As this blog title suggests, the chances of me (the sibling of a brain tumour victim) developing my very own brain tumour, were apparently ridiculous. They are the kind of odds that would make a movie or book seem preposterous and detract from any story-telling magic. Yet here I am, nearly 10 years after my beloved brother, Graeme Turner, died, embarking on my own journey.
I don’t know where this journey will take me but I want to write about it. I want to write because it’s what I do. I write lists for jobs around the house (prioritised and categorised for Graham’s convenience*). I write contracts, memos, professionally stroppy letters, threats of litigation, thousands of emails (long and short) and yet more categorised lists as a lawyer.
When I’m struggling with something, professionally or personally, I have an obsessive need to structure my thoughts rationally and logically (at least to me). When I think about anything (excitement about a holiday, reliving a scary, happy or momentous event, planning a wedding, or anything else), I imagine how I would write about it, even though I don’t actually plan to write about at least 99% of what happens (how pleased you should be that I don’t, my life isn’t that exciting)!
When Graeme was dying, I kept a blog about it and it helped me get through the hardest time in my life. A few days before we went to Mount Kilimanjaro in 2008 to scatter some of Graeme’s ashes on the top of that glorious mountain, I was struggling with the enormity and emotion of what we were about to attempt and I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t find a hook as to how to write about it and ease my tumultuous mind. I started to think about Graeme’s Kili trip in 2004, the insight it gave us into my absolutely beautiful and inspirational brother and how that had led directly to our memorial trek four years later. The phrase “A Tale of Two Kilis” popped into my mind: I had my hook and I lay in bed writing about it in the Notepad app on my iPhone for about an hour. I literally had no trouble sleeping for the rest of the build-up or the trip.
So, writing helps me. It’s such a compelling need, I have to admit I’m doing this primarily for me. That said, I have got a very big eye on my kids as I write this blog, but more about them in a proper post at some point.
(*To clarify for anyone who doesn’t know, Graeme Turner was my brother. Graham (Cole) is my hubby. Both of our Mams are called Anne. Try and keep up.)