Each January I choose a focus word for the coming year (aka one little word) which I use as a prompt for personal growth.  This year, my word was resignation:  the acceptance of something undesirable but inevitable.

I recently began blogging again, after a two-year struggle with literary laryngitis. My loss of voice can be attributed to a series of tragedies (for lack of a better word) that consumed my once tightly-knit family over the course of five years, under the guise of dementia, alcoholism and estrangement.

The sweet little house my husband and I call home, sits on the bank of a rocky creek that spills endlessly down the side of a woodsy mountain. Ironically, I successfully managed the construction of the house, while my extended family fell apart. I sought comfort in the serenity of my wooded environs.  So while the following water-related analogy makes perfect sense to me, I can only hope that it does so to others.

To sum it up, my collective tragedies were to me, like stones fallen into the creek - at first causing little more than ripples in the water.  With time however, the protruding stones gathered debris; other stones washed downstream and collected around them. The ripples became dark, raging rapids.

Each year, those of us living along Mill Creek must wade in and remove the larger stones and obstructions that threaten to turn our serene little waterway into a tumult.  If we don't take action, water will eventually wash up over the bank, causing chaos and destruction.

Spunky little go-getter that I am, I never hesitate to do what I must to avoid pending disaster, or to lessen its impact.  But, in the case of my family, the stones I attempted to move, had been in the water too long. Try as I might, they were either too slippery, or too deeply embedded in muck to be moved. A flood was inevitable.

I'd like to believe that I fought the good fight against the darkness that enveloped my world, but I couldn't prevent the blackness from spilling out when I put pen to paper (or, fingers to keyboard). I felt I had no choice but to resign myself (there's that one little word) to the fact that I was speechless.

I stopped writing altogether (a welcome end to hours spent staring at a blank computer screen), and threw my creative energy into something else, my photography. Through the lens of my camera, I found I could still successfully focus on other things in my life.

Months have crept by.  Most of the immovable stones remain in the creek that is my life, but I've learned to accept the white water around them as a new normal.  I've resigned (there it is again) that I am powerless to heal my broken family, but I'll never stop hoping that it might be healed.

Years ago, I had the joy and honor of attending seminars by one of the world's greatest living equestrians, Germany's Conrad Schumacher.  The advice Mr. Schumacher offered his students for successfully riding a 1000 pound animal competitively, was to concentrate solely on controlling the controllables.

In deference to Mr. Schumacher, I put my energy into healing what I could of myself, letting the rest go. And while still a bit raspy, I rejoice in the fact that I'm no longer silent.

Grandson Conor, sitting among the stones. 


  1. Oh wow, loved your words. Not raspy to me at all. What an amazing analogy for dealing with tough family issues. I feel you on this one. Welcome to the hop and CONGRATS on writing again!!

  2. This is my first visit here, and I am moved by the quality of your voice and what you have to say so eloquently. Your creek is very beautiful, though I know it may not always be tranquil. Glad to find you.

  3. Glad you made it to the hop! While you may have braved the rapids, you voice is crystal clear. Thanks for sharing a tough subject.

  4. As another clearing stones from the rapids I recognise the pain I can hear in your voice. I'm thankful you joined in so eloquently. Hope things start to calm down for you, or the new rapids become less painful at least.

  5. Loved your post! I wandered over here from somewhere else ... anyway, I'm glad I found your blog. I've enjoyed reading through your posts from the past year.

    The creek analogy with the stones and the ripples - great! So glad you're finding your way and reclaiming your voice!



  6. The obvious quality of your voice in this post is so moving. I'm so glad you joined us in our wee Blog Hop!

  7. "Literary laryngitis"... I love it! I, for one, am so glad you are writing again.

  8. So glad to see you writing again...it's obvious from this post alone that you definitely have a lovely voice. Welcoome back.