Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Getting Through Tough Times (May Theme) by Bob Krech

A lot has been said this month about getting through the tough times of writing, but I've also experienced writing helping get me through the tough times of life.

Twenty-one years ago on a cold November evening at 5:35 p.m. my daughter Faith was born. She was born at twenty-two weeks gestation and weighed in at 450 grams. I learned that day that there are 454 grams in a pound. Not a fact I carried around in my head up to that point.

I've never been a journal or diary writer, but from that first scary night when the doctor urged us to just keep our daughter warm and let her pass on, to the wonderful ride home from the hospital five months later, I found myself taking notes compulsively as we plunged into a crash course in neonatology. I wrote down all the numbers that came flying at us; blood gas levels, respirator rates, oxygen percentages, heart rate, medicine dosages, as well as anything and everything nurses or doctors actually said.

Faith Krech, Guilford College Sophomore
I wasn't doing any of this with an eye toward turning it into articles or a book. It was like a mechanism that helped me keep a handle on everything and maintain some perspective. Soon it turned into capturing some of the moments I knew I did not want to forget. Like the first snowfall I saw from the one window in the NICU. Or the day they removed the respirator tube because she could finally breathe on her own. The writing even gave me a place to express and explore my thoughts about what was happening and maybe even why.

I know I've also used writing to explore, express, and figure out my feelings on different issues and situations in the world at large and in my own personal life, both past and present. Often it's easier and more effective for me to write it out than talk it out. Sometimes I can retreat into the writing and take a break in that imaginary world I've constructed there. It can be an escape, but also a place to work on "stuff." As well as a tool to help cope and sort things when it all gets crazy. Certainly not a bad thing to have during tough times.

6 comments:

  1. Wonderful reminder of the power of our craft, Bob. Congratulations on your beautiful daughter!

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    1. Thanks! She is an English major with a religion minor. Go figure.

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  2. Bob, thanks for sharing how writing lit up the darkness for you, and your miracle of Faith! She's lovely! Great story!

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    1. Thank you. I feel very comfortable sharing this sort of story with this group. Very supportive and open folks.

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  3. Thank you for sharing this and so glad we are here reading about your daughter twenty years later. Writing really can get you through those tough, though times.

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  4. What a beautiful story...and a beautiful young woman!

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