An important anniversary slipped by last month, but it is not too late to celebrate! It’s the anniversary of Searching for EMWA!
While I technically started blogging on Caring Bridge in December 2011 to update family and friends outside of New Orleans (where Terry and I were living at the time of my diagnosis) and I was able to roll those posts into my WordPress account, my first official EMWA post was a simple little piece, Blogging About EMWA with a beautiful pic taken at the Cottage on 11/19/2012. I followed it up the next day with a look back to Thanksgiving 2011–Before BC officially entered our world.
One of the ways I processed my new cancer reality during the spring of 2012, was by reading all of these amazingly honest, insightful, humorous, blunt, brash and lyrical blogs written by women (primarily) experiencing breast cancer (primarily), often lovingly curated and brought together by Marie at Journeying Beyond Breast Cancer. While I wanted to get into the mix and move beyond my Caring Bridge account, I didn’t have the guts to do it. It took the gentle nudging of my wonderful therapist (who I lucked out to find when my PTSD surfaced) in the fall of 2012 to take the risk and start to blog. I will be forever grateful that she did–and I was in a place where I could.
160 posts later, I think I can officially claim that I blog. WordPress is fun in that it supplies you with stats and insights as to the popularity of your posts, where your readership is reading from, etc. My most prolific year so far was 2013–where I published 79 posts! Wow! There was sure a lot going on that year and I definitely was living life fully. From Mardi Gras and Super Bowl XLIV in New Orleans, to taking on a writing challenge in April and another one in October, to weighing in on Angelina Jolie’s preemptive surgery, I was definitely writing. And people were reading! 🙂
I do find a certain irony in that my most popular post of the year was Mardi Gras 2013–Final Week and that the most popular search terms to find my posts included ‘boobs’. I don’t think they were looking for uni-boobers! 🙂
What is fascinating is that there were more visitors to EMWA the next year; however, I only published 21 posts. Granted, 2014 was quite the year. The move back to Chicago, our Zoey being diagnosed with a brain tumor and my only sibling–my sister, Barb, being diagnosed with breast cancer, pretty much defined my year–and my writing.
In 2015, I only composed 13 posts on Searching for EMWA, but I put in an effort to write (20 posts) for my family history blog A Home for the Family Tree. I did share a couple of these posts here: A Reclamation Project about reclaiming a family photo collection of my in-laws and Y & Z…is for Ypsilanti and Zora which was a summary of the different posts I wrote for the challenge. I really was focused on relationships that year, wasn’t I? Besides looking at the family history connections and the loss of our dear Zoey and it being an Unique Blessing, I also wrote about my bungie-like relationship to the breast cancer blogging community and how “blogging is an opportunity to give and receive support while sorting through this thing called life” in Tethered and just how exciting it was to luck upon Recovery on Water and the world of ROW.
Oh my, and then there was 2016. Now that was a tough year and the fact that I only put together 10 new posts, says a great deal. Losing my 96-year old grandmother, moving back into our condo, and the decision being made to sell the family cottage in northern Michigan, really sent my world into a place where I felt as if I had lost control. That feeling of being Lost In Transition lingered well into 2017, but it was pretty profound for much of 2016. There were moments, though, where the magic showed through and my sister and I were able to share a few giggles on a beautiful fall day.
This December sure has been a little calmer for my family than December 2016 when Barb was back in the hospital battling a nasty case of pneumonia!
Finally, we are up to 2017, where I started by celebrating my 49th birthday on Antigua (which I still haven’t had a chance to truly savour), but the rest of the year was sure a mixed bag. 15 new posts (this one makes 16) dealing with My Life Feeling Out of Whack and using old movies as a form of self-care; challenging myself to push my physical limits as a rower; celebrating a job well done with my first class of IB Diploma graduates; Bearing Witness while participating in the Women’s March in DC; reflecting on my time as a Peace Corps Volunteer on Antigua as well as visiting her sister island, Barbuda, which was pummeled by Hurricane Irma this year. I also recognized the passing of some very special people–fellow rower, Christa Cannon; Terry’s uncle, Father Nicholas; and blogosphere member Karen TC–The Commentor.
And finally, wrapping up these 5 years of posts is this:
Awesomesauce. So cool that so many have followed along with Searching for EMWA. I wonder where the next 5 years will take me?
And, about the ‘Best Views Ever’? It’s the post I wrote in tribute to Christa. I know she would be tickled.
Good work, Jo!!!
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