rather narcissistic mind to think that another person’s thoughts are worth changing yourself. I left a wall I had built so many years ago in tact, I wonder, was that the right move?
The lights were off and I was staring at the plastic stars that covered our bedroom ceiling - glowing far past the moments our eyes closed, our dreams running wild. I could see the moon through my window, silently omnipotent in the answer it provided. My writing style was my mother’s gift to me.
Her death has guided me on a path of true transparency that I hope will help others realize they’re not alone in their grief, even if only for a moment. She never was specific with her articulation of how I would be able to go on without her, but she knew I could. She understood that one day, if I didn’t at least try to write, I would be as dead as she soon would be. Too soon.
I am not suggesting that she passed away so I could write. Instead, I understand that in her departure, she has given me her blessing to do what I was born to do. She now lives through my writing and memories. I accept your wisdom, Mom. I will make you proud. I hope I have already. I hope.
Yesterday, we hit 100,000 beautiful followers on this page. It has been an incredible journey, and it wouldn’t have been possible without those of you who have kept me going, even when I was at my lowest. Lex and I thank each and every one of you that has supported us along the way. I’m honored to call you guys my friends. Let’s talk again tomorrow. I’ll bring the coffee. -Ruth