It all began with a truly innocuous question by Younger Son. He and his Young Lady stopped by the the house early yesterday afternoon to kill a half an hour after their Shabbat teaching commitments at the synagogue were completed. When they arrived, they caught me in the middle of trying to figure out which artist I was about to feature in the Shabbat Music Break for the day's post. Seeing that I was a bit stressed about the whole exercise (not really-but he thought so) he asked in his not at all confrontational manner, (HA!!)
"Mom, would it really hurt if you didn't post for one day?"
I was thrown. Seriously! For a proverbial loop. Thrown! As I attempted to formulate a response, I stepped back and gave it sober thought. Would it? I mean, really? What am I truly gaining from this blogapalooza? Could I handle a NaBloPoMo that featured 29 posts instead of 30? Or 28? Or 27?
While he stood there awaiting my answer, I mumbled some incoherent bullshit about following through on a promise to myself and how one should always finish what one starts. You know.... typical good mother answers. But, he had triggered some serious doubt within me. Have I merely embarked on a narcissistic exercise, or is there anybody out there who finds my ramblings and tortuous verbal labyrinths remotely interesting?
Fate is a funny thing, because I found the answer later that afternoon in a hospital room. The Husband and I went to visit a cousin who has been confined due to serious illness for several months. As if her own maladies and subsequent surgery weren't enough to wreak havoc on body and soul, she has been forced to endure weeks of isolation due to contracting one of those dreaded institutional borne antibiotic-resistant staph infections. This week she was moved to a rehab facility and finally felt ready to receive visitors outside of her immediate family.
We spent some time catching up with the usual questions about her recovery, family, and of course what comes next, when my curiousity took over. I just had to ask....
"How did you combat the chronic boredom that must have accompanied your isolation?"
She told us of going stir crazy, of course. There is only so much reading and so many crossword puzzles anybody can do. But then she showed me her iPad and she told me that she was reading my blog daily. I laughed, thanked her, and responded that she must have been incredibly desperate in her search for things to pass the time, but she was serious. She said that she enjoyed it. By reading it she felt connected to things other than her illness. She told me to keep them coming. She has at least another week inside, which coincidentally will take me almost to the end of this blogfest. I was humbled and touched.
So, at last I have an answer for Younger Son. Yes mein zein*, it would hurt if I didn't finish this exercise. It is so easy to get wrapped up in ourselves that we often forget that our lives touch others, even in the most cursory of ways. I never started blogging with any delusions that anybody other than close family would read. I saw it merely as a way to journal in a more technologically friendly manner. But, something changed along the way. People reached out. We don't always have to agree, but the connections are priceless.
*mein zein is Yiddish for "my son"