My mother died when I was a young Mum, very young actually, I was in my early 20’s with four children already. Then a baby girl later, who never met her Nan. But we all know that. What we forget is that Mum was the mother to 5 other children, two of whom were girls. She was OUR mother. She left three daughters, very young women all. And Mum was young too… 49 (actually she was 50 but she said to say 49. It is more dramatic, she whispered – cancer did not interfere with her sense of humour.) But my little sister was still a teenager when her Mum died.
50 is such a rich time in a woman’s life because 50 is very close to the Change of Life. The Big Secret. The Witching time. The aging. The Menopause. I know this is a shocking word. Menopause. I know by saying this word many of you turn off. You become furtive, what if they think we are obsolete if we are infertile, you think. Many of you look over your shoulder and hope ‘The Men’ are not reading. We live in a society that worships youth. The menopausal woman has been trained to Shut Up about it. But I have no idea what to expect. My Mum never reached menopause. So my map is incomplete. If she had, Mum would have known what to say to me and my sisters. But my Mum is not here. Mum is not here to say that Menopause is OK, it is not dirty or sad. It is a beginning time. Or is it a long time? I don’t know.
But what am I to tell my little sister? What shall I tell her? How shall I draw the pathway that she will follow. I am the oldest. I want to write a letter for my sisters.
So I thought I would ask you. Many of you have mothers who can teach us, many of you are old enough to be able to tell me real stuff I can pass on to my sisters. Many of you have gone through the woman-a-pause and are in a gentler phase. Many of you are men who have been through the menopause with your mothers, or your wives. Many of you are young women watching your own mothers struggle or not struggle. Maybe menopause is simple for some women. Did you feel the need to buy a red sports car? Did you have dizziness or hot faces? Were you a little drifty and forgetful? Or did you want to yell and stomp? Do you still? Were you terribly tired? Or manic with an itchy foot? Did you think that if you had to make one more dinner for a silent man you would shoot somebody? Maybe I will have no trouble at all? Maybe my sister won’t have any problems either. But she is half a world away and she has no mother. What shall I tell her?
I know this is a taboo subject but I don’t care. We need to gather our information. This is what I thought.
Then I thought; this is such a wonderful subject, such an empowering subject, there is so much I want to know, you and I are sure to have so much to say. The comments section will be heaving. Then I thought: what if I were to turn the comments section into a book for my sister and THEN I thought. Let’s WRITE a BOOK. You and I and all the Fellowship. We can write a book together. Let’s collect 100 essays about Menopause,100 anecdotes, 100 mad things, or funny things, or poems or paintings, or telling things your aunts said or your granny told you or your mother experienced or you have felt. I am not going to call it The Change. I am not going to whisper it. I refuse to think that running out of eggs in my ovaries means I am less powerful than I was yesterday. Maybe I am more powerful.
I know you are wondering what this has to do with a farm journal blog. Um.. looking deeply.. nope.. Nothing!! But it has everything to do with you and I. And I know for sure that many of you have no mothers, or your mothers cannot speak about these things, I know that many of you have something to say about this. Many of you have been through it. Many of you are IN it. And many of you are stronger for it. Many of you have been silenced by it. Tell me. Write it down for me. So I can collect all your words into one glorious letter to my sister.
Are you brave enough. Do yu want to add your words? Do you have a sister or a daughter or a mother? Shall we make a book? I cannot pay you. I have no money for this. Though I think we will find it then pay them back. But I don’t care about that either. But I feel deeply that we should write it. You and I. You can write a short or long essay. And you should all get a credit. I think we should yank this subject out from under its rock. I know that you and I will probably have to buy the copies to give to our sisters and daughters and nieces, just to pay for the printing. But will you write something? Will you leave you name on the bottom of the paragraph? Your voice is important. Clever writing is not important. Grammar is not important. Length is not important. Spelling is not important. (Spell check does great things.) Punctuation is not even important. YOU are important. 12 words or 1200. Every voice is worth listening to because we all go through this one way or another. We are totally equal in the progression of womanhood.
Are you brave enough? You can all write. Everyone can write. Will you write something?
Make a comment. Even if you have never commented before. Let me know what you think and I will email you with more details. Shall we write a book together.. you and I?
If you cannot comment but want to join, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org
There is no-one else like you. No-one else sees it like you do. That is how important you are.
Your friend on the farmy,