Sunday, May 29, 2011
Saturday, May 7, 2011
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
I was out with a new friend last night. He’s a nerd (his word, not mine). He’s a tech guy, very savvy. I am not. The point was made clearly when he referenced something from this blog. This blog with its three readers. This blog that is really much more of a diary than anything else. This blog….that I suck at writing.
I can’t remember exactly how it came up but he said something about me having been diagnosed with cancer and a brain tumor. My mind immediately starts racing around, figuring out how he could know that. I didn’t talk about it. I don’t talk about it often but people who know me and people who were in my life when I couldn’t speak properly, couldn’t hold my own children and couldn’t walk without tripping certainly knew. We have one connection (a neighbor of mine is a co-worker of his) but that guy wouldn’t talk about that – there’s much more recent and juicy gossip to discuss. How did he know?
I’m fairly certain that the look of panic flashed across my face. I know it doesn’t make a lot of sense but I’m an intensely private person. I don’t like people knowing things about me until I want them to know. So what does an intensely private person do? She writes a blog, of course. It’s my own dumb fault. And it’s easily found if you google me. Who knew? Apparently the rest of the modern world, that’s who.
I was rendered speechless briefly – not an easy feat. I stumbled and stammered and looked like a moron. Then I figured okay, he knows this about me and still showed up to meet me. Not bad. He said something nice about it – like I’m glad you’re okay. Good recovery. And then we moved on.
Lesson learned. If I write it, it’s not private. If it’s written about me, it’s not private. I’m not nearly as smart as I thought I was. I’m working on that last one.
Oh, in case you’re wondering. Yeah, last night was fun, stumbling, stammering and all J.
May Day holds many memories for me. When I was young, about 5 years old, we moved from Massachusetts to Pennsylvania. I remember celebrating May Day with my school, holding ribbons and dancing around the May Pole. My soon-to-be-ex called me a commie when he heard we did that. It was normal for me. I loved it. And I’m sad my kids don’t get to experience that.
May Day doesn’t hold great memories for me anymore. A few years ago it was the day my father in law died. My FIL was an interesting man. He was the director of the National Institutes of Mental Health when I came into the family. He retired shortly thereafter when he realized the Alzheimer’s he had feared getting was becoming real. I can’t imagine what it’s like to be a brilliant man who watched his sister and father die of the same disease and realize that’s your fate, too. It was a terrible disease. He died on May 1. At the time, I remember thinking that while I was sad that my children would never know him the way he would want to be known, this was best for him. He must have hated being stuck in a body that he couldn’t control. He couldn’t speak, couldn’t be his normal witty self. His death was okay.
Shawna. I can’t even type her name without tears coming to my eyes. I’m listening to Lady Gaga as I type this (it’s on my Happy Music playlist I made for my kids). She loved Gaga. And Madonna. And animals – lots of things, really. Except herself. It was a year ago she decided she no longer wanted to be here so she took matters into her own hands and that was that. No goodbye. No explanation, though I don’t think it was really needed. Just an exit. This death was not okay for me. It still isn’t.
I think of her when I kiss or hug someone. The last time I saw her was at a party – a work function in a restaurant. We had a conversation about what it was like for her to be in her mid 30s and single. Have hope, I told her. I was married at 31. I knew at that party that the end of my marriage was near but I didn’t tell her that. I hadn’t told anyone yet. What I really remember about that night was holding her at the end of the night. Mostly I was afraid for her to drive because she’d already had a few too many margaritas. But when she hugged me, she mmmmmmmmmmed. So I did, too. She could feel the mmmmmmmmmmmm vibration against my chest. She liked that feeling, she told me. Me, too. I would give anything to feel that again.
I still think about that when I hug someone. Mmmmmmmmmmmm……good.
I miss them. May day will never be the same.