I make resolutions. I have know people who have not approved of this habit, some pretty vocally. And I still do it. I like setting goals and I am not undone failing to reach them. I’ve lived in Julia’s therapy world for a long time and when she does not meet a therapy goal set within the prescribed time, it is either carried on or modified. So too, my resolutions. Certainly, the resolution to consider or contemplate home which has been on my resolution list long before I began posting resolutions is a perfect example. From the time I left NYC for the midwest, I’ve puzzled over the idea of home. NYC was home. Now, the pieces fit. Home is simply where the love is—family and friends and warm community. Madison has been home, first because it was where David and I lived together and then because I was determined to reclaim life and be a part of the community. Of course, I’ve known this intuitively for a long time—such a Dorothy moment. And these days, my eyes are fixed on Boston as home, a home as precious and satisfying as Madison has been. Continue reading
I meant to write a few days after the last entry, again last week, again during the weekend. But I did not. Funny thing about that. Not writing, that is. Use it or lose it. How many abilities, gifts, talents is that true for? On a day like today, it feels like everything! Today, the ability to catch a thought, to fashion a phrase and to punctuate is a labor like getting on the treadmill months after the last gym visit. Use of imagination, like a good run, will take warming up for a few days. Or weeks. Continue reading
It was cold last night, only a few degrees colder than it was the night before. At least, I think so. And the thermostat was not set particularly low. But we shivered through supper and homework. Julia had had a moderately challenging day—she was late for study hall, her stomach hurt during reading and she still couldn’t present her earth science project due to some IT problem with her powerpoint. She had math and earth science homework and a Death of a Salesman test to study for, and it was admittedly harder than usual to catch her attention. Once she was working, she was fine, though her processing speed slowed to a half crawl at times. But we got through it all. She was incredibly tired which has become the new normal more than half her days. I’m not sure if it is that without the ADHD meds, her body runs down sooner, or that she is exhausted from working harder to concentrate on any form of work throughout the day, or something else. Continue reading
Loneliness, as in an uncomfortable emotion, passes and I am left alone in the house with Julia back at school and feeling really okay about my aloneness, as in the state of being with no company apart from my own. And the cat.
Quick meds update: Julia is still off her Concerta. Friday night we went to Overture to see School of Rock, a rather kid noisy rock musical with a very enthusiastic cast including about a dozen kids. Julia enjoyed it. So much so that when the kids sang, “Stick it to the Man” (The chorus if not the name of the song), Julia was ready to get up and join the cast on stage, and if not on stage, at least stand up and raise her fist and wave her hair. My hand had to rest gently in her lap to keep her in her seat. We were in the balcony which may have helped keep her in her seat. Had we been in the orchestra . . . Continue reading
I’m having a hard time writing. With all that is swirling around in the greater Madison/ Wisconsin/USA world, with pipe bombs and the massacre in Pittsburg and the killing of Kroger shoppers in Kentucky–all just in the last week–I find it hard to take the petty concerns of my days seriously. Can we all vote now or on November 6? Can we vote for Democratic candidates no matter how we’ve voted in the past? We need to break the choke hold that the current administration has on the rhetoric of our nation. I’m sorry to ask good Republicans, moderates, fiscal conservatives to betray your party. But really, is it your party? I find it hard to believe that the Republican judges I worked for and those I knew in the legal Indy community approve of what the Executive and Legislative branches of out federal government are doing. Or saying. It is horrifying to see a major American political party welcome Nazis, White Supremacists and misogynists into its ranks. It is appalling to hear a president’s speak so disrespectfully of people, institutions, agencies that are vital to our way of life. Today’s insult, to nullify the long-accepted constitutional guarantee of birthright citizenship in the United States via executive order is absurd. He must know that. It is, however, a great way to rally the racists. And when it proves not possible, he will lie and say he never said it and those same racists will believe him. How can you stand his lies? 3084 since his inauguration, some possibly not intentional but for a president to lie unintentionally is no excuse. It just means he didn’t both to find out the truth. Continue reading
I began this two days ago and wrote more in the morning, the day after Judge Kavanaugh complained the his “family and  name have been totally and permanently destroyed.” He also said what goes around, comes around. I believe Christine Blasey Ford. I believed Professor Anita Hill. These women have showed courage beyond my wildest dreams. My thoughts of the season pale beside their actions. I honor them.
Still, I write.
Ah, the turning of the season! Last week or late the week before, I noticed a few fringes of red on the trees I see driving on the Beltway. Why don’t I know the names of trees? I could say the oaks are redding, the maples show scarlet. Maybe one day. Not today. Closer to home, the ashes are yellowing and dropping those tiny yellows so that the street gutters are looking messy with yellows and greens and browns. I love that clutter. Every year at this time, I remind myself never to buy a house in this season. The colors, the wind, the crackle of cold air, the smell of first logs in fireplaces and the clutter of leaves lining the gutters in streets—I would be romanced, swept off my feet. I would not make a sensible decision. Continue reading
It is Thursday and we’ve been out of internet range except for select minutes for days. I have many pictures to post from our incredible hikes in the outback, the center of Australia. There is no way they will upload on hotel internet but I will have access to better soon.
Today is the eighth anniversary of David’s death. I wrote what comes next earlier today.
I never understood the church year and as a kid I wondered why from year to year the stories did not change because some of the repetition bored me. Now I have my own liturgical year, March to July, transplant to expiration. I can relive it in an instant, scenes with vivid recall like yesterday, clearer than yesterday. Eight journeys around the sun so far. Those early ones when the best I could do was to find care for Julia while I allowed for a good long wallow in pain. Then, the years of Miyazaki movies and Chinese takeout. First just the two of us and then with friends (Bless them for their indulgence).Then sitting in piazza San Marco with gin and gelato and observing in NYC with Cheshire and Indian food. Today, waking up in a cold tent, cuddling with Julia for warmth under heavy blankets. Traveling the Australian outback with a group of people we didn’t know three days ago. Last night, arriving at a camp site not set up for us, we made up beds and cooked a noodle dinner together, eating so late that Julia’s eyes were closing. No way I could have imagined today eight years ago. No way could I have imagined the company we would keep this day. Grieving, observing, and one day, not quite yet, celebrating the years and the life I/we share with David. Continue reading
A line from one of my favorite songs (“Is Anybody There?”) in one of my favorite musicals (1776). It is running over and over in my head, the voice I hear is, of course, William Daniels, the original John Adams.
We leave for Sydney tomorrow evening. I have a list, albeit short, to accomplish and two therapy appointments today. If I finish what needs to be finished before the middle of the day, we could see a movie tonight but I am not depending on that extravagance. Continue reading
Not much of that the last two weeks. The city is tearing up my street, both streets on my corner. The crew port-o-potty adorns my terrace garden bed. From 6:45 a.am to 6:00 p.m., 6 days a week—scrapers scrape, diggers dig and hit stuff in the ground, pounders, earth movers, buriers of huge pieces of metal and all of it beeps mercilessly when they back up. I complained to whoever listened and grumped to myself often for days. Then I stopped insisting that my daily round remain the same and got out of the house as much as possible. After awhile the persistence to hold fast to my daily round and the desire to escape as much as possible settled into some middle space—I stopped complaining and reclaimed the house when I needed it, mindful of my tolerance. I needed to open windows and turn on fans and welcome (almost) the road dust. I started greeting the crew outside my windows and they’ve been helpful making some space for me to get my car out of the driveway and out of my street. I am on the verge of baking them muffins. Continue reading
“Life changes fast.
Life changes in the instant.
You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends.
The question of self-pity.”
With a very big sigh of relief, I count another mother’s day over. My feelings about the holiday remain the same as they were four years ago and I am still not proud of them. Of course, I am not proud. The feelings are still all about self-pity. Which is ugly and such a damm nuisance.
When I first read Joan Didion’s “The year of magical thinking,” I did not understand those first lines quoted above. I rather shamefacedly admit that I didn’t understand them for a very long time. What was so bad about some very well deserved self-pity? Continue reading