Monday, December 3, 2007


Usually I can burp out a blog posting in no time. It just flows out and in a few minutes, I'm done. But for some reason I've been wrestling with a post all week and it still doesn't feel right.

I had a whole paragraph about all the people who have asked lately if I had kids or how Lillian is doing (3 people in 4 days). And I came up with some entertaining examples of the different types of reactions I receive after people hear the news of her death. But it just feels...I don't know...whiny maybe? Or judgmental? I can't put my finger on it. Regardless, if I don't know what point I'm trying to make then it can't be worth sharing with you! Or maybe it just needs a bit more time to marinate.

I will share something that has been on my mind a lot. Lately I've been feeling defined by Lillian's cancer. It's like my life began the day Lillian was diagnosed. It has shaped the way I experience everything so I guess it's fair to say it has forever changed me. But I want this experience to refine me, not define me. Does that make sense? The problem is that I have no idea how to move from one to the other. Maybe it comes with time...

Huh, I guess this point is going to require some more marinating as well.


Beth December 7, 2007 at 6:27 PM  

It is good to see you posting again. I have been thinking of both you and Jeff. I keep checking both sites waiting for anything. So, even just a note about marinating is good to see.

You make a great point about wanting to be refined by the experience rather than defined. I have actually had a couple of parents of kids I have worked with say similar things. That they feel like they are constantly being defined as a parent of an autistic child or by Autism itself. While they are proud of their children, they don't want to be defined by the experience yet fight for their child and the cause. Truly I think both will happen. People may define you by the experience, yet you are really a person who is by the definition refined by the experience. The definition I like best of refine is to improve something by small changes. Well Lori guess what you are doing this!! By raising money for cancer, continuing to support your cancer families and the list could go on and on. I hope this all makes sense, but I really like to look at it with all the families that I work with that they are refined by their experiences and not defined by them. Look at how you personally have grown and changed through the experience (I would call that refined). Enough of my rambling. Can you tell I missed your posts :) Beth

Anonymous December 7, 2007 at 9:57 PM  

Of all of the postings that you have written, this one has hit closest to home for me. For a decade now, I have felt 'defined' by my mother's death, partially because of the loss and experience itself and partially because it is something that no one else around me (outside my family) could even come close to comprehending. I don't think that feeling will ever completely go away for me, but I hope that it lessens as other important events occur in my life (as it lessened a bit when Lillian was born). Michelle

Anonymous December 8, 2007 at 8:53 PM  

i've been "marinating" my thoughts on how to respond to this post. i know the rules... meaning i know i have to respond... so i had to take some time to think about it... not wanting to "burp" anything out, and all. :) i had to think about whether or not i feel the same way. i've never thought about it that way before in my life... but reading this post made me think about it. my parents' deaths have definitely defined me. it's hard not to let a parent's death define you when it happens to you at a young age... but then when my mom got sick and died... i guess her death defined me even further. but i think i'm ok with that, honestly. but i also think it's great to strive for more... to never let what has happened to you keep you stuck in one place. but the thing about it is... lillian's death is still so fresh... it hasn't even been a year. you have to give yourself some time to be defined by it... even if you don't want to. and honestly it will probably never go away. but you can be refined by it as well! you can be both. this post has made me think about my own life, and that's what i want. and i pray for you each and every day... that you will continue, each and every day, to be healed a little more. but you know that wounds, even though healed, usually leave scars behind... we're never quite the same. but the scars are what make us beautiful. i love you. your presence in my life has helped to define me as well. and i hope you know how much you inspire so many people, myself included!! here's to your refinement!! but, in my oh-so-humble opinion, you are perfect the way you are. :) -Becci :)

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