You Should See the Bruise

Let me tell you a little bit about how 2019 and the entrance to 2020 have gone. We had a snow storm in our area last week, primarily because David was away for work, and when David goes away for work, the skies decide it’s a good time to dump at least six inches of unexpected snow onto our large driveway. Saoirse and I got it shoveled right away that afternoon, thanks to her enthusiasm for physical exertion and my stubborn will to keep going and ignore the spasms in my bad back (three large pregnancies with three very large babies broke me). When we woke the next morning to a blessed, much-needed, two-hour school delay, a snow squall was rolling through the neighborhood, covering the driveway with a powder-sugared coating that hid the pretty, sparkly, inevitably painful sheen of sheer ice that lay beneath it. As the kids were getting bundled into their hats and gloves and coats for school, I backed the car of the garage to make it easier for them all to pile in with their backpacks and instruments and lunches. I’d asked Quinlan to take out the dog…

Field Trip

SO. Let’s catch up, shall we? Quinlan, our second kiddo, is in 4th grade, which is The Project Year in her school, aka The Year That Just Might Do In The Parents Yet. One of the fall projects she was assigned involved visiting a place in Pennsylvania as a tourist, and her teacher sent out a list of options that ranged widely in distance and cost. But you know how life goes: by the time I got to the online sign-up sheet (The world of online sign-up sheets is cutthroat, man. Other parents make me nervous), all the cheap/local options were taken, so I started eyeballing two other places that have been on our family’s “wanna see” lists for a while now: Fallingwater and Longwood Gardens. When I broached the ideas to Quinn, who really just wanted to go to Hersheypark and call it a day (ALL READY TAKEN, QUINN), she asked which choice would be one at which her Grammy could join us. Fact: Fallingwater is stairs upon stairs in a wooded forestland. Problem: my mom is in a wheelchair. Conclusion: Longwood Gardens, here we come. We chose Columbus Day…

From My Bubble to Yours: the Anniversary

It’s been a year since it all happened, my friends. Last year, a day after the sadness of 9/11, when we took a breath and gave our loved ones an extra-long hug and carried on, on until the next year, is when our story with my mom began. That phone call. That drive. I finally told David, during a quiet moment last week, that I have flashbacks to that night, that car drive, my calls for help. I’m embarrassed by that admittance–I’m a grown woman, after all, and this happened during my grown-woman years. I asked him if he thinks they’ll ever go away. I want them to go away. I want the moment that divided before and after to be erased. This is what weighs on me: if it had been a stroke instead of a tumor, my decisions could have killed her that night. Do you realize that? Because I chose to try to find her before getting help. Because I chose not to call an ambulance right away to meet me there. Because I made a decision to drive her to the hospital myself even…