While on my recent vacation to Wisconsin, I read the book “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch. It’s a heartfelt little book, filled with useful life lessons based on Pausch’s own life. The book was originally delivered as a lecture at Carnegie Mellon university where Pausch was a professor, and was subsequently adapted into this book. The poignant twist behind this book is that it was written while Pausch was dying of pancreatic cancer. Pausch knew he would soon be leaving his wife and three young children, so he used this lecture and book as a tool to be able to share with his children the life lessons that he would not be around to pass on to them in person. It’s an uplifting read, and I recommend taking the time to at least page through it if you have the chance.
I have come to view this blog of mine as somewhat of a “last lecture” as well. I’m not planning or expecting to die anytime soon, but I know that it can happen. The fragility of life has been driven home to me recently by two things: first of all, the fact that my Grandma is probably not long for this world, and secondly, that C, my “mother’s helper,” has been motherless for most of her life. C is an eighth grader; I believe her mother died when she was a baby or young toddler. Her father never remarried, and she has no siblings. Her loss struck me the other day as I was talking to her about calling my mom and relating some interaction that she and I had had — and I realized that C could not relate, would never BE able to relate to the story I had shared. I felt so horribly sorry for her. And my next thought was: What if that happens to ME? What will MY girls remember of me? Lyd would likely remember me, but considering that she’s just shy of 5 years old, she probably wouldn’t remember all that much, especially as time went on. Little Baby J turns one this week, and she would likely remember nothing of me. Nothing at all. I am the absolute center of her tiny world, and yet if I were to suddenly be gone, she wouldn’t even remember me. That’s a sobering thought. And while it probably won’t happen to me, ALL of us know of a person to whom that HAS happened.
So, as I share my views on religion, give glimpses into my growth as a person, share my likes and dislikes, spout off judgements and opinions on various topics, and share stories about my daughters and how I am feeling about their growth, I hope that someday, whether I’m around or not, my girls will read what I’ve written and find encouragement and comfort. I blog for myself and my own enjoyment, to be sure, but just as surely, I also blog for my two amazing daughters.
I have this idea of someday turning my blog into a book. I don’t forsee the kind of book that would sell on Amazon.com, or even garner a close-to-the-door display at Northwestern Publishing House, but rather a book that would be just for my girls. I recently found a website (www.blurb.com) where you can, for a fee, download your blog and they will turn it into a professionally bound book for you. That’s what I would like to do someday. I would want just enough copies for each of my children. I don’t want all of this writing of mine to be lost in cyberspace someday. I spend a lot of time on this blog, probably more than I should. But if I am going to spend that time, I want it to last into the future. Hopefully I can find a way to do just that.