Monday, November 28, 2011


Last month I went to my 30th HS reunion, it was too surreal an event to pass up. I pretty much blew out of town {suburban NY} 30 years ago and never looked back. It was only many years later that I realized what great friends I had and how I didn’t value them, lumped everything in with the awful which was my family and my teenage angst {which lasted a bit longer than my teens, I’m afraid}. Most of the names and faces on the Facebook page I didn’t recognize, but a handful of folks had been on my mind for years and I wanted to see them, acknowledge them and also catch up with them... see where life had taken them. And I felt good about where I was in my life. I felt, maybe for the first time, really clear on who I am, uninterested in impressing anyone or being anything I’m not... I am what I am what I am, and that ain’t so bad.

A simple, yet eye opening moment of realization came with the ease of just tossing a sleeping bag, toothbrush and change of clothing in the back of my car and taking off, just me, unencumbered by anyone else's stuff, needs, snacks, drinks, activities. Sweet quiet in the car and my own choice of tunes. It was a rare weekend where my pending-ex was willing to keep the kids for not just a whole weekend {rare enough}, but a 3-day weekend.

It can take me a long time to make up my mind, but when I do, I’m all in, and that’s how it was when I had babies. When I fall in love, it’s all the way in love and I’m steadfast and true, maybe a little too much so and I’ve never been in love like gazing at my baby's face. I should have balanced things better, kept a bit for myself, but for 16 1/2 years it’s just plain been all about the kids. Well, sans the past 4 or 5 when I finally had to start getting out and about a bit... taking a few classes at RISD and starting my business, all in the tiniest, incremental steps, it’s only in the last 2 years or so, it’s become as consuming as it is. But once the school bus comes, I’m all theirs and so traveling, taking more than a few hours for myself is something I’ve forgotten how to do. I’m at their beck and call 24/7 and more often than not have to leave work to bring something forgotten to school or run some kid-centric errand, to which I never give a second thought. I’m their mom, all in.

So having a change of scenery was breathtaking and I felt empowered, I felt healthy, I felt energetic, I felt good. I had a lovely time at the reunion and staying with friends, even managed to hook up with some college friends on the way home which was really, really special.

I felt optimistic... about this new stage of life, about letting go of my kids every other weekend and feeling excited instead of sad about that time. I was going to start travelling and ticking off my list of friends to visit in other places. Adventure time.

It’s so incongruous that all the while I had cells in my body dividing madly, surreptitiously, and as healthy and good and powerful as I felt, I was horribly sick, my body going haywire trying to kill itself. We all obsess about each ache and pain... is that headache a brain tumor? What’s with the tingly feet or achy wrist, the swollen gland, likely nothing... we’re used to worrying about our symptoms... I didn’t have any symptoms, I wasn’t worried about anything. Cancer is the great deceiver, the trickster. And despite feeling fine, well, wracked with anxiety and worry at this point, but feeling previously physically fine, I have to poison myself to stay alive, I have to make myself sick. It’s still incomprehensible to me, so much just doesn’t make sense, but I guess that’s the secret to life... it doesn’t make sense... don’t expect it to.


  1. I have always said it. You are an incredible writer. xo

  2. U have such an amazing gift! U are both eloquent and elegant and we r ALL on this journey with u, behind u and beside u!! xox

  3. in that case, i'll try to bathe often : }