Morning & Evening…

This year, I am studying summer like there will be a test at the end. I’m intentionally lingering in the breeze of a summer night enjoying the feel as warm air slides across my body. I am paying attention as swirling heat, brushes my hair back from my face as I walk between buildings on campus. I am noticing how my lungs recoil at the thick humidity that feels like a warm wall of water as I step outside of the air conditioning. The air seems to be alive, and I am awake to it in a new way. Continue reading “Morning & Evening…”

Aftermath…

When my doctor walked into the room she wrapped me in a hug and said, “So much has happened since I last saw you.” I was undone. She offered me tissues as I wiped the makeup from under my chin, and tried to croak out words to reassure her that I am really fine, just fine. Thirty minutes later, she made several referrals and instructed me to call if I had any further questions. She hugged me again as I left. Continue reading “Aftermath…”

Re-entry…

At the top of the June page in my calendar, I scribbled, “Re-enter your Life.” After two months that felt like decades, I walked back into my life. I got up and got dressed and drove an hour to work. I logged into my computer and picked up the responsibilities that had been left behind so completely in April. Continue reading “Re-entry…”

Summer’s promise…

The dust is settling. The drama has subsided. After this latest storm, my life is regaining familiar contours. Yesterday, I scheduled a hair appointment and I went grocery shopping on my own. I’m still home, determined to give my body and soul space to recover. But I will return to work next week and begin to pick up the pieces. Continue reading “Summer’s promise…”

One job…

The other night, I sat with friends who have weathered dozens of life’s storms together and apart. We gathered in the aftermath of a wake. We had hugged a husband who was saying goodbye to the wife of his youth, children who had lost their loving mother, women who had lost a familiar friend, and a community rocked by a sudden loss. After we dried our tears and gathered our emotions, we drove off to a quiet space for dinner. Continue reading “One job…”

The view from here…

I find myself leaning back to last week when life was normal, May was just a month on my calendar, and I didn’t know anything about kidney cancer. In other moments, I feel myself jumping ahead, into a bright future where the results show the cancer is gone, the surgery a success, and my body is healed. In darker moments, winds of worry and fear lash as I consider other possibilities. It is harder, I find, to stay here in the murky middle. In this place where my future is unknown, my innocence is shattered, and there are a lot of days left to live before my happy ending. Continue reading “The view from here…”

If I knew then…

Turning fifty has me in a reflective mood. In celebration of my birthday month, I’ve been rereading old journals and making note of the ways I’ve grown and developed over time. In this thoughtful state, I’ve put together a list of things I wish I’d known when I was 25. Half a life ago, I was a young mom, with a five-year-old, a two-and-a-half-year-old, and a new born. We’d very recently had a life changing event, when our 2-year-old fractured his skull and had to be flown to the nearest Trauma Center. Life was about to get even more scary, and the tumultuous time ahead was already the thing I feared most. Before my 26th birthday, Keith would get hurt at work, we’d lose our financial footing, and spiral down into a darkness that I feared we would never find our way out of. Continue reading “If I knew then…”

Birthday girl…

A couple weeks ago, my family pulled off an epic surprise. To be honest, I didn’t believe they had it in them. We aren’t that good at surprises, and I particularly hate being surprised, so it hasn’t been something we’ve practiced over the years. But, they pulled off a beautiful party and gathered so many of my favorite people. I was totally blown away by the love and attention poured out that night. Continue reading “Birthday girl…”

Creating calm…

So much of the time, I feel as though I’m being pushed around by my calendar and the myriad of commitments it reminds me of daily. I tend to be a rule follower. I like to check the boxes and line my ducks up neatly in a row, but the crosswinds in my life seem to be trying to keep me off balance. I started many of the past decade’s Jaunarys with a long list of goals I intended to keep. Each year, I begin again with my list of ways I want to shape my life. Usually, they are additions to the already swollen list of commitments I hold. I’m going to write more, I’m going to make special time with family a priority, I’m going to ensure I don’t lose track of treasured friends. Continue reading “Creating calm…”