One week ago today, my sister died.
My nephew called me about this time last week to tell me she had passed that morning.
Apparently she had avoided seeing a doctor for long enough, in spite of repeated complaints of feeling unwell and in pain, that when she finally did get nagged into seeing a physician, she was diagnosed with late stage lung cancer. She was dead within six weeks.
All of this came as a real shock to me because I didn’t know she was sick. Or at least, I didn’t know she was that sick.
Happy New Year.
I spent New Year’s Eve at home with the boys, as usual. The end of the decade and the start of a new decade provoked a reflective mood.
It’s been a hell of a decade.
It started with me going back to school and getting divorced.
I’ve been thinking about my mother a lot lately.
There are a few different reasons for that.
For one thing, I have now officially outlived her. She died when she was 59 years and thirteen days old. I passed that milestone (if that’s what you want to call it) on April 16th of this year. I spent a few months fretting because, deep down in the irrational part of me, I was afraid I wouldn’t and that was unacceptable to me because I still have things I want to do.
Another reason that she has come to mind is because she never did forgive me for dropping out of college (twice!) without earning any sort of degree. At the time, I told her that there wasn’t anything I wanted to do for which I needed a degree, and if I ever decided I wanted to do something that required a degree, I’d go get one. As matters evolved, that is precisely what I ended up doing.
It’s Ricky’s birthday!
Ricky turns 20 years old today, so from now until August 12th, all my children are in their 20s. Fancy that.
Ricky’s arrival in the world was an episode of Murphy’s Law in action.
It was a bright, sunny day at the end of May when I went into labor for what would be the last time in my life and the weather was the best thing about it. For starters, the neighbor who had offered to babysit for my kids when I needed to go to the hospital was nowhere to be found. I kept calling right up until the moment I needed to leave but she seemed to have disappeared into thin air. So, we all went to the hospital to welcome Ricky into the world.
I have no idea what that was like for anybody. I had other things on my mind.
I am in Arizona.
I’ve never been here before.
The skies are cloudless and clear, and in the mornings, between 7:00 am and 9:00 am or so, it’s pleasantly cool outside. Perfect walking weather.
After that, it’s hot.
There are flowering trees and bushes everywhere, so the air always smells wonderfully sweet like nowhere I’ve ever lived or visited.
It’s a beautiful place but even this early in the almost-spring, you definitely need to be indoors by about 10am. Continue reading